• Walking into the kitchen is what helps me wake up in the morning. I have to walk through it to get to the bathroom, and I'm hit with a big dose of natural light from the two southern exposure windows that makes everything seem brighter and crisper. I have squirrels visit every morning on the sills of those windows. I've tried to scare them away, but all the things I do to try to make them afraid of me, they love. There was one squirrel last summer that I took to squirting with a water bottle whenever he tried to chew the screen but he seemed to enjoy it and kept coming back.
Credit: Noah Fecks
It's relatively large for an apartment kitchen. There isn't much counter surface, but I was able to add storage and work areas while keeping a good flow through the area, and without the space ever feeling crowded. There's not enough room for both of us to sit at the kitchen table to eat, but I love to sit there by myself on a weekend morning with my cup of coffee and do a crossword.
• My favorite piece equipment is my InterMetro folding chef's cart, which acts as an extra counter where I keep my favorite cutting board, plus our basic utensils in accessible martini shakers for easy grabbing (an idea I stole from the SAVEUR test kitchen). I use the shelves underneath for my large pots, pans, and bakeware. It's stainless steel, folds up if I need to get it out of the way, and has wheels that lock in place so it doesn't move unless I need it to.
I have sturdy wooden cabinets above the sink and stove that hold all of my serving ware and appliances, as well as dry goods and spices. I'm a compulsive organizer, and keep everything labeled (with easily removable painters tape, just like we do in the SAVEUR test kitchen) for easy access. I also installed a hanging rack behind my stove where I keep all my smaller pots and pans, as well as cooking utensils.
I have a monster stove—it's so huge! I'm convinced I could fit two Thanksgiving turkeys in there. And it's gas, which I prefer over electric. I'm not sure how old it is or when it was last serviced (at least 8 years, since I've been there), so I keep an oven thermometer inside to make sure I have accurate temperature readings when I'm roasting or baking.
A lot of stuff I have in my kitchen are things that don't really have monetary value but have great sentimental value for me because I've found them in weird ways. My favorite dishes are a set of beautiful French country-style china I found for about five bucks at a little junk shop in Ohio I happened to go to right before I moved to New York. And the walls are decorated with photos I took when I was in college.