Tiny Kitchen of the Week: A Communal Homestead for Summer Rayne Oakes and Friends Filled with Takeaway

Chances are good you’ve digitally crossed paths with Summer Rayne Oakes. The author of How to Make a Houseplant Love You, she’s the host of the popular Youtube series Plant One on Me and the new podcast Bad Seeds, founder of the urban naturalist hub Homestead Brooklyn, and served as the indoor gardening expert for our latest book Remodelista: The Low-Impact Home, among many other things. She models, too.

Until recently, Summer was rooted in Brooklyn, where she famously shared her Williamsburg loft with many hundreds of houseplants: see our Gardenista visit from a few years back. Summer still keeps the apartment, but, of late has been living in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, where she and two friends teamed up to purchase a former nursery on 90-something acres and realize a communal dream.

They named their place Flock, and the plan is to turn it into an environmentally conscious creative community and “botanical oasis” with shared live/work spaces for themselves and for artists in residence, too.

There’s still much to do, but a lot has been accomplished in the last year. Today, we’re spotlighting the team’s first big indoor project: the DIY creation of a tiny, thoughtfully designed kitchen in what had been the lackluster nursery office. Working with tight quarters yourself? There are lots of good ideas here.

Photography courtesy of Flock (@flockfingerlakes).

the entire kitchen fits neatly into the corner next to the entry. summer collab 17
Above: The entire kitchen fits neatly into the corner next to the entry. Summer collaborated on the planning with her Flock partner Sander van Dijk, who took on the construction work himself. He and Summer chronicle their many Finger Lakes projects on the Flock Youtube channel, including the transformation of this single-story, 600-square foot, unwinterized office into guest quarters now known as the Meadow House. Scroll to the end to see Before and In Progress shots.

Saunder is a specialist in animation and 2-D motion design, but had studied at a trade school for carpentry and architecture in the Netherlands before moving to New York. This is his first kitchen.