My 2020 Kitchen Tour


I was going to post something else today, but decided that because my previous post was about my love of food and current recipes I've been trying, I switched to offering you a 2020 tour of my studio apartment kitchen.

In previous posts throughout these 13 years, I have shared about my preference for living a minimalist lifestyle. My entire studio apartment is 250 square feet, and yet it feels like I have everything I need in this space to live comfortably. I realize that this lifestyle is not for everyone, but it works for me. The smaller I live, the freer and more expanded I feel.

Now before I give you this tour, allow me to say two things:

1) This tour will take no more than two seconds. So be sure not to blink or you'll miss it.

And 2) You have to promise not to giggle and say, "Holy macaroni, Ron...that kitchen is so small. Are you for real? How in God's name do you even find room to inhale and exhale in that space, let alone cook?"

I know, it's small. But hey...it does the job.

So ladies and gents, here is my kitchen(ette)...


Yup, that's it! What you see there is the full extent of my kitchen.

Let me give you some stats:

-This kitchen was at one time a closet in my studio apartment because it used to be a hotel room. My apartment building was originally a hotel, built in 1930.

-The stove, sink and small refrigerator is a 3-in-1 unit. It also includes a drawer above the fridge that contains my kitchen utensils, and a side cabinet that houses my cleaning products. 

-The shelf above the 3-in-1 is where I keep my cookware, French press, coffee mugs, and wine glasses. I also installed a plug-in light behind the shelf so that I have extra light when I cook at night. 

-The wooden cabinet you see above the shelf houses my canned goods and jars, flatware, and drinking glasses.

-And no, the unit does not include an oven. I cook either stovetop or microwave. Or both. At one time I contemplated getting a toaster oven but decided against it because I owned one when I lived in Florida and recalled how bugs love to crawl inside toaster ovens at night while you're sleeping and eat all the crumb residue. To have a toaster oven is like opening an all-night fast food restaurant, combined with low-income housing for bugs.

A few more photos from different angles...



Here is a view inside my tiny refrigerator, which I think is so damn cute.

Notice though, how it doesn't contain a freezer section. Now for me, that's no big deal because I rarely purchase frozen food. And if I do, I immediately use it that same day. I shop for groceries much like Europeans; small amounts, several times a week...


All along the wall that is adjacent to the three windows in my apartment are built-in bookcases. That is where I house my microwave ovens. Yes, I've got two (one of them came with the apartment).

And what's really great about having two microwaves is that I can store things in them, such as: tortilla chips, peanut butter pretzels, rice, quinoa, and pasta. And the bugs can't get them. HA!


And here is where I store the most valuable and cherished item in my apartment.

My vino...


To conclude this post, I thought I'd share a picture of a salad I made one afternoon for lunch in my kitchenette. The salad consisted of an avocado, Roma tomatoes, beets, and spring mix lettuce; sprinkled with Everything But The Bagel and some Caesar dressing. I paired it with some lime and sea salt tortilla chips dipped in traditional hummus.

It was sooooooo good!


Hope you enjoyed this peek into my minimalist life.

Have a grrrreat week, y'all!
And be well...💗


32 comments

  1. Valerie DaggattMay 04, 2020

    Good morning, Ron. The description of your oven area is great. I like it.
    I have always said you/me/us don't need huge spaces to cook or store. Huge spaces mean more work and more money. And think of the extra cleaning a large cooking area needs.
    Hope your weekend was good.

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  2. Hi Ron! I knew because you had a studio apt that you didn't have a kitchen space like a galley, but I wasn't expecting al alcove. I thought it would be about twice that size with a larger sink and small oven. I'm trying to imagine if I'd need a freezer if it was just me. I guess I could get by, but I do like to buy bags of frozen riced cauliflower and the like. Do you just bypass the frozen food aisle at Trader Joe's or is there something you really like that you just eat same day?

    I get the Florida bug issue, but is that a problem in Philly? When I lived in a high rise, there were zero bugs or spiders (6th floor). It was great!

    Thanks for the peek into your palace! LOL! Have a super week!

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  3. HA! Yes...that's a perfect description, an alcove! I actually have the smallest studio in the building, however, my apartment has the most windows of all the other studios, which makes the apartment feel wide open. I fast north, so I have sunlight all day, but not direct sunlight, which is great in the summer because the south side apartments get so hot.

    " I guess I could get by, but I do like to buy bags of frozen riced cauliflower and the like. Do you just bypass the frozen food aisle at Trader Joe's or is there something you really like that you just eat same day?"

    What I do is buy things like cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli (bagged) in the refrigerated section of the product area in Trader Joe's or MOM's Organic Market. And then I just store them in my fridge until I need them. I love to steam my raw veggies in the microwave or stir fry them in my wok.

    "I get the Florida bug issue, but is that a problem in Philly? When I lived in a high rise, there were zero bugs or spiders (6th floor). It was great!"

    Bugs are an issue during the spring and summer months because of the heat and humidity. Also, it depends on who my neighbors are. If they are clean, I won't get them. If not, I will. I use peppermint essential oil to combat them, so I may see 2-3 bugs during the warmer months. Also, Philly is not known for being a clean city. We have a lot of issues with trash dumpsters not being emptied on a regular basis.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have an awesome!
    X

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  4. "I have always said you/me/us don't need huge spaces to cook or store. Huge spaces mean more work and more money. And think of the extra cleaning a large cooking area needs."

    Yes, Valerie...you are spot on about that. And when it comes to cleaning, I'm very particular about keeping everything clean and organized. I never leave dirty dishes in the sink, I clean them immediately. I also don't like paper items (mail, newspapers, etc) hanging around. I get rid of them as soon as I read them. And yes, my apartment is very affordable too. I've been in this building for over 16 years, so my rent doesn't go up much each year. I don't live above my means.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a faaaaaabulous week!

    X to you and Charlie!

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  5. Ron, I really admire you for the way you live. I need to be much more minimal with my own life because I tend to have so much stuff around. I think the bigger the space, the more you tend to collect. I live in a one bedroom apartment that is a decent size. I have lots of closet space too, which is a blessing and a curse because it's where I stash all the excess in my life. LOL!

    Not only is your kitchen cute, it's spotless! I can tell you are a very clean and organized person!

    Isn't vino the best?

    Thank you for your tour, Ron. Enjoyed it! x

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  6. " To have a toaster oven is like opening an all-night fast food restaurant, combined with low-income housing for bugs." Ron, that was so damn funny! And I agree with you 100%. What is it about toaster ovens and bugs? We used to have one and kept it clean, so it wasn't like it had a lot of crumbs and food residue. But still, we would get bugs, especially ants.

    You refrigerator looks like the one I had in my college dorm room. And for the size it was, I was surprise by how much food I could get in there. It was like a carefully constructed puzzle!

    The thing that is really cool about have a small space is that you can't collect a bunch of crap. I'm like you, I like minimal. However, my girlfriend likes to collect stuff. You should see our bathroom and all the products she has. It looks like a counter in a department store. LOL!

    Fun post, dude!

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  7. Hey there Candice!

    I've always naturally been a minimalist. However, back in the mid-80's I became more of a minimalist and began getting rid of so many things that I was holding onto for no other reason than because I was emotionally attached to them. I realized that I was holding onto them because of the memories. I finally realized that those "things" didn't the memories. The memories were in my heart.

    I have only one closet, but it's deep, so I can fit all my clothes and other things neatly.

    HA! Yes, I'm OCD about cleanliness and organization. I can't stand stand any kind of clutter.

    LOVE vino!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a terrific week!

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  8. Hiya Matt!

    "What is it about toaster ovens and bugs? We used to have one and kept it clean, so it wasn't like it had a lot of crumbs and food residue. But still, we would get bugs, especially ants."

    Same here! I used to keep my toaster oven meticulously clean, however, the damn bugs found things to eat anyway. Ants are a HUGE problem in Florida, but so are water bugs. Here in Philly, it's more the water bugs that haunt me. OMG...I can't stand them.

    I love your description of your fridge being like a carefully constructed puzzle. HA! That's an awesome way to say it because I do the same thing. My fridge is like a puzzle!

    Being someone who is in the beauty industry, I tend to have a lot of products in my bathroom as well, However, they are very neatly organized so that I don't even seen them unless I open the cabinet. Also, I've gotten rid of a lot of my products. I gave them away.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a most excellent week!
    X

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  9. Forgot to mention in my previous comment that your salad looked so good. I'm a beet lover too!

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  10. LOVE beets! I get them at Trader Joe's in the refrigerated area of the produce section. They are baby beets that have already been steamed and peeled. If you look at the picture of the tiny fridge, you will see them on the top shelf in a white box. There's two of them. I think they run $2.99 a box.

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  11. Ron, hello!!!!! I love house tours... everything from those tiny homes on wheels to mansions to little NY apartments to THIS! You know, I knew you lived in a small apartment... but thought of the kitchen being a little bigger. It really seems just perfect for you though. And thank you... if I can get myself back to blogging more regularly, ha, you've given me a perfect idea for a post!
    It's not for us... we do live in a small home (bungalow) compared to some... but you have fixed it perfectly for your needs/lifestyle. And that wine collection is my favorite! APOTHIC.... love! Since I'm limiting my store visits, Ron picked out my last two supplies of wine and he did pretty good!

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  12. Hellooooooooooooooooooooooooo Mary!

    It's so great to see you, neighbor! OMG, me too! I can spend hours on YouTube, watching video home tours. In fact, I just watched one last night about two guys who live in Canada and have just finished building their teeny-tiny, but fabulous, house out in the woods. It's such a charming little house that was converted from a trailer.

    I know, most people think (thought) my kitchen area would be bigger, even living in a studio apartment. My studio is the smallest in the building. All the other studios, which are bigger, do have a full size kitchen. But it's funny, though, because my apartment has the most windows. I have three in the living area and one in my bathroom.

    Apothic is the BOMB!

    Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope all is well with you and your family.

    Have a faaaaaaaabulous week!
    X

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  13. Thanks for your tour, Ron. I find it fascinating to see how others live! Your minimalist kitchen wouldn't work for everybody, but it seems ideal for you. And it's so clean and organized!!


    I think I'd miss an oven. You can hardly cook a Thanksgiving feast without an oven! Nevertheless, for one person, it's certainly got most of the things you need. Still giggling over your description of a toaster oven -- I suspect the bugs are more due to Florida's hot and humid climate than to inadvertently leaving a crumb or two around, don't you??


    Enjoy your week ahead -- it's going to be a tad cooler here than normal. xo

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  14. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comMay 04, 2020

    What a delightful wee kitchen!

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  15. Wow. I've heard of living a Spartan existence before, but your kitchen takes the cake. I have to admit though, that's a very efficient way to maximize space. I've never seen an all-in-one stove/sink/fridge before. (Given my well-documented love for ice, I'd need a freezer, too.)

    I have never heard of bugs crawling into a toaster over before, but thanks: now I am officially skeeved out.

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  16. Thanks, Fiona! Yes, it is wee!

    And thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a super week!

    X

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  17. Mark, I love it....Spartan existence! And you're right!

    "I've never seen an all-in-one stove/sink/fridge before. (Given my well-documented love for ice, I'd need a freezer, too.)"

    I hadn't either. That is until I moved into this building and discovered them. My other apartment, which was on an upper floor but the same size studio also had a 3-in-1 but it had a tiny freezer that I barely ever used. Besides, it was not frost-free, which meant I had to thaw it out once a month.

    "I have never heard of bugs crawling into a toaster over before, but thanks: now I am officially skeeved out."

    HA! My paranoia of bugs hiding out in toaster ovens started in Florida. One morning when I went to turn it on to toast a bagel, the damn thing smoked. I later found out it was a palmetto bug that had gotten it. I FRIED it!!!!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a faaaaaabulous week!

    X to you and Tara

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  18. Hello there Debbie!

    Yes, I totally understand. My lifestyle is not for everyone. I've always been this way. I like small spaces with minimal stuff. When I lived in NYC, I also had a studio apartment that I shared with my partner. It was larger than the one I have now, but it did not have a full kitchen. But we made it work. When you live in a city (especially one like NY), you can't afford anything larger than a studio, so it teaches you how to adapted.

    OMG, yes, there is no way I could cook a turkey without an oven. But honesty, when I first moved to Philly I had a full-size kitchen with an oven but barely used it. I mainly stored things in it.

    "I suspect the bugs are more due to Florida's hot and humid climate than to inadvertently leaving a crumb or two around, don't you??"

    Yes, most definitely, Florida has the worst case of bugs. Yet, during the spring and summer months here, we also get them. It all depends on how clean the other tenants in the building are. All it takes is one tenant who leaves dirty dishes and food in their kitchen and the bugs come, and travel to other apartments. Also, Philly is not the cleanest city. Lots of trash and garbage are left out on the streets, which draws the bugs.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Yup, it's going to be a tad cooler here as well. But I'm not complaining because you know me, I'd rather cooler than hotter.

    X

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  19. Ron, I think it's difficult for people who live in a more rural area to comprehend living in such a small, compact space. City life is very different from suburban life. I understand though because I've lived in both. And being from New York, you just don't find large spaces that you can afford, so you learn how to adapt and minimize. I actually prefer living smaller, like you. It's less to take care of and clean. So I understand what you mean by feeling freer and more expanded.

    I think your kitchenette is adorable! And honestly, for one person what more do you need? So many things can be cooked on the stove or a microwave. And you're a vegetarian, so cooking meat in an oven is not even a concern. I love a crockpot because you can cook so many things in them and they take up very little space.

    You are one clean housekeeper. That kitchen is spotless!

    Thank you for the tour. I love to see how other people live.xo

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  20. Elaine, you're right, it is difficult for people to comprehend living in such a small space because when you live in a city, that's just the way it is. City living is very different in many ways - no car; walking everywhere; public transportation; living in smaller spaces, and prices.

    "And being from New York, you just don't find large spaces that you can afford, so you learn how to adapt and minimize."

    That's right. And NY is even far more expensive than Philadelphia. But even here I choose to live minimal and economical.

    Yes, I really have no need for an oven because even when I had one, I barely used it. I love steamed veggies, which I use my microwave to steam and they come out perfect!

    And thank you SO MUCH for mentioning a crockpot because I have been contemplating getting one for the past year because everyone says how convenient they are. I will look for one the next time I'm in Target!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, neighbor. Have a faaaaaabulous week!

    X

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  21. Ron, LOVE this post and I LOVE your tiny kitchen, it's munchkin size! LOL!

    I became a minimalist about 10 years ago when I moved into a smaller apartment and knew that I had to streamline my possessions. And it was the best decision I ever made because I immediately felt lighter. And as you said, freer! I do still have things I like to collect, such as makeup and skincare because I'm a junkie. But I've even gotten better about that.

    Is that a Brita water filer in your refrigerator? I have one of those too! Ah yes, and wine...I have a small wine bottle holder for mine.

    Fun post, Ron. I love seeing how other people live. xo

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  22. Hola Denise!

    HA! Yes, definitely munchkin size!!!

    "I became a minimalist about 10 years ago when I moved into a smaller apartment and knew that I had to streamline my possessions. And it was the best decision I ever made because I immediately felt lighter. And as you said, freer! "

    That happened to me as well. I've always be naturally drawn to living simple, however, when I moved into a small apartment (an attic above a house) while I was still living in Florida, that's when I really started minimizing even more so. And it felt so good.

    Yup...this is a Brita water filter in my fridge. Good eyes you have! I've been using one of those for years and years. I usually change the filter ever two months because I use it a lot, especially during the summer months.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Hope you're enjoying a FAB week!

    X

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  23. Rob LenihanMay 05, 2020

    Amazing, Ron, you do so much with such little space! You must clean up in a jiffy.

    Heck, people in Japan live in small apartments and they seem to do just fine.

    I have much more space in my kitchen and still can't seem to get my act together. This post has inspired to tidy up and become more efficient.

    And good point about the toaster ovens--why open up low rent apartment house for creepy crawlies?!?

    Great job, buddy! Take care!

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  24. Hey there Rob!

    Yes, and that's one of the reasons I like a minimalist life, easy and fast clean up. It takes me about 20 minutes to clean my entire apartment. And that includes vacuuming and wet mopping my floors, and cleaning the bathroom.

    "Heck, people in Japan live in small apartments and they seem to do just fine."

    You said it! And it's funny you mentioned Japan because when I lived there for a summer, that's when I got so much inspiration on living minimal. The Japanese don't have the space, so they have to make due with very small spaces.

    "And good point about the toaster ovens--why open up low rent apartment house for creepy crawlies?!?"

    HA! Exactly! And living in a city yourself, you totally understand what I mean!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Hope all is well. Always sending you and NYC lots of positive energy!

    X

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  25. DA PerrucciMay 06, 2020

    Hi Ron, as you know we also live in a repurposed building, but our galley kitchen while smaller than those in people's houses is small, it's way larger than your space, most kitchens would be. That said you have everything you need and with way less cleanup and maintenance. We enjoy cooking (eating too) and have too many things. We do not have an instant pot or air fryer (thankfully). But we have a crockpot, a useful appliance that we don't use nearly as often as we before (not sure why). Having less kitchen space and less kitchen stuff is good idea, maybe I'll get there, one day too. I attended college in Philly (Temple) and was curious which hotel was converted to apts. As much as always enjoyed going into NYC when I lived in NJ; Philly was a fun city to explore back then...hopefully now too despite all the big city issues.

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  26. Greetings D!

    I know, I think MOST apartments have a bigger kitchen. Mine is totally unusual. All the other studio apartments in my building have a full-size kitchen with everything in it. But being that my studio is only 250 square feet, there was really no room to install a full size or it would take up half the space. HA!

    OMG, I've been thinking about getting a crockpot because so many people have told me they are so handy because they cook a lot of different things and take up very little space.

    Yes, Philly is fun to explore (the historical architecture is AMAZING!) however, after you've been here for awhile, there's really not much more to see. It's a very small city; especially Center City. If I'm going to live in a city, I want it to BIG like NYC. I used to live there and still visit every month, yet it amazes me that I still haven't seen everything in that city. Plus, I love the energy there.

    I will email you the name of the hotel that my apartment building was converted from because I really don't want to share that information online. The name of the hotel is almost identical to the hotel name, so it would very easy for anyone reading my blog to find out where I live.

    Thanks so much for stopping by! Always great reading your comments!

    X

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  27. Rob LenihanMay 07, 2020

    That's right, I knew you had been to Japan, so you obviously learned a lot.

    O daiji ni, aibō! (Take care, buddy!)

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  28. LOVE your Japanese, Rob!!!!

    Well done!

    And you too, buddy!

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  29. Wow, I have to say that is an ingenious use of a former closet! It looks very similar to the kitchens you see in some tiny houses. I'm curious, though - where do you prep food (like chopping veggies)?

    It would require a complete change in how I cook and store food (I have a big freezer I keep stocked and make a lot of foods in bulk), but I think smaller kitchens are especially well-suited to cities where grocery shopping is easy to do frequently. In Europe everyone has those little fridges, even families.

    The thing about toasters as bug havens made me laugh. We have a toaster oven and it has never been a problem, but in south Georgia where my sister lives, she told me their Keurig coffee maker got taken over by bugs and they just threw it away. She won't drink coffee from one of those machines now!

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  30. Yes, I've seen those tiny little kitchens in many of the the small house videos I often watch.

    "I'm curious, though - where do you prep food (like chopping veggies)?"

    Funny you should ask that because I was going to also share a photo of the small folding table that I use to not only to prep my food, but also use to sit down and have my meal. I got it a Target years ago and it's such cute table that stores very easily next to my desk. Sometimes I will also sit on the floor (like the Japanese do) and eat at a low coffee table that I have in my apartment. I love sitting on the floor.

    "but I think smaller kitchens are especially well-suited to cities where grocery shopping is easy to do frequently. In Europe everyone has those little fridges, even families."

    Yup...you totally understand!

    ...but in south Georgia where my sister lives, she told me their Keurig coffee maker got taken over by bugs and they just threw it away. She won't drink coffee from one of those machines now!"

    HA! Yes...I can totally identify with your sister! The bugs are more so in places like Florida and Georgia because of the heat and humidity (moisture). However, when you live in a city, you can also have major issues with bugs; especially in an old city and an old building. Philly is not know for it cleanliness.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a superb weekend!

    X

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  31. I'm not usually claustrophobic, but I have to say I had a panic attack touring your "kitchen"! I'm sure you would think me super extravagant since I think my kitchen might be half as big as your entire apartment! I'm very used to stocking up for...you know...those two month quarantine events. A minimalist, I am not. :-) But, I see you have the most important feature.....vino! Which, I think I'll now toast to your successful minimalist lifestyle. X

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  32. LOL! Lisa, your comment made me laugh out loud because most people would feel claustrophobic in my kitchen! But what can I say? It works for me. Although my apartment is only 250 square feet, I think because I have three massive windows in the main living area, it seems very open and airy. It almost feels as though I'm living in a tree house on the 21st floor.

    I'm very much like a cat, I adapt to space around me.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Great to see you again! Hope all is well with you and your family!

    X

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