Apr 3

Our 500 Sq Ft Apartment: The Kitchen

The best thing about our kitchen is the light. There is a big white wall next door and it reflects all the morning sun into our kitchen like a light box. It makes me so happy. One of the biggest challenges with the new apartment was figuring out where we were going to eat. The kitchen was decent sized (much bigger than our Parisian kitchen) but it wasn’t wide enough to fit a table. We considered a fold-down table or buying an extra small fridge to allow for more wall space. We eventually settled on a hacked Ikea kitchen island that was the perfect width and length. We bought some French Tolix stools and two perfectly fit under the bar while two sit stacked out of the way next to the fridge. It works great. At meal time we pull out the stools and can tuck them away when we want more space. It would have been ideal to have a whole table but as long as it is just us four this system works great.

There is quite a bit of storage and counter space in this kitchen. I had no problem storing all of my cakeplates! One funny thing that is hard to tell in the picture but the bed is actually quite close to the kitchen island. I always joke that if you spread out your arms you can touch where we eat and where we sleep at the same time. Ha! While our traditional dinner parties aren’t really an option we still entertain in small groups. In the summer we throw outdoor dinner parties in the garden. We also love throwing a party Sunday afternoons we call “Soup on the Stoop.” We make a big pot of soup and everybody eats out on the front steps. We live on a really fun street with a ton of foot traffic so it is fun to hang out and watch the people go by.

Sources: Tolix Stools – DWR, Kitchen Island – IKEA, Black + White Dishtowel -Furbish, English Tea Kettle – Amazon

photos by Heather Zweig for Oh Happy Day
assisted by Jessica Heywood


  • cat says:

    couldn’t you store all the stools under your table in two stacks of two?

    • jordan says:

      it works better for my kids if there are a couple stools that are ready to be sat on at any time. We only use the other two for dinner time otherwise they sit out of the way next to the fridge,

  • your kitchen is lovely! The light is so gorgeous and perfect for tons of photographs. When my husband and I got our first place it too was very limited in kitchen space, so being a full time student I needed a desk and therefor our table was a desk/table..which ended up becoming more of a permanent desk while we ate sitting together on the couch (not what was intended..but it worked for the time being). I also love your suggestions/ideas for entertaining with minimal space indoors. I really didn’t have many people over simply because they wouldn’t fit, but entertaining brings me so much joy that I really did miss it. Thanks again for the ideas <3

  • You did a great job! And I agree, the lighting is lovely.

  • lauren says:

    I love how bright and sunny your kitchen is. It really does make it seem open and larger than it is. I need to lighten up my kitchen – thanks for the inspiration!

  • Ana says:

    You have done great job on your kitchen. The space is used perfectly. And the light. Light is sooooo important.

  • Andreia says:

    It’s beautiful!

  • Loving all the “OUR 500 SQ FT APARTMENT” posts! They are really inspirational. Amazing what a lot of white paint can do. It’s my favourite tool for making a space feel like home – seems like it shouldn’t, but the bouncing light and the blank canvas effect does it for me. I’d love to see some shots of how you organise your cupboards, in particular how you store your pots, pans and crockery etc. I’m still trying to figure out mine ;)

  • Jennifer says:

    My family of four just moved from a 2700 sq ft house in Illinois to a 1300 sq ft apartment in the East Bay. We are still in the process of downsizing all of our stuff that just doesn’t fit in the new apartment. Last night my husband and I talked about moving into San Francisco. This post has given me inspiration to do some more downsizing with abandon. I love how your space is organized and the light is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  • Erin says:

    Absolutely darling! Love what you have done with the space…especially loving those stools! So organized–thank you for sharing your ideas!


  • Kate says:

    I love this. I really really love this. Bright, white, perfect. Small spaces are so attractive when they are done right.

  • Sarah says:

    We had a 600 sq. foot cottage in Denver a few years back (the mr. Tells me it was actually closer to 550 bc the back porch didn’t count) regardless, it was my fave house bc we were all in the same space, always! Our kitchen was just like this…we bought stools and all sat around it bc we couldn’t squeeze in a table! You will make so many fun memories living in such a cozy space!

  • I would love to know where you got your clock. It’s very cool.

  • Jess says:

    It’s so impressive that your family of 4 lives in 500 sq feet! Pre-marriage my husband and I lived in 450 sq feet and I didn’t even think we had room for a cat. Bravo to you guys! Anyway – where is the fridge in your kitchen? – which is so bright and lovely, btw!

    • jordan says:

      The fridge is directly across from the island. (To the left of where the photographer was standing to take that first shot.) :)

  • Kami says:

    I’m loving this series and seeing a peek inside your beautiful space. It’s so inspiring seeing what can be done with a small space.

  • Well done! Love your small but cute kitchen

  • Cerise says:

    Beautiful kitchen. The light is really wonderful. It’s awesome to see what can be done with a smaller space.

  • I love the little nook for the stove. I do not know how you guys do it. We lost two rooms moving to our new house, and I am just now figuring out how to make things fit. Thank goodness for closets and armoires.

  • After seeing all these post on your lovely apartment, you are making me want to paint all of our walls white. Love your place!

  • Butterfly Mama says:

    I am beyond obsessed with your home! It’s absolutely GORGEOUS! I have literally been so distracted by these posts/photos since Monday, my productivity @ work has gone down! I absolutely have been inspired to edit my 700sf abt in Boston that I share with my 4 yr old. I have a similar stool, its a Tabouret Stool from overstock – they are a fraction of the price and Im super happy with them! Thank you for sharing your amazing home!

  • Becca Blue says:

    Jordan, did you put up the metal backsplash/liner around the oven, or was it there already? Do you like it? (We have been toying with the idea of doing something similar.) Thank you!

  • I love your kitchen. Our little SF kitchen could use an island. We should have plenty of counter space, but it seems to always be covered in bowls of fruit and cutting boards. How do you keep yours so clear!?

  • Elizabeth says:

    That is some pretty light!

  • tiffany. says:

    LOVE this for inspo for my soon to be small studio apartment. Where is your fridge? Is it a full size fridge?


  • really impressed! do you find you can store all of your kitchen gadgets?

    That’s what I worried about transferring most since we just got married and received a lot of kitchen appliances. I love baking so I’ve got the big ol’ kitchenaid mixer too, Thanks for sharing!

  • Erika says:

    LOVE. We have a very tiny space as well–and this makes me excited to get started to revamp our home. I love what you have done. Those stools are perfect!

  • puns says:

    Wow…you guys are really very lucky to have such a wonderful house!
    Best luck!!

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