What makes a kitchen Zen-like? There is of course, the Buddha on the window, watching over the coffee bar. But for me, the true Zen of the kitchen has two parts: space and time. That is, how the space is physically set up or organized, and the timing or flow of the events when I cook. This is the story of my first kitchen renovation project.
I have several pots and pans that I use every day for cooking, and, for as long as I’ve cooked, the pots and pans were always stored in a cupboard. But recently, I felt like the space in the kitchen needed to be better organized, and that the pots and pans had to be more accessible. Armed with my belief that there is always a simple answer, I stared at the space and asked myself “where do the pots belong?”
They belong on a hanging rack, mounted on the low ceiling next to the range hood. Simple. But where to find the rack and how to mount it? Determined that I could do this, I poured over online catalogs until I found one that I liked that was the right size and that could be mounted on drywall. I ordered it, counted the days until it arrived, and took out the pots and pans from the cupboard to prepare them for their new home.
This was my first kitchen renovation project, and I was a bit nervous despite the instructions reassuring me that the toggle bolts could hold over 200 pounds of weight. After carefully measuring the rack, and marking where the bolts wold go, I drilled into the drywall. White dust flew everywhere. But the bolts were too short, so I had to go back to the hardware store. A few hours later, the rack was secure, and I was ready to hang the pots and pans.
Once they were in place, I stood proudly in front of them, watching them float quietly, ready to be used. Now, whenever I cook, all my pots and pans are easy to access. I also like that they are on display, like a modern yet well worn art installation. More than ever, my kitchen feels organized, and it’s a real pleasure to cook in it. But more importantly, I am inspired to keep it clean, organized, simple, and Zen-like.