apartment tour: kitchen

The kitchen is the beating heart of our home (and probably yours too). In my childhood home the kitchen table & space were where we gathered for meals, games, conversation, & work. Now I’m all grown up with a big girl kitchen of my own, I always want it to feel welcoming; like a natural place to stay a while.

The focal point of your home should be that gathering space. Whether it's a breakfast bar, a kitchen table, an island (like ours)... this space is, in my experience, the most important of the entire home. This is where bonds are strengthened, memories are made, and understanding and learning deepen. And maaaaaybe it's just proximity to the refrigerator that brings us together ;) but whatever the draw - we've got to learn how to leverage this space.

Needless to say our kitchen was the first "room" (can you call it a room if it only has two walls?) we tackled when moving into our home. It was definitely the easiest to furnish due to our recent wedding. About 80% of our gifts were for kitchen purposes and you guys - our friends and family - seriously stocked us UP. We hardly had to buy a single fork! (moral of the story, if you need to furnish your kitchen, get married - so simple! ;) #jokesjokes In our first week in the new apartment a few summers ago... we had a fully stocked kitchen, cabinet full of dishes, island/table built and ready for action..... aaaaaand NOTHING else. Other than piles of boxes, and a mattress on the floor, the kitchen was our original refuge.

In the last year and half with our we've seen lots of memories in our kitchen. We've hosted regular dinners with neighbors, shared drinks and conversation with new co-workers, perched for hours typing away ideas into laptops, & had many a Tyler + Kara Leigh dinners (eating side by side). I cherish the look of the growing stains and dings on the wood surface of the counter top that mark the history of past spills mid-laughter, wine bottles passed around to friends, and knifes held in a too-lazy-to-find-the-cutting-board hands. History is held in these spaces.

Here are a few simple ways we have made our kitchen the heart of our home:

Open the kitchen up:

Whether you actually have a certified “open kitchen” floor plan in your home or not, you can create a flow to your house that guides people into the kitchen space. I love being able to cook or prepare things in the kitchen while a few friends sit at our island or on the couch - all within reach of conversation.

Snacks on demand:

One thing I’ve learned from being around master hosts & hostesses - is the skill of being able to magically produce snacks and drinks. Tyler and I try to keep a well stocked beverage shelf of our fridge, as well as chips and salsa/hummus, cheeseboard essentials, or fruit to pass around. Maybe this is an obvious one, but I had to learn this strategy!

“Stay awhile!” attitude:

Whether you’re playing music, breaking out a board game, making dinner together, this has to be a space that is ready to host humans for a few hours. Last night we had some new neighbor friends over for board games and drinks. We all sat around that trusty island, played a couple games, chatted, and before we knew it, the clock said 3am. Not saying you need to be up late to accomplish this; however, keeping a “stay awhile” attitude with undoubtedly help guests feel welcome.

Here’s our kitchen space. I’ll do a post soon about small space organization tips in the kitchen - stay tuned! Check out the bottom of the post for recommendations of some of the products & kitchen gear we use.

(here's what atlas was doing while I was taking photos!)

(here's what atlas was doing while I was taking photos!)

In this post:

Le Creuset blue cookware from Williams Sonoma (the tea pot, deep dish crock, & casserole dish are all from here!)

Breville Espresso machine 

Our plates & bowls are from Anthropologie - Latte dishes in parchment (I actually can't find the plates anymore which makes me super sad since I just broke a few!)