Jeff Garbs lives in a small, stylish rental in Los Angeles' Highland Park, situated quietly off a main street. He enjoys the secluded space and private yard, but most of all he enjoys decorating his adorable home. And when your total home square footage is only 390 square feet, you have to work with what you've got, especially in the kitchen.
Jeff's kitchen is literally the hallway from his living room to his bedroom. The space is bright and airy and decorated with some rad DIY lighting. I love that he added butcher block countertops and put a backsplash over the sink. In fact, that backsplash is his proudest DIY, as he shares here: "There were holes in the 1930's ceramic tile from old plumbing that had been covered with funny little fat chefs cut out of wallpaper and pasted onto the tile. It was the bad kind of DIY. I used leftover floor tile, liquid nails and plastic ceiling tile trim. Did it all for under $20."
Even working on a budget, Jeff was able to keep the kitchen modern but sprinkled with vintage charms and quirk.
Big thank you to Sally Breer of Shopclass LA for introducing us!
10 Questions for Jeff (and His Kitchen)
1. What inspires your kitchen and your cooking?
There isn't a lot of inspiration behind a baked chicken breast but I do enjoy a really great cup of coffee and I couldn't live without my chemex!
2. What is your favorite kitchen tool or element?
The scrap piece of butcher-block counter I placed next to the stove and again, my Chemex.
3. What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen?
I live alone so I would be lying if I said there are many epic meals that come out this kitchen - it's more of a utilitarian/functional space for my modest needs.
4. The biggest challenge for cooking in your
The mini stove. When I made the decision to get a small stove- I hadn't thought about moving the fridge into the mudroom yet. Now in retrospect, I probably should have gotten a bigger fridge and possibly a great vintage 50's stove.
5. Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
6. What was your biggest indulgence or splurge in the kitchen?
Probably replacing the working fridge, simply because it was too big and messed up the flow of my space.
7. Is there anything you hope to add or improve in your kitchen?
I would love new cookware. My frying pans could use an upgrade.
8. How would you describe your cooking style?
Simple and fresh.
9. Best cooking advice or tip you ever received?
Lower the flame.
10. What are you cooking this week?
For sure boiled eggs, strawberries, and toast with sunflower seed butter. I'm an early riser so my breakfast is one of the most thoughtful meals of the day. Generally by the evening, I'm tired and kind of uninspired to cook.
Resources of Note:
* Jeff noted that everything is from either IKEA or estate sales.
We're always looking for real kitchens from real cooks.
Show us your kitchen here!
(Images: Bethany Nauert)