A Peek Inside My Small and Simple Kitchen

A Peek Inside My Small and Simple Kitchen

Since moving to Squamish, I’ve intentionally chosen to live without a few things and get comfortable in my space before buying anything for it. To give you a visual, this originally meant living without a couch for the first two-and-a-half months and having only a chair to sit on. (I finally bought a couch in June!) I also moved without a coffee table and a desk, both of which I am still on the hunt for.

It’s hard to believe I have already been here for four months. While I haven’t put all the pieces of the puzzle together yet, it does feel like home now – my home – and I think a huge part of that is because of how much time I spend in my kitchen.

I was hesitant to ever share pictures of this condo I’m renting for many reasons. On top of wanting to maintain a little bit of privacy, I also didn’t want to contribute to the ideas we are shown about how minimalism should look. But it was a good friend who helped me see I could open the cupboard doors and share stories about what’s inside my kitchen, instead. This is the same friend who suggested I show how I travel light.

In the coming months, I’m going to be sharing a lot more conversations about how minimalism looks different for everyone. Today, I’ll show you how it looks in my small and simple kitchen. As you’ll see, it doesn’t all match but it works – and that is a gift. <3

What’s Inside My Small and Simple Kitchen

First, I know the word “small” is relative. In this case, I actually have more cupboards and storage here than we do in our family home in Victoria (and you’ll see that much of it goes unused). I also know it’s at least double the size of what most apartments have in places like NYC. So, I’m comparing the size of my current kitchen to most of the ones we see on TV shows, in magazines and on Pinterest. The kitchens we’re told to dream about.

I also consider it small because I cook and bake a lot, and find I only ever use the tiny bit of counter space between the stove and the sink. (Note to my future self: If you ever have the luxury of being able to design a kitchen, add lots of counter space between those two things! That’s where you need it most!)

If you’ve seen tours of some other minimalist kitchens, the first thing you might notice about mine is that I leave things on the counter. I stand by my statement: a home is meant to be lived in, not looked at. For the purpose of these pictures, I didn’t move anything around. My wallet and keys stayed on the counter because that’s where they live. And a few pictures down, you’ll also see my phone charger because that’s where my phone spends most of its time, too. Aside from wiping the counters clean, this is how my kitchen looks every day.

Minimalist Kitchen Pantry

What you’re seeing here is the space in which I do most of my drink prep. I make coffee, tea and a smoothie almost every day, so I leave the things I use on the counter at all times. As a tip, putting things in places where you’ll actually use them is the best way to make it a habit. If you’re trying to save money by buying less takeout coffee, or less takeout food or beverages in general, leave the things you need in places where you can easily gravitate towards them. The same is true if you’re simply trying to eat or drink better. Don’t hide the healthy stuff. Leave it on the counter or at least keep it in a place you look at often.

Minimalist Kitchen Pantry

Something I hadn’t thought of until looking at this picture is how much of what I use was gifted or handed down to me. My parents gifted me most of my pots and pans when I moved out on my own in my early twenties, after getting out of a bad relationship. They also gave me the teapot and the crockpot (slow cooker) for Christmas one year. And in realizing she wasn’t using it often, my aunt gave me her Nutribullet. It’s not fancy and it doesn’t all match, at this point – but it works. My family helped me create a working kitchen, and for that, I will always be grateful. (Oh and yes, that’s my “pantry”. Pretty empty, eh? More on food in a future post!)

Minimalist Kitchen

I also bought everything you see here. And again, I keep the things I use most often out and ready. In this picture, that includes cooking utensils, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil.

One thing to note here is there’s a huge cupboard in the corner – both top and bottom – that I simply never use. Not only do I not own anything that would fit in there, they are also extremely annoying to open and close because of how small the doors are. I find new designs fascinating because even with everything we know about maximizing space, we still waste so much of it. (I also have a “den” that’s no bigger than a standard closet. Maybe that’s a side rant?) I also don’t use the space above the microwave, but that has more to do with the fact that my ceilings are deceptively high (at least 9 feet) and I can’t reach the top shelves!

Minimalist Kitchen

For fun, I thought I’d give you a peek inside my cupboards and drawers. The one cupboard I do use in this picture is next to the microwave and it’s mostly filled with spices.

I only use three of the four drawers in my kitchen.

Minimalist Kitchen

Minimalist Kitchen

Minimalist Kitchen

And I spend the majority of my time in this half of the kitchen.

Minimalist Kitchen

Like I said in the beginning, I use the tiny bit of counter space between the stove and the sink to do most of my food prep. It’s also nice to do food prep near the compost bin because that’s where most of my waste goes! And despite having a dishwasher, I find it’s easier to do dishes by hand when you live alone. I’ll run the dishwasher once a week, usually after doing a bunch of meal prep. But on a day-to-day basis, it’s easier to wash the few dishes I use by hand and let them dry on the mat. (I didn’t feel the need to put these away either. You all do dishes. You know what they look like!)

Minimalist Kitchen

Something I’ve learned about myself is that I will use the same glass for water multiple days in a row, but I use at least two mugs each day (sometimes more) for coffee and tea. So I could actually do with fewer glasses! But on the days I run my dishwasher, it’s not uncommon for all of these mugs to be in there.

Minimalist Kitchen

Finally, everything you see in this cupboard was a gift. I’ve been using the same set of Corelle dishes since I was eighteen years old. They weren’t made for Pinterest pictures, but they work (and they never break). And my old roommate in Toronto gave me the mixing bowls. I use these so much, they should almost live on the counter.

Minimalist Kitchen

So, that’s it! The contents of my kitchen. It’s not exactly small, although the amount of space I use in it is. And if you noticed everything (including what’s on the front of my fridge) was lined up, I should mention it’s always like that – because I have always been like that. Ever since I was a kid, I have kept things lined up, often in orders of colour or size, and perfectly organized. I don’t know how or why, that’s just the way my brain works. When I worked at the deli in a grocery store, I used to think I’d enjoy stocking shelves more because I naturally want everything to be facing the same direction. Can’t explain it – but I won’t complain about it!

If you’re reading this post and wondering what exactly goes into a small/simple/minimalist kitchen, here is a detailed list of what’s in mine:

The Kitchen Appliances I Use

  • coffee grinder
  • electric kettle
  • French press
  • teapot
  • NutriBullet (small blender for smoothies)
  • crockpot (aka slow cooker)
  • electric whisk

The Kitchen Utensils I Use

  • 8 x glass cups* / 8 x mugs
  • 8 x bowls / 8 x small plates / 8 x large plates
  • set of eating utensils
  • 1 x santoku knife (currently the only sharp knife I own)
  • 1 x can opener, scissors, hand grater, veg peeler, garlic press, ice cream scoop, melon baller
  • 3 x cutting boards
  • 1 x wok / 3 x pans / 4 x pots
  • 1 x turner / 2 x wooden spoons / 2 x rubber spatulas / 1 x whisk
  • 1 x strainer
  • set of plastic food storage containers
  • set of glass measuring cups
  • set of plastic measuring cups and spoons
  • set of plastic mixing bowls
  • set of baking sheets (not pictured – they live in the drawer below the oven!)
  • spiralizer (yes, I use this often!)
  • 1 x travel mug
  • 2 x water bottles (different sizes)
  • 3 x plastic cups for my friends’ kids when they visit :)
  • 2 x dish cloths
  • 4 x dish towels
  • mini oven mitts
  • indoor compost bin!

*my mason jars double as glass storage containers :)

Things I Live Without

  • a knife block (I currently only own one sharp knife)
  • a toaster (I don’t buy much bread, and don’t need to toast it if I do)

Things I’m Considering Buying

  • a ladle (still need to replace my last one)
  • a paring knife
  • a fine-mesh strainer
  • a large glass food storage container (for things I bake like muffins)
  • a food processor (or a bigger/proper blender)

As part of the slow food experiment, I thought I would also share more about the food I buy, and show you what’s inside my cupboards and fridge. Look out for that post on Wednesday!

For now, I’d love to know what your favourite item in your kitchen is and why. I’m torn between my French press and my Nutribullet. Let’s go with my Nutribullet because it makes an amazing smoothie!

Extra Reading

  • Hello, friend!! Um, can I *PLEASE* have your kitchen?! Stainless appliances (including a microwave and dishwasher!) + nice blacksplash + tons of storage… It’s a larger and MUCH nicer version of mine, haha! I don’t have a microwave at my tiny 350 sq ft and honestly, I don’t miss it. I just re-heat leftovers on the stove.

    My favorite appliance bar none is my crockpot. So easy to wake up to cooked food or make it on Sundays for the week. Thank you for showing us your pretty, functional place! Also, we are twins when it comes to water glasses (…maybe because I only have one as I’ve managed to break the other three while moving or just by accident) ;)

    • Couldn’t agree more about the crockpot! I love mine. Don’t use it much in the summer, but can’t live without it in the fall/winter. :)

  • My favorite kitchen item is my KitchenAid mixer because I bake a lot. It sits out all the time because it is too heavy to put away. I recently went through a purge in my VERY small kitchen and got rid of two large trash bags of things I didn’t use. My cupboards are not as bare as yours, but there is definitely more organization.
    I also wash the dishes by hand–the ones I use every day–oatmeal bowl, water glass–and the rest go in the dishwasher. I run that when it gets full. About every 2 weeks.

    • Lots of people in the comments love their mixers! Glad to hear you get such great use out of yours, Kelli. :)

  • Thanks for making the point about minimalism not needing to look a certain way. I think people can get wrapped up in the way their lives need to look to be considered ‘Minimalists’, and I know I’ve done that in the past too.

    By far my favourite appliance is my stovetop kettle. We burnt through two electric ones in two months (no idea why) and scored a stainless stovetop one with a 25 year warranty! I’ve got lots of tea making in my future!

  • For me my favourite kitchen item is my KitchenAid stand mixer. I do lots of baking and it is the best thing ever. Merengue dare so easy! Also use it to mix up beef for hamburgers and meat loaf. It’s so versatile. I bought it when it was on sale and used gift cards that I’d been given for that purpose.

  • What a gorgeous kitchen! I’m happy to see that you’re settling into Squamish life. :) I really love your brand of minimalism where it’s about owning what you need. It’s not like you have one fork or something lol. I also love that a lot of your stuff is secondhand or gifted! When I lived in an apartment, everything except a cheapo futon was either secondhand/gifted or I literally got it out of the trash. I got an entertainment center to hold up my TV once. It was falling to pieces but I desperately wanted an entertainment center, so I propped that bad boy up with old yogurt containers.

    Ahhh, youth.

    • Haha, that made me laugh. Reminded me of the old flower print couch that had holes in many places on the fabric. I covered it with sheets for a good few years. :)

  • I like that you keep your kitchen minimal, but you also keep it “lived in” and have the high-use items on the counter. I’m in complete agreement! I will make more coffee at home and use various cooking items more often when they are easily accessible.

    And your kitchen is gorgeous! :)

    • Yes yes yes! Honestly, keeping all my coffee supplies out and ready is the #1 reason I was able to quit drinking takeout coffee for a year. It had to be EASY to make it at home.

  • This is great – thank you for sharing! When my husband and I moved into our new apartment in January (after an international move where we got rid of 90% of our belongings) we decided to forgo getting a toaster as well. If we do really want toast, we use the broil setting on the oven and it works just fine. :)

    • Heather, that’s what I was going to say! I’ve been living toaster-free, and when I want to buy bread for toast I just use the oven. Works very well!

  • My husband is a former chef, and we are farmers who do a LOT of cooking and preserving. So we have a decent amount of equipment, but try to keep it to just what we use regularly, and avoid single use items. For instance, we do all our cooking just fine with a good chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a bread knife.

    It’s a toss up for me on my favorite kitchen item: I’m torn between instant pot, Vitamix, and food processor. All see a ton of use, and make my life a lot easier!

    Thanks for the peek into your kitchen. ☺

    • We live in the deep, deep South where it’s hot and humid a good portion of the year. I convinced my husband that we needed an Instant Pot so we could have a hot meal in the warm months without using the stove/oven and heating up the whole house in the process. So, on Black Friday a couple of years ago, we bought a 6 quart/7 function Instant Pot on sale. Wow! We love it! We love it so much that we bought the 8 quart that was on sale on Amazon Prime Day just recently so we can cook large things like whole chickens and large roasts during the hot months. I’ve been asked if I was going to sell the smaller one now that I have the larger one. Most emphatically NOT! Now I can cook two things at once in no time flat without heating up the whole house!

    • Love the comment about the knives. And you brought me one vote closer to getting a food processor, haha.

  • I also love my nutribullet! My boyfriend bought a fancy big blender a while ago and he prefers that, but I still use the nutribullet every day to make smoothies because it’s just so easy to use and clean. We also find it super useful for making sauces, crushing flax seeds, making oat flour etc. The only thing the bigger blender does that the nutribullet doesn’t is make smoothies for several people at once (or abnormally hungry guys!) and the bigger blender is better at blending hot things like soups (hot things in nutribullet = explosion and regret).
    I also *love* our food processor! If you ever want to make things involving dates, like energy balls or that sort of thing, I would definitely recommend getting a food processor instead of blender. I’ve broken my nutribullet blade and overheated my boyfriend’s huge (several horsepower!) blender trying to blend dates, but the food processor does it easily! It’s also better for things like nut butters, hot things like soups, chopping veggies if you’re so inclined, and things where you want more control over the texture, like falafel mixture. It’s great because they don’t need liquid to work, like you do in a blender so there are a lot of things a food processor can do that a blender can’t :)
    We love the food processor so much that we’ve made space for one in our TINY kitchen (our whole house is only 20m2 so the kitchen is really tiny). This is the one we have: https://www.kitchenone.se/produkt/philips-hr762700-matberedare-650w/?gclid=CM7OsdGVkdUCFUmMGQod8oQC0A (the link is to a Swedish site but maybe it’s available in Canada too?) and it’s the second time we bought the same one because we had to leave the old one behind when we moved overseas! We missed it so much that we bought a new one after a couple months and got exactly the same one again and both of them have been great :)

    • I second the food processor over a larger blender. I find they’re more useful than a blender for all things baking and chopping. Plus it seems you can get a quality food processor for much cheaper than you can a quality blender.

    • Haha, you are SO right about the hot things in the Nutribullet comment. I laughed out loud. Learned the hard way! And THANK YOU for all the info about food processors! That has been almost the exact question I’ve been asking myself: what would be better for blending things like dates? And what should I use to (attempt to) make almond butter? So thank you, thank you, thank you, Jessica! :)

  • Thanks, I loved this! I would love to know what kinds of dishes you cook/bake, as I’m currently stuck for ideas myself. I look forward to Wednesday’s post.

    • Nothing fancy! I am guessing it was like a $20 pack from a big box store? Just looked at them: Wilton! :)

  • My favorite item is my KitchenAid! It actually was a wedding gift from my sister, and I seriously use it alllll the time because I’m a huge baker. I realize that for a lot of people, it wouldn’t be a must-need, but that thing lives on my counter because it is used several times a week!

  • I’m envious on the clean look of your kitchen! My partner and I just combined homes and, despite purging a lot, have so many duplicates and things we just don’t need. My favorite item in the kitchen is the dishwasher. We now have a combined family of 6 so we’re running that thing nearly daily to handle all of the dishes.

  • Love how your kitchen looks Cait :) It is simple and clean and has a space for everything which appeals to my neat-freak tendencies, lol.. My favorite thing in my kitchen would have to be my coffee maker. Besides needing oxygen to live, I also require coffee :)

  • Dear Cait,
    How great of you to show your beautiful kitchen. And you are right: most of the things we store in our kitchen we never use. My kitchen is twice the size of yours but I can never find anything! Because I store too much in it. I am going to take a look in my own kitchen and decide what I don’t need in there. Thank you for sharing. I love your honest blogs and the way you share everyday life. Big hug from The Netherlands

    • I’ll be so curious to hear what you find you don’t need, Mascha! And thanks for the kind words. Hugs to you!

  • My favorite kitchen item isn’t a machine or utensil; it would be my set of white Corelle plates that I’ve had for years (I’m much older than you!) and I love them. Basic, plain white. To me, they’re timeless and classic. I’ve only had one break in nearly 30 years…

    • I love that! In the past, I definitely fell into the trap of thinking I should get dishes that look “better” – but what the heck for? Unless I was a food blogger, does anyone care what they look like? The answer is usually no. :)

    • We (husband) use our gas grill to fix 2 weeks worth of boneless/skinless chicken breasts and ground chuck (90%) for burgers. I make a large crockpot of green beans with potatoes that lasts us 5 meals each week. I use our microwave to heat and reheat items. I make 3 pots of coffee per day and we enjoy every cup at home. We eat one meal out per week. This is so much better than when we ate one meal (besides breakfast) at home each week. Saves us money and is healthier.

  • The electric kettle is my kitchen fave. The food processor, rice cooker, and waffle iron are in the hall closet, but the electric kettle is used at least twice a day. I continue to go through my kitchen every now and then and pare down. Last time I discovered five boxes of confectioner’s sugar. Five! I have no idea how or why that happened, but I don’t need any of them. It’s good to think about what I use on a daily basis, and what I can live without. Thank you so much for sharing your kitchen with us!

    • Holy moly! Ok, it sounds like my fridge/pantry post could be helpful then. Thanks for sharing, Maryjo :)

  • I’m stuck between our serrated knife that we use every day or the microwave. Think I’ll go with the microwave. You can’t reheat a cup of coffee that’s grown cold with a knife! You have a lovely kitchen. I line things up, too. You can read labels and SEE what you have in there when it’s all lined up!

    • Yes! And then you’re never stuck wondering what’s in the cupboard because you can SEE IT at all times! :)

  • If you are getting a glass container for muffins, I would recommend a 9 x 12 casserole dish with a plastic lid. I know you probably don’t cook big casseroles for yourself often, but you could always freeze single servings for later. We have a three-person house and love to make warm dishes in the wintertime. Oh and you can toast bread pretty quickly in the oven!

    • That’s actually exactly what I was thinking of getting, Susan! Something that has multiple purposes. :)

  • I’d agree that they should have put the dishwasher to the left of the sink and increased that counter space area so that you’d have more space between the stove and sink. If you have the floor space, you might invest in a moveable kitchen island. I’m sure you can find one on Craigslist if you add an alert and want one enough. Our kitchen is just so poorly laid out and only a massive rehaul could fix (due to location of doors and windows.

    Speaking of a toaster–I will argue that a toaster oven is probably the best kitchen device. Being in a northern climate, you may not need this, but when you want to cook something that has to go in the oven, it’s nice to have something much smaller so you don’t heat up your whole house! Plus, you can make toasted cheese sandwiches and reheat leftovers in a much more tasty way (keeps the crisp that you lose in microwaving). But if you’re not a big leftovers person, I can see that being unnecessary.

    If you get a blender, don’t be afraid to look at used and/or factory reconditioned straight from the manufacturer. Vitamix sells reconditioned for a cheaper price than new. I also got my amazing Kitchen Aid mixer (an old, all-metal, Hobart co-branded one) for like $100 on Ebay shipped. That thing is a beast that’ll last me for years and is better than any thing I could’ve gotten new for under $500.

    • Wow, these are all great tips, Tara! Thank you for sharing them! I’ve actually thought about getting a moveable kitchen island. I technically have the space for a small one. I’m not entirely sold on the idea (mostly because it would cost money and I know I won’t live here forever). But if I could find one for a decent price, I’d consider it!

  • Yay thanks for sharing! My favourite kitchen item is our toaster oven..you can toast, broil, roast, bake, it’s perfect for when I don’t want to heat up the large oven for something small. And it heats up incredibly quick, We use ours all the time.

  • Dear Cait,
    thank you for sharing the contents of your kitchen. The list is very useful too, especially if you move out of your parent’s home and don’t really know what exactly you will need. My older daughter will move out next year and I am going to keep your list and use it when we’ll need to buy kitchen stuff for her.

    Have a wonderful week and thank you for always being so kind and thoughtful and honest!


    • I’m so glad the list was helpful, Inga! I’m sure there are a few things you can cut from it, but the essentials are all there. :)

  • Oh goodness I love your kitchen! Mine needs a purge bug time!! My favorite appliance is def my Cuisinart coffeemaker. I’d never get moving without my JOE!

  • Thank you so much for sharing these pictures; I love your kitchen and what it represents.

  • nice and tidy – even with stuff on the counter! ;-) My Mom was a stickler for clean counters as a kid, so that habit has stuck with me. Although, that usually means the cupboards are overloaded. If I were to downsize my kitchen, I could do without a lot of stuff. My essentials would be a coffee grinder and coffee maker of some sort, some sort of blender for smoothies, my nice ceramic salad bowl and a few mason jars (storage, to make salad dressing, etc.) The rest of the extras could likely all go!

    • It’s so true, Laura! (I also remember seeing overloaded cupboards when I was a kid.)

  • Love the details. And yes, minimalism will look different for different life circumstances, climates, homes … But it’s always interesting to learn from others.

    Especially appreciated your detailed packing list in last month’s “How I Travel with Nothing But Carry On” post. I had forwarded it to my teenager who was then contemplating a cheap trip to Scotland. Ironically I dropped her off at the airport last night and she just reached her destination. She thanked me profusely for the link and literally used your example as her packing list, thus saving quite a packet on check-in fees, and learning to live with less in the process. https://caitflanders.com/2017/06/12/travel-light-carry-on-only/

    • Oh my gosh, what an exciting time for your daughter, Michelle! I’m so glad that post was helpful. While she’s there, she will also be grateful to not be carrying around a lot of extra weight, I’m sure. :)

  • My favorite thing in my kitchen is definitely my $8 coffee pot I bought last year to replace my (much more expensive) Keurig (that made terrible coffee). You just can’t put a price on good coffee! :)

    • Haha, apparently you can! $8 sounds great to me. (I believe my French press was $22.)

  • My kitchen is currently a void space with 2×4’s and no ceiling… And a plywood board in place of a window… Oh, and no flooring either… But… Soon enough it will be put back together. And so, right now I am obsessing over how different people organize their kitchen cabinets… Your post is extremely timely! Now I just want everyone else to show me their kitchen cabinets too, so I can have lots of examples for when I start moving back in to my kitchen…

    What I miss right now is my ability to make dips and such in my food processor. So, I think that is probably one of my favourite items in my kitchen.

    • Another vote for the food processor! I’d say it’s time to add it to my list. And good luck with the reno, Jena! I just watched friends go through one and it took about two months. It’s hard now, but it’ll be great when it’s over. :)

  • This looks so much like my kitchen, simple and clean. Funny, I thought I was the only person who used the same water glass for multiple days in a row:) As for my favorite items, french press, Vitamix and Big Berkey water filter. The Vitamix and Berkey were costly but I have absolutely now regrets with those purchases. Use them both every day!

    • Haha, my friend Tanya and I laugh about our water glasses often. I should add, I will often use the same slice of lemon in it for a couple days… lol.

  • I appreciate the way you organize your cabinets and drawers. When I decluttered my kitchen years ago my goal was to not have to move anything to get to anything else in the same cabinet or drawer if at all possible. The only exception is our pots and pans, but we kept the more frequently used ones up front.

    I eat toast everyday so we bought a toaster oven. It’s just my husband and myself here and with it we can bake up smaller portions without always having to use the big stove since our kitchen is windowless and can get stifling in summer.

    • I did the same with my pots and pans! Honestly, I also just leave that one pan that’s on the drying mat on my stove. Why store it away? I use it every day!

  • Do you happen to remember the brand of your compost bin? I like that design. I’m currently using old quart-size yogurt containers, but they get kind of gross. (Then I recycle them.) Thanks for sharing your kitchen! I also have things I started out with 35+ years ago and still have and love… like a cast iron fry pan, my silverware, and my French white baking dishes. One of my FAVE things is my Cuisinart food processor, which I wanted for many years and finally got a few years ago when it went on sale. (It arrived the same week I lost my job to pay for it, but I didn’t send it back! LOL)

    • The bin was just from Walmart! Only $19 – that’s the cheapest I’d seen, at the time.

  • Nice to see another person with minimal knives, or in your case– one! I feel like I am constantly preparing a wide variety of veggies for my meals so I have one larger chef’s knife and a paring knife. If you followed all conventional kitchen advice you’d surely have an unnecessarily overstocked kitchen… but it really does feel safer to me to have two sizes for different sized jobs, so to speak. I feel like I have more a little more control, ultimately.

    • It’s true! I actually had a cheap block set years ago, but rarely used any of them – and ended up giving it to someone who was just getting started in their own place. :)

  • I love your kitchen, thanks for giving us a peek. In terms of my favourite item, it’s a toss up between my pressure cooker and my food processor.
    When I had a big declutter of my kitchen, I too realised just how much of my stuff was gifted or handed down – the majority of stuff I’d say. I’ve been more selective about the handed down items I say yes to now, I was finding I had stuff that was useful, but I didn’t use it. I never use the spare slow cooker my mum gave me, even though I thought it would be super handy, I gave it to my neighbour. She actually uses it, and I can borrow it if I need to.
    I’ve also broken a couple of things, things I use regularly, but waited before replacing them. I haven’t felt the need to replace them, I’ve just made do with what I have and it’s just fine.

    • I’m right there with you re: waiting to replace things, Amy! I have lived without a ladle for months. Hasn’t been an issue yet, but I’ll want something by fall when I start making chili/soups again. :)

  • I love my coffee grinder and French press. There’s something about the smell of freshly ground coffee beans that soothes my soul.

  • Cait,
    Your kitchen is lOVELY!!! I love the grey and white and all your dishes match :) ha ha
    It is perfect. Inspires me to do a little tidy on mine.

    My favorite appliance is my air popcorn popper. I have had it for at least 20 years and it still works beautifully. (where’s yours???)

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful space with us.

  • Hi Cait!! Is it weird that I was so excited to be able to see pictures of your kitchen? In my defence, I do love HGTV so I love seeing people’s homes. :) Seeing your space makes me realize how much stuff we don’t really use. Well there are four of us, but still. I could not live without my coffee maker because, well, coffee! It sits on the counter next to our electric kettle (my husband drinks tea). I also love my crock pot! I use it mostly in the fall and winter. I can smell that chili now!! My “new” favourite appliance is our convection toaster oven we bought at Costco when our oven died and we had to wait for a part. It’s perfect for this time of year when its too warm to have the regular oven on. I even cooked a small chicken it in. Its also great for pizza, kid type foods, mac and cheese, and baking. Anything you would put in a regular oven only in a smaller size. Looking forward to Wednesday’s post.

    • Wow, I didn’t realize you could cooking something like a chicken in a convection toaster! It’s great you guys are getting so much use out of it, Shelly. :)

  • I am so incredibly jealous of your kitchen. It’s huge! I have 3 cabinets right now, one of which is a small one over the stove. I’ve had to get creative with storing things (buying an island for some much needed counter space, using the top of the cabinets as storage, and maximizing stacks as much as possible). When I moved I purged a lot of duplicates from my kitchen. I mean, who really needs TWO can openers when you live alone? Don’t even get me started on all the coozies and plastic cups I’d accumulated too… The result is a pared down, ultra functional kitchen!

    • That’s awesome, Gwen! And don’t be too jealous of the kitchen. There’s a ton of wasted space. I could easily do with half the storage (but would love double or triple the *usable* counter space).

  • Thank you for sharing the pics of your kitchen. What a treat to get a glimpse of your home! I really appreciate that you gave us an authentic look at your kitchen, not a glossy simulacre. It’s bright, modest and refreshing, and those are qualities I associate with you.

    My husband was commenting this evening that we seem to produce a never ending quantity of dishes. He was doing dishes when I came home from work, did some while I was preparing dinner and abandonned the task after our meal. with still lots to do. To illustrate, this evening I baked plantain chips in the oven as my source of carbs for dinner, and boiled some vermicelli for my husband. I used a mandoline to slice the plantains, a knife, a cutting board, a tablespoon and a baking sheet. A pot with a lid for the vermicelli. I made some almond meal coated sole which I baked in the oven. I used a large bowl for the mix of mayo and dijon mustard that coats the fish. A plate for the herbed almond flour for dipping and a baking sheet for cooking. I sauteed beet greens and summer squash in a large skillet (with a lid) for the veggie part of the dinner. Then, I made each of us a salad for lunch to accompany the leftover fish, plantains and vermicelli. In addition to lunch, I portion out healthy snacks in small containers (cheese, nuts). So tons of dishes. I’m allergic to gluten and limit grains, while my husband still enjoys gluten free grains like rice and rice vermicelli, so this adds to the dishes load.
    I use my coffee maker and Vitamix every morning. I have just discovered the wonders of using a mandolin and I just love slicing away: plantains, cucumbers, carrots – all those perfect slices make the slightly OCD me happy. I make salads daily, and I use a chef’s knife and cutting boards every time. My life was changed when I discovered parchment paper. It has made cleaning up and baking so much easier. I have a really well stocked kitchen with lots of appliances (blender, food processor, stand mixer, baking sheets and pans) and I use them all. Some appliances more infrequently, but all of them get used. I live in a relatively small condo (900 sf) but with a really large kitchen. What a rant, sorry!

    • Couldn’t agree more re: parchment paper! I am out – and am trying to use up the last of the aluminum foil I had before I buy more! Also, it reads like you use a lot of dishes, but I think that’s the key word here: USE. You USE them. And you’re using them to cook real food. That’s a good thing. :)

  • Can I just say that I LOVE that you specifically called out that you leave stuff on the counter? Usually when I see pictures of other people’s kitchens it’s easy to feel like mine doesn’t measure up because their counters are completely bare, or maybe have a couple of artistic touches like a fruit bowl or glass oil and vinegar bottles. Mine? Right now I have dishes drying on the mat, my keys and phone charger at the end of the counter, and my teamaker full of tea leaves (I re-use the same leaves 2-3 times) next to the kettle.

    I love a tidy and neat space as much as the next person, but it’s reassuring to see I’m not “failing” at minimalism by leaving things on the counter because, well, that’s just what’s more convenient for me. My mum’s rule of thumb is to leave out appliances and tools that are used at least once a week, and to put away those used less than once a week, and for me that seems to work pretty well. It is not realistic, for me, to take my kettle out of the cupboard eight times a day to make a cup of tea. I think I’d last all of two days and then just stop bothering :P

    • Haha, I’d give up too. Also, why were countertops designed? To look/be clean 24/7?

  • Thanks for sharing your not so small kitchen. The smallest kitchen I ever had was in our last Parisian flat. It was so small two people could hardly stand in it and we had to put the fridge in the living room. Still we were able to feed two babies before moving to Canada. Any kitchen seems large in comparison. Now that I am back in France in a lovely home with a fully contained and equipped kitchen, the most lovely kitchen I ever had in my life. As to my favourite appliance, it is hard to choose. but the most expensive one is our juicer, and most precious in our eyes as it delivers wonderful cold pressed vegetable juices on a daily basis. Minimalism for me is slowing getting rid of foods that are not nourishing, and focusing on natural, healthy products.

    • In reading this, I was picturing myself standing in both your tiny kitchen and now your dream kitchen in France. Thank you for sharing, Miss Agnes. <3

  • I like it! Especially the simple brick look backsplash. I do agree a home is to be lived in and not to be put on display. I also do not like appliances. Only the ones you really need. I stay away from gadgets. I have almost the same mix of appliances as you do ;-)

  • I moved about a year ago from Southern California to a small town in Missouri and it took me about 6 months to get a couch. I still am on the lookout for a used dresser and desk.

    My kitchen looks much like yours with a couple of additions. In one of my low cabinets I have cat food and squirrel food. I also pop my purse in there when not in use. And, on the bottom shelf of another I have emergency supplies including water, protein bars, fire extinguisher, solar/battery radio and flashlights, all in a bag.

    I love the spaciousness and knowing exactly where everything is. It feels good when I open my cupboards, maybe even peaceful. The one thing I intend to clean out is my freezer. Shopping here is a lot different from where I used to live and I picked up a few things along the way that either didn’t work or I didn’t like. It’s time to clear them out.

    Thank you for sharing yourself in this and other posts. What you have to say really echoes in my heart.

    • Your comment served as yet another reminder that I should put together an emergency supply bag, Linda. I’ve thought about it so many times before but have never made it a priority. I’m going to cross that off the list this summer. Thank you.

  • My favorite thing in my kitchen is my DUO60 Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. I use it daily. I guess my second favorite would have to be my Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef Food Processor because it can handle anything and everything, including nut butters and pizza dough. Highly recommend (and I couldn’t do without) both these items. I live in the South and, if it weren’t for baking large quantities of veggie burgers, I could totally do without my oven which heats up the entire house. A toaster oven would suffice for everything else and then I could get rid of my toaster. There are still things in my kitchen I don’t use and would love to purge, but my husband feels differently so they stay for now. Thanks for showing us your beautiful kitchen. I’m looking forward to Wed. post!

    • You’ve all convinced me to get a food processor. I’m still going to wait until I have a list of some recipes I truly need it for, but nut butter would be at the top of that list! :)

  • Cait Flanders, sharing about kitchens! : ) This is bliss.
    Also, your commenters are the nicest anywhere on the ‘net. xx

  • Love your willingness to share. I have WAAAAY more in my kitchen than I use on a regular basis. Your pictures are motivating to me. My favorite kitchen item–probably my nutribullet. I use it for everything! Although i am intrigued with how many listed their KitchenAid mixer. I have several beautiful knives but my favorite pairing knife is the one my mother gave me which is just like the one she still uses.

    Looking forward to future posts!

  • I love the clean lines of your kitchen; very slick and pretty. Try using the crock pot in the summer; I just made the ingredients for chicken burritos in mine and it was so nice to not heat up the kitchen.

  • new reader/poster. My favorite thing has to be either my mix master (loves it so much) or my le crueset cast iron pots/pans. I can caramilize food on the stove top and then instantly put it in oven or vice versa. Once they have heated up they keep a wonderful even temp.

    Your minimalist approach has encouraged me to start purging items in my own home that I have taken with me for 3+ moves so thanks for that!

  • Your kitchen is lovely and so functional looking. Love the stainless steel oven and glad you are making well use of it :) One thing I was wondering when I was looking through the photos (might just be an Irish thing :P) – Do Canadian apartments not have kitchen extractor fans? I hear you on the corner presses…. Although the last house share I lived in had very handy pull out corner presses. Great way to utilise the space. It was needed at one point 6 of us shared the kitchen! If you ever change your mind or have anybody over who wants toast – the grill works a treat as well. My favourite item has to be a good edged knife that I bought a few years back! It’s a lifesaver to make chopping easier and faster, especially when you want some sweet potato chips in a hurry. No indents on the hand anymore!! :D

  • My french press.

    Nothing like the smell of coffee and the more hands-on approach to making it. I used to be a barista and so really appreciate the act of making coffee. French press is as close to it as I can get.

    Plus, my guy can use it easily to make me coffee on the weekends!

  • Your kitchen looks lovely!

    It’s definitely interesting to see how others define minimalism. Not to have something tocompare your own beliefs to, but to see real examples of real people living a simpler life :)

    When it comes to our kitchen, I personally like to be “prepared”. We gave away a lot of clutter we used to have around the house, but the kitchen cookware, utensils and appliances are a must, since I cook and bake a lot!

    The appliances I mostly use are the toaster (yep, I love toast), the hand mixer, the blender, chopper, sandwich maker.. let’s see what else.. I don’t use a coffee maker, I have my trusty moka pot for making coffee. And lately, I’ve started using the waffle iron more often.

    Other than that, we’ve invested in good quality utensils and cookware (we actually use).

  • My personal favourite kitchen items are my Henkels paring knives, which I use for peeling and cutting almost everything, my garlic press, and my hand juicer. I probably do >90% of my food prep using those three items. Oh…and a good cutting board!

  • Good knives are an essential and I’m British so cannot contemplate life without a kettle. My favourite thing apart from those is probably my mixer. The kitchenaid ones are so pretty but a chef friend said that they break easily so I went for a Kenwood. It’s a stand mixer but has built in spaces to connect different appliances (depending on which model you buy). Not sure I can describe it very well but there are covers on various places on the stand which when removed fit Kenwood extras into, so the top two covers allow you to attach a food processor and blender, both of which I have and use. You can also buy other appliances that fit on like a meat grinder. You obviously have to store each piece but it takes up less room than three completely separate machines. I love it, paid full price and don’t regret it. I have a chronic illness so being able to put something in a food processor or beat a batter with the mixer saves me energy and pain.
    I also love my hand mixer as it is more than ten years older than me as my mum picked it up in Port Said on her way to Australia in the 60s. So very old but still works perfectly and I dread the day it breaks as it means my mum to me.

  • This was fascinating (and exactly why I post similar though it’s been a long time…) I wondered about baking sheets and read to the end – I also have cake tins and ones for brownies. So yeah, I know i like baking and have a handful of metal tins for that (and one for transporting to events). Then I have two different Pyrex baking dishes – mainly used for pasta bake or lasagne. Sizable, so take up some space. I do love how nice you make it all look! Inspiring.

  • Very inspirational! Moving to a new home in September so will definitely use this as a guide for our kitchen!

  • I’ve been slowly trying to pare down what we have in our kitchen, so this is great motivation. I use our French press the most for sure – it wasn’t a minimalist purchase, we started using it out of necessity when we lived in a tiny apartment in San Diego with no counter space for a coffee maker. Now it’s just part of our daily life. I definitely use our crockpot a ton, and we have a hand me down smoothie blender (like a nutribullet but another brand) that I use most mornings. I have to say, I’ve never lived in a place where we had cabinets sitting empty and just thinking about it made me a little…anxious? I guess my brain is so wired to utilize space that it seems weird to have empty space in the kitchen. I think I’m going to rearrange and empty out a cabinet just to try what that feels like!

  • Without a doubt, our favorite appliance is our coffee maker with a thermal carafe. We set it to come on at 5:50 a.m. and even if we sleep in until 7:00 (hardly ever), it is still piping hot. An afternoon cup of coffee that was made early in the morning still tastes fresh and only needs 30 seconds in the microwave to heat up.

    Your blog inspired me to get rid of some things we rarely use. After 37 years of marriage, we have way too much stuff; however, I’m keeping our 12 every-day dinner plates and our 10 place settings of china, because when the whole family comes over at the holidays, we need it all. Besides, I love china – it satisfies a felt need for beauty on the table.

  • I really enjoyed the photos and the honesty in this post. I love seeing other people’s homes. Your kitchen appears to work well and has inspired me. (I linked to this post as the source of my inspiration).

  • This is a fascinating look in to your life! My favorite kitchen appliance is my rolling pin. I don’t get to bake often, but making pies is so therapeutic for me. My assortment is also mish-mash, and mainly boxed up downstairs. I now have roommates and the kitchen was stocked before I arrived. Easier to keep track of what is mine if most of the duplicates are hidden away. I did contribute a hand mixer, which is also for pies since meringue takes awhile to peak.

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