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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

shoestring reno: kitchen appliances

Currently in our future empty home. We move next week. Not sure when construction starts. Fridge sits in the living room til kitchen construction (when?) is over as it can't fit into its spot. #kitchenreno

Yesterday, I spent a good portion of the afternoon catching myself looking out the window. Our view right now is nothing spectacular – Atlantic Avenue in all its glory, a Trader Joe’s across the street. But the sunsets, people, the sunsets!! We see such an expansive swath of sky in our Brooklyn home. I realized I’m going to miss this view starting in a few days. By Friday afternoon, there’ll be a different view. Kensington, we’re coming – hope you’re ready.

Our soon-to-be former home is ready to be rid of us. In the last three days, I’ve lost three out of four light-bulbs in the kitchen, and since they’re those expensive $9-a-piece affairs, I decided I’m not spending money on something for just a few days. The third light went out yesterday morning, the day after I finished testing recipes in this kitchen. Even the kitchen wants us out, I thought. It’s time.

With six recipes left to go I figured I could definitely make them in the next few months even with my kitchen being out of commission for a few weeks. In the meantime, I can focus on getting a lot of writing done for the two books. I’m looking forward to hunkering down.

We move this Friday, which is also winter solstice, i.e. the shortest day. I look at it as a good omen – things can only get better from here. Days will be longer; we’ll be settling into a new space; we get to explore and bond with a new neighborhood.

The day that we closed on our new home, we did a final walk-through in the morning. I looked at the kitchen, not yet realizing the scope of work that we would eventually decide to do. I peeked in the kitchen and inside the fridge. And then I realized that with the kind of rigorous recipe testing that I’ll be doing, the size of the fridge wasn’t going to do it for us. We needed something bigger. And so while hoping not to have to buy appliances, we sort of fell into that rabbit hole.

Continue reading shoestring reno: kitchen appliances.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

shoestring reno: painting the home office

Painting the home office.

I’m kicking off the home renovations series of entries by showing you what a difference a coat of paint makes.

I know that you’re expecting kitchen renovation news, but I don’t have them yet. I’m just doing my homework and research and trying to figure out what goes where and when. When there’s something to report, like hey, our half-wall has been removed and that opens up the kitchen area, I’ll give you a full report.

For the moment, however, it’s researching things like cabinets (Ikea), countertops (hopefully honed marble), appliances (let’s pray they fit), and some other stuff.

Last weekend, however, we kicked off the “shoestring reno” project (its official name since we’re trying to do this for as little money as possible) by painting the tiny home office adjacent to the kitchen. We aren’t yet sure how this room will be laid out – it really is super tiny – but hopefully, with a little ingenuity and some built-in shelving (down the road), it will make for a great, cozy little space.

One of the reasons we decided to paint this room is because it doesn’t get much light at all. Sure, it might look well lit from the pictures, but in reality – it’s quite dark. This is where the lens definitely makes something look better than it is in life.

Anyway, dark room and this horrible yellowish cream paint color that made the whole room look like this is where everything that’s alive and beautiful goes to die. In fact, I should say that the entire apartment is painted in this horrible, lifeless color.

Painting the home office.

Why did they do it? WHY???

At the paint store while picking up my supplies, a young couple was also set on painting their bedroom that weekend. I overheard them complaining to the store clerk that their whole apartment was painted in this sickly looking yellowish paint.

“I look like I have jaundice when I’m in there,” the young woman said.

“It’s deathlike,” agreed her husband.

There was some solace in knowing we weren’t alone in battling the soulless off white paint. But it still didn’t answer my question: why is it the color of choice for landlords and home sellers? Does anyone actually like that color?

When we got to the apartment, Andrew and I laid out the tarp, taped the corners with painters tape, changed into our painting clothes. Then we cranked up Andrew’s iPhone as loud as it cold go and took to painting.

The results were, well, look.

Continue reading shoestring reno: painting the home office.