Kitchen & Gadgets

Every Foodie Needs an Extra Bedroom

September 07 2012 - 10:13 AM

Unless you work at home, and often even if you do, you probably don’t need an “office”. You’re not fooling anyone; you are working on your laptop in the living room with the TV on anyway. If you only have house guests once a year at the holidays, the designated “guest room” is fairly wasted space. But if you are a passionate home cook, someone who loves to entertain, food blogger in the making, then you do need an extra bedroom.

Or as my husband and I call it, a Kitchen Library.


You know you want one.

This is the happiest room in our apartment. It isn’t huge, only about 9×11. One tiny closet, and a corner cut off with a window. But it has completely changed the way we cook and entertain. We furnished it with a mix of antique cabinets my husband had in his dining room before we moved in together, and custom height metro shelving to take advantage of the 10 foot ceilings. It houses all of our small appliances, pots and pans and other cookware, cookbooks, wine glasses and other entertaining items. It has a small rolling island with wings that pop up, to provide extra counter space for when we are hosting a group, or a convenient place to look through a cookbook, and then grab the supplies you need. It keeps my kitchen cabinets free for the items we use every day, and uncluttered. It makes entertaining smoother, since we can stage desserts or other courses in there and not in the kitchen, and we can clear larger serving pieces into that room during parties to keep the kitchen counters free for easier cleanup.
For me, some of the key was designing this room to feel special. We painted the walls the color of 72% dark chocolate, and the ceiling a super pale dove gray for balance. We put in a Persian rug in deep jewel tones, and a couple of wooden bar stools in case some serious cookbook research needs to happen. Art and other details prevent the room from feeling like a big closet.

The project took less than a week to complete, painting and clearing out the old room included.

We will never live anywhere without one again.

So if you have a small room you aren’t using to its fullest potential, or if you are scouting new places to live, be sure to put a Kitchen Library on your list of “must haves”. You can thank me later.

–Stacey Ballis