The Kitchen Studio

When I realized I was spending as much time in my kitchen creating culinary art as I was spending in my art studio creating collages, I dubbed the kitchen a "studio." Studio is defined as "a room where an artist, photographer, sculptor, etc. works.
Synonyms: workshop, workroom, atelier, workspace. "the artist's studio"
This works for me. I am claiming that my cooking is art. Therefore, kitchen studio. 

I have adored this book. I like to have it handy on a shelf in the kitchen. There's a great website, too: but I like the feel of the book. 

In the first section or so, there is a great diagram. Seeing this made me really think through how I use my space; what I did first, how much I walked and pivoted. How could I be most efficient, safe, and what just looked more inviting. Just like my art studio, it took time to arrange materials on surfaces to determine the best flow for my making.

In addition to work areas, the tools for cooking need to find their places. When I add a new gadget, I have to rethink my set-up. But that's just fun. Things I use least go up high or hidden in cabinets. Things I use most often are out on the counter, or within easy reach or eye level. 

I love my kitchen studio. I've worked hard to achieve the look and function I like, that motivates me to want to be in the space. When I have parties, most people don't move from this space. I'm incredibly lucky to have a 6-burner gas stove and these giant windows. And lots of hummingbirds that are quite vicious but fun to watch as I chop or do dishes. I hand-painted the cabinets based on a Matisse cut-out design.

I need lots of chopping space. I try to use one for meat an one for veg for sanitary reasons. I keep a ceramic bowl for trash right there, so I don't have to walk four or five steps behind me when I need to toss something. I just wait for the bowl to fill, then empty the bowl. 

I do wish I had more counter space to the right of the stove. This spot gets used more than any surface since it's closest to the fridge. All of my utensils are in those drawers. Forks, knives, spoons are in the top. Ones I use to cook with most often are in the white and turquoise ceramic jars on the counter. I also keep cooking oils there: canola, olive, and coconut. Vinegars are grouped on another counter. I'm getting into crazy vinegars, like cameroon mango. That's another post! I like my built-in shelf there, too. I had an organizational orgasm buying new glass spice jars with silver screw on lids and labels. Oh so fun and they look great. 

Who doesn't love thoughtfully curated refrigerator doors? This is where I collect school photos of my niece and nephews, their drawings and notes to me, and magnets from cities and national parks I've visited. They remind me of good times, restaurants, and views. On the left are two menus I bought on the streets of Paris. Super sexy women and food. I should have bought more of these. Next time!

Aren't these shelves stunning? They came with the house. It's easy to look junky; I've slowly replaced various colored plastic bowls with just silver, white, and wooden. Dishes are mostly white, or turquoise now. Mugs are from various cities. There are framed postcards of places I've traveled. The sign in the middle says "I'd like to lick your grits and butter your biscuits." Ha. A print from Hatch Print Studio in Nashville. Some original art by local Kristin Huke. A short stack of my favorite cookbooks. A beer label collage courtesy of Leslie Smith's dad. Dachshund salt and pepper shakers from Karen Kostan. Purple goblets and china set from my Grandma. Things I use most often are at eye level and within easy reach.