Life in a 252 square foot studio apartment teaches you a thing or two about how to best make use of your available space. Here are a few things I've learned while living at Little House on Pacific.
1. I store my mugs in a kitchen drawer. My kitchen only has one cupboard and one set of drawers. In the cupboard, I store my crockpot, stemware, food storage containers, and the odd cake plate—OK I'm not gonna lie, there might be more than one cake plate in there. :) So, my mugs, cups and saucers didn't fit. Plus, I wanted them readily available, so into the top drawer they went. I enjoy coffee on the reg and I match my mug to my mood. Hence the overflowing options. When I'm feeling I'm living on the 38th floor of a chic New York apartment building in the 1930s, it's my Theodore Haviland Limoges France oh-so-tiny bone china gold-rimmed cup and saucer. My Tepco restaurant ware mug is more for when I feel like I could be on a road trip in my cherry red 1959 Ford pickup, and I just pulled into the parking lot of a diner and the only thing on my mind is a hot cup of coffee. I could really give you a story for how/when I want to use each of my mugs, but too much of a good thing is, well, too much.
2. Some of my spices I keep hidden behind a painting. The painting sits on my kitchen counter, resting against the side of my fridge. One day, shortly after I moved in, I was tossing out an Ikea display box, the kind that hangs on the wall, when I had a ta-da moment. What if I use it to hang my spices in, and then store it behind my kitchen painting. Brill.
It's all about the vertical space. When I need to access them, I just move the painting aside. Hello cumin and coriander!
3. My utensils do nicely hanging from S-Hooks. Saves space and hassle. It's great being able to just grab what I need while I'm cooking, without having to fumble through a drawer. BTW, I love my Alessi Diabolix bottle opener. I picked that up in Italy years ago, along with my mezzaluna. The wooden tongs were my Grandma Honey's. And yes, that's a Christmas ornament on the far right. Don't judge.
4. My appliances do not live on my counters. About a year after living here, I got rid of my coffeemaker. It took up way too much real estate in my kitchen. I decided my French press was all I needed. My KitchenAid mixer, on the other hand, needed to stay. So, its permanent home is on the bottom shelf of my baker's rack. When I want to use it, I move it to my counter, temporarily. My toaster oven has a permanent home on a shallow shelf I installed next to my back door. It's the perfect spot for it. I hardly use it, but when I want it, it's there waiting for me. (I just need to remember to move my kitchen scale when I use it. Once I inadvertently left it there and it melted the bottom. Still works though.)
5. Hang your tables in the hall. When you live in a small space, you need to be able to put things away that you don't use every day. When I remove the legs from my floor tables, the tops fit nicely in my "hallway." I only assemble them when I have dinner parties. Yes, you can entertain in a 252 square foot apartment. I'm proof.
This is how my tables sometimes look when they're not put away. Floor dining—the best for a small space. Speaks to the bohemian in me. (Yes, I made that cake. You can find the recipe here, though I used cake pans instead of cans.)
Basically, the point I'm making here is that living in a tiny studio is do-able and actually fun. Yes, I can reach out with both arms in my kitchen and practically touch opposite walls at the same time, but I'm also a 5-minute walk to the beach. It's working for me!