Real kitchens of Khoollect: at home with Lara Messer

London can be tricky to find a bed to sleep in, never mind a kitchen you can call your own. I’m very lucky to live with one of my best friends, who doesn’t mind that the kitchen is my mothership with tins, jars and countless vegetables in every corner and cupboard. Our kitchen is tiny, with floor space only about 150cm squared (and that’s being generous), two working hobs out of four and a fridge that likes to freeze all of its contents. That said, I love my kitchen and all the delicious food that comes out of it.

Lara Kitchen 2

I’m a vegetarian who is dabbling 95% of the time in veganism, so you can imagine that my cupboards are stocked with every nut, seed, grain and lentil you can get your hands on. The fridge is brimming with coriander, vegetables galore, tofu and nut butters. I have bowls and bowls of ginger, limes and chillies that I go through rapidly in the week. Lemons too (for the weekend gins).

I have a thing for kitchen goods (baskets, utensils, storage jars, bowls, spice pots) which wasn’t ideal when I moved from Glasgow. I think I brought more suitcases of kitchen goods and food than I did clothes. I even brought down a blender (for kick-ass vegan protein smoothies) and a selection of pots and pans I had gathered throughout the past couple of years. I love to collect kitchen pieces so you’ll find everything, from bowls made by artisans in Paris, to jars with lucky cats on them from Barcelona.

Lara Kitchen 4

I love cooking Thai food daily and getting creative with vegan life. My essentials in the kitchen: chillies, ginger, coriander, coconut oils and milks, tofu, cashew nuts and broccoli. I probably eat all of these daily, if I’m lucky! I’m always lugging down jars of my Mum’s chilli jam from Scotland, a staple I cannot live without. Coffee is also a huge part of my life – my dad is a coffee roaster – so my brewing kit has pride of place. HARIO coffee gear is beautiful as well as functional … ideal for open shelving!

Having a tiny rented kitchen can be difficult. You can’t get too creative with the decorating and often the storage space isn’t the most practical, but it’s easy to get around. I decorate with a bounty of plants, my Orla Kiely radio (always playing some sort of techno) and Scandinavian inspired ceramics. Eating vegan products often means the packaging is a graphic-designer’s dream, so they will most definitely be used as “decor”.

Lara Kitchen 3

Get nifty with baskets. I try and avoid plastic as much as I can in my kitchen, by using eco mesh bags in the supermarket, then storing produce in little baskets in the fridge. Saves the planet and looks pretty damn cool.

Lara Kitchen 5

I think the biggest disaster we’ve had in our kitchen, which is only just becoming funny, is that our tap would fly off from the water pressure. You could be washing the dishes, fully clothed for work, and suddenly be drenched head to toe. Thankfully for everyone involved, my roommate is quite the handyman.

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lara messer

Lara is Khoollect’s Creative Editor. This London-based Glaswegian is the creative behind the camer...

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Read Lara’s Khoollect interview, see her portfolio or follow her on Instagram.