In Lifestyle, Minimalism

Parts of my Minimalist Home (Apartment)… The Living Room & Kitchen

By request (you can ask me anything anonymously & quickly here and then I post most of my answers every Friday at noon under my Ask Sherry! category), I was asked to show a bit more of my apartment. I originally posted my closet here, and my fridge here.

As mentioned, I will be showing what I can of the apartment. It’s a bit of a mess right now with renovations taking a long time *cough* and some of the features of the apartment are unique and too distinctive to post without claiming to keep anonymity.

So, I am showing you what I can, and how we organize the way we live….

All of my posts can be seen here: Sherry’s Home.

LIVING ROOM

This is where we play and hang out. I try to keep it contained in a bedroom but Baby Bun keeps dragging his mat out to play on it here, so we have left it.

By a miracle, his toys happened to be in his room so this is truly what it looked like today.

Baby Bun is dangling from a folding chair at the top there. I am dying to get real chairs but it isn’t in the budget this year or ever until I work again.

We have two tables which you can see in the top left as well and that’s all of the furniture we have in the living room.

One holds a printer and the other holds a monitor for working (we attach a computer when we need to use it).


It looks empty because it is empty! I kind of like the space. It’s easier to clean and we can use that room for anything.

We don’t plan on buying any couches or rugs or tables because we love the empty space and use it to do yoga or pretend to be trains without stubbing toes or banging heads. I don’t really feel comfortable when I visit people who have a ton of furniture everywhere and I even mentally remove a few things when I visit (haha), but they may feel equally as uncomfortable with my lack of furniture.

I do like the look of a nicely Pinterested home, but it isn’t really what I want in the end, practically speaking.

We don’t own a TV so there’s no point in having a couch. We have computer monitors in the bedrooms we hook the laptops up to, if we want to watch videos, and we may buy a larger screen to hang in the bedroom to use, but for now, monitors are enough for us.

For guests we have more folding chairs, and we put the two tables together with a large table cloth for a lot of space, but again, I am dying to buy some solid wooden chairs as our only future furniture purchase.

In good time!

KITCHEN

This is a full shot of the entire kitchen beside the living room. We have Baby & Mommy Stokke Tripp Trapp chairs to use at the counter to eat. I specifically asked for that chair because I find it comfortable (I even use the counter as an office sometimes), but also because the chairs are the PERFECT barstool height without being actual barstools.

I’ve seen other apartments where they put barstools and I hate how they swivel, aren’t sturdy and solid (I can’t be moving when I am eating, it makes me nauseous as it triggers my motion sickness), and they aren’t any more or less comfortable than these chairs.

Plus.. I match Baby Bun 😉 He loves that we match, saying: BABY BUN Chair *pat pat*.. and.. MOMMY Chair! *pat pat*.. A match!

It is our main dining table for now. We may get a large wooden table in the future, but we shall see.. I like the open space as-is.. a table would ruin that.

There is a huge space in front of the chairs (I am standing in it) and it is nice to have that open space.

There are also cupboards and open spaces in the island itself on the other side (more photos later).

Note that the counter is usually clear like this, but when I do the dishes, I leave them on the island to air dry (we don’t have a dishwasher because it takes electricity, and way more time than doing it by hand). Right now all the dirty dishes are in the sink. 🙂

That is a blender in the corner (the container is on its side on top of the machine), which is our Vitamix Series 300… which is perfectly suited for making green smoothies, purees and soups. I really want a food processor in the future but for now this blender is it.

Now for the other side inside the kitchen:

Our sink is pretty big, which is what I wanted because I like a lot of space when I am scrubbing pots.

Underneath the sink is where we keep oils (olive, sunflower), balsamic vinegar and cleaning vinegar, baking soda (for more cleaning) and sponges for scrubbing the oven.

We are trying very hard not to use harsh chemicals for the safety of ourselves, Baby Bun, the environment and just because they sometimes just stink (we are sensitive to smells), so we use a lot of white vinegar, baking soda, water, Savon de Marseilles soap and elbow grease to clean things.

Now moving to the left side of the sink:

This is where the dishwasher should be, and we’ve decided against buying one. I know, we’re weirdos.


What we have in there is a little vegetable cart. Every week the cart is filled with stuff that can’t go in the fridge (garlic, potatoes, etc) and gets used up for that week’s cooking. You can see some garlic leftover in a bowl there.

My fridge usually looks like this.

Lastly, we have a little black basket beside the vegetables to throw dirty kitchen towels & handkerchiefs in for “kitchen cleaning”, which is super handy when you dirty a towel and use a fresh one right away. I’m currently doing the laundry of the towels, so it’s clear.

We could optimize the space and put another shelf or something so we can store things but for now we can’t think of anything that we need to store there.

Moving to the middle of the island…

The top drawer holds all of our kitchen cloths, placemats, gloves and handkerchiefs:

Beside this section are 2 sets of drawers dedicated to storage containers of all shapes and sizes by Glasslock Tupperware. We have eliminated plastic as much as possible.

We have enough to store 10 lunches per week for when we work (5 for me, 5 for my partner), and Baby Bun has his own boxes (at least 5) for his lunches at daycare.

We also use these containers to store everything from nuts we’re snacking on, to dried oats where the bag spilled open, etc.

Now moving to the back of the kitchen by the stove:

Beside the oven at the back on the counter, we keep all of our fruits in bowls on trays. We don’t keep it underneath with the vegetables because Baby Bun is a foodie and would probably go through all the bananas before we can stop him*.

(*It’s not that we don’t want to feed him, it is that it isn’t good to give more than one banana to a child per day, even only HALF is recommended due to the potassium levels.)

If we don’t see the fruit, we don’t eat it, so it all goes here front and center.

Bananas are a staple, they are Baby Bun’s favourite fruit and a great green smoothie addition, I have green apples for my Crisp Green Apple & Coconut Smoothies (recipe to come), pears are on the bottom, oranges to the right and avocados.

Avocados are one of Baby Bun’s favourite snacks (and mine) too! It is always filled with 5 ripening for the week. I eat them plain with salt, or on top of simple dishes.

On the other side of the stove to the right is my tea section.

I asked for a drawer to put the tea in, but A) they aren’t tall enough for the tins and B) my partner says the tea smell permeates everywhere and makes everything smell like tea, which he is not a fan of. He is super sensitive to smells, so my teas have to be outside on display. *shrug*

He also has a little dry erase board on the side with extra timers because he makes notes to himself as he is cooking as reminders, and has 4 separate timers for each of the burners on the stove so that he can cook many things at once without ruining anything because they each have their own timer.

The drawers below these sections by the stove, hold various things…..

Baking items for instance, like our Le Creuset Heritage loaf pan. We own a few more LC items, but they’re in storage in Toronto for the interim. I plan on making a trip back this summer.

We have plastic containers for “guest takeout”, when we have guests over and they want to take home the leftovers, they’re welcome to take it in the plastic box and not worry about bringing it back. 🙂 We also have aluminium containers for bigger meals for guests to take out.

We also snack on nuts a lot, so we have a stock.

Another drawer holds just our olive wood Berard utensils for cooking; we don’t use steel utensils on our pots & pans because we might scratch them.

It used to hold our cutlery but then Baby Bun started opening the drawers and poking his fingers into the dinner knives, so we moved everything to a higher shelf until he is old enough to not be tempted to slice his fingers off.

Another drawer has about 8 Pyrex glass bowls and cutting boards for cheese and bread (which we obviously use a lot of, as they’re RUINED).

And this drawer used to hold our big chopping knives but again, they’re all temporarily relocated to a higher area to stop Baby Bun from getting curious about them.

Another deep drawer holds all of our Corelle Winter Frost White collection which we use for prepping food but also for holding vegetables and fruits for instance. It keeps the counters clean and tidy (the pieces of fruit, dirt and leaves don’t get on the counters, they stay in the bowl & get washed later), and the fruits & vegetables are organized (see above).

The last drawer holds all the cleaning stocks – sponges (each colour has a purpose) and washing gloves (I always slice off a finger here and there or get holes in my gloves as I wash sharp things).

I love the bright magenta pink of the Cosabella brand, and I take a MEDIUM in their Water Stop gloves even with my tiny hands because they shrink in very hot water. I used to take Small but ever since they moved their factories from Greece to Taiwan (during the Greek crisis), the quality has not been the same; the sizing is all off and strange. They still work well but you need to size up.

Moving on top above the stove…

The cupboards at the top above the stove, hold all of our plates and cups.

We have the same Corelle Winter Frost White collection plates for prepping and serving, and the four thick plates you see on the right are our Apilco plates made in France that we use for guests or for very special meals. They’re very thick and heavy, and much easier to eat on (they don’t shift) than the Corelles.

More bowls and cups.

There are more cups and bowls than this, but they’re all dirty in the sink at the moment. We usually have two mugs and 6 glasses, and we have more dishware but we have yet to go back to Toronto to pick up the rest of our stuff. We’ll need to bring a mini U-Haul. 🙂

This is why our cupboards look a little bare, we haven’t brought everything we have left in storage.

Another shelf holds our Pyrex measuring cups in various sizes, metal prepping bowls for discarding hot oil to cool down (it may crack glass) and a glass fat separator which we love because it takes away the greasiness that would otherwise coat your lips in a meal.

Now moving to the right of the fridge…

You’ve already seen my fridge here.

The cupboard below the microwave beside the fridge, holds our dried food stocks.

  • First shelf: Oats, chia seeds, flour
  • Second shelf: Beans
  • Third shelf: Noodles and couscous

You may be wondering where our cutlery is stored temporarily, and it’s above the microwave here:


I have to go on my tiptoes to reach the knives at the back!

We have 8 sets of matching cutlery made in France by Guy DeGrenne in the Beau Manoir style (chosen for its sleek, minimalist look without any grooves or weird etchings that would collecting dirt that I would have to painstakingly clean by hand with a toothpick), and different types of smaller paring (and serrated) knives, with a peeler.

Above that, is a section for all the kitchen and house garbage bags, plastic bags, etc.

All of our pots & pans also go on a huge kitchen shelf / rack (5 rows) we have in the living room (beside Baby Bun’s play mat), but it is in front of a very distinctive wall, so I can’t take a shot without having to spend an hour photoshopping it.

Suffice it to say, we own pretty much the entire All-Clad D5 Brushed Stainless steel collection. They’re excellent pots and pans.

That’s it for the kitchen!

Stay tuned for the other parts of the house. 🙂


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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18 Comments

  1. StackingCash

    Wow! Love the minimalism! I never would have thought that less is more when it comes to furniture. I wonder if I can convince my wife… 🙂

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I have to tell you, it is generally men are usually surprised and excited to replicate what we have (in real life) and women are the ones who are less willing to do so, unless they’re already leaning towards minimalism themselves. 🙂

      Reply
  2. S
    Sense

    So…from one organising aficionado to another, what exactly IS your sponge-color cleaning system?!

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Pink is for dishes only. Blue is for bathroom stuff only. Green/yellow scrubber is for pots, pans & the oven. The large yellow ones are for general wiping for the kitchen counter or in the bathroom to wipe up spills. 🙂

      Reply
  3. p
    pdx_leslie

    Love it. We’ve gone the same direction on some of these things. I commented something similar on your fridge post, so maybe that will seem out of place. My favorite color will always be function. May favorite flavor? Low maintenance. Every. Time.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Oh yeah I agree! Function + low maintenance is key to maintaining a home.

      Reply
  4. A
    Anne

    No couch?!?! Where do you read?

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      In the bedroom on the futon on the floor. Better for my back.. Post on that coming up! 🙂

      Reply
      1. A
        Anne

        Ah, of course. Didn’t think of it, as I always fall asleep if I try to read in bed 😊

        Reply
        1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

          I find my back doesn’t hurt as much and I tend to be more comfortable.. I just need a device to hold the book up for me 😉

          Reply
  5. Cristina

    I love this post! I’m working towards being more minimalist myself (though calling myself a minimalist would be stretching the truth… lol), but we always struggle when it comes to paring down and simplifying in the kitchen. I’m amazed and how simple and clean yours is.

    That reminds me, I need to move my knives higher up too. I have a 20 month old who’s really starting to get into things!

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Well “minimalist” is just a label. Do the degree of minimalism that works for you. My kitchen is fairly clean most of the time, I go through a cleaning rampage once a week (that was that day I took photos) and the rest of the time, it is a little crumbly or messy. 🙂

      We keep it simple so we don’t have to do more work.. I like that no furniture thing because I remember as a kid having to clear a whole room first before vacuuming it, then putting it back. It was exhausting. Now I just go with the Dyson & don’t need to worry about shifting a lot of things.

      Reply
  6. Cassie

    Oh man. #housegoals

    I love the floors in your condo, they remind me of the floors I had in my duplex before I sold it. Those olive wood utensils are gorgeous as well 😀 What size pyrex mixing bowls do you have? I’m currently using the bowls that matched my husband’s dish ware, and they are HEAVY. I’d love to swap them out for a set of Pyrex. Do you have more Apilco dishes in storage, or just the plates? I’m a Pillivuyt fan myself, but I can’t see myself splurging on a full set of it just yet. We’re still rocking the IKEA box set my sister gave me for my 20th birthday.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      1. The floors are great but man do they show dirt. I am constantly vacuuming. I’ve given up and now turn one blind eye towards them when they get dirty haha…

      2. Pyrex bowls are 4 quart, these exact ones:

      3. I do have more Apilco in storage. We have if I can recall, the full matching dishware set (4 times of it, bowls, salad plate, etc) and they are really wonderful pieces. We just need to go pick them up so we have them! 🙂

      The set was pricey, but worth it. They really do add something nice to a meal, and when we pre-warm the dishes in the oven, it keeps the food nice and warm.

      Reply
  7. SP

    Looks really great & organized!

    What renovations are you guys doing?

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      “Renovations” is a word I use very loosely actually, because it is just little nicks or imperfections on the walls and ceilings that need to be filled, sanded, buffed and then painted over. It is time consuming but the only thing left to do.

      We have over 500 of them in my apartment that need to be fixed, by my partner’s estimate. I am not as nitpicky, but he’s doing the work so I’m keeping my mouth shut. 😉

      My partner I think, just likes to have everything perfect. “Good luck” I said to him, as I eyed our rambunctious toddler running around the room like an airplane.

      Reply
      1. S
        SP

        Lol! Toddlers tend to hate perfect houses 🙂

        I’m the same way about not butting into projects that I don’t intend to do much work on.

        Reply
        1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

          This is why I don’t mind when my toddler just makes a mess. I close the door or ignore it. 🙂

          Reply

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