Have you moved recently? I’m just getting settled into a newly purchased condominium after renting for the past year.

Since I was in my apartment for only a year, I expected the move to be fairly simple as I’m not a big shopper or collector of things. Nonetheless, it was time-consuming and included the process of “letting go” as all moves do.

Good News on Buying an Older Condominium

As it happens, I made my home purchase based on an ideal location for me, not the aesthetics of the condominium. That left me with an opportunity to gut and redesign the kitchen, top to bottom.

I recycled all the materials and appliances I could and got to work. With cooking and nutrition as my top priority, here’s what I did:

Research Before Renovating Your Kitchen

I first thought about what was important to me as a health and nutrition coach, both personally and professionally. I viewed several magazine layouts, visited kitchen showrooms and talked with cooks and contractors.

Final decisions:

Flooring

Kitchen flooring needs to be comfortable if you want to spend time cooking since most often you’re standing when you cook. I chose a vinyl wood plank that has a cushiony layer and is easily cleaned with a damp mop.

Lighting

Being able to see ingredients and read recipes easily makes cooking a pleasure. To have optimal lighting, I had under cabinet lights installed along with recessed ceiling lights that are adjustable in intensity.

Countertops

You can’t really do much food prep unless you have good counter space. Counters were installed between the refrigerator and gas stove with a long corner one between the stove and sink, and again between the sink and dishwasher.

Refrigerator

When buying my refrigerator, I opted for a freezer under. Most of what I use is fresh food, so having that at eye level keeps me from growing unintended chemistry experiments in the fridge.

Grocery Storage

Getting a fresh start with a move and a new kitchen involves your grocery storage spaces. If you’ve been wanting to improve your food choices, now is the time to make thoughtful ones while you stock your cabinets.

I had a floor to ceiling pantry installed in the corner of the kitchen. One shelf holds my whole grains and nuts, another my oils and vinegars, and another holds broth, canned beans, varieties of canned tomatoes.

Another shelf holds my teas and coffee, since my mugs, coffee and tea dispenser are right beside the pantry. Dried herbs and spices? I lay them down in a drawer beside my stove for easy access when I’m cooking.

Cooking Implements

I like to limit the number of cooking tools to what I actually use. I store my cookware in a lazy Susan to the right of the stove.

One drawer close to the stove holds my glass storage bowls. Mixing bowls are on the top shelf of the pantry since I don’t bake very much. Another pantry shelf holds my blender, a Nutri- bullet emulsifier, a food processor and a hand held mixer.

Dishes

My plates are to the right of the stove, so if I’m not using serving dishes for guests, I can easily place my food right from pan to plate without moving very far.

I’ve been in my new home for less than two weeks and getting used to the new layout. I smile to myself when I reach for a glass where it had been in my old kitchen, knowing that adapting to the new space will somehow create a couple of new brain synapses. A hidden bonus!

I put a few photos up on my blog to show you the before and after. So far, it’s working well for me, and I’m sure as time passes I’ll be making some adjustments, but for now it’s all good. Painting needs doing and then finishing touches including a wall magnet for my cutlery and some greenery.

Have you renovated or reworked your kitchen lately? If so, what do you especially like about your layout? Would you lay down floor mats near the sink and stove or leave it as is? Are there any feng shui elements I’m missing? All of your comments will be greatly appreciated for sure.

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