Archive for the ‘Renovation’ Category

A Brief Consideration

January 28, 2010


I’ve decided that Kitchen 2.0 should happen all at once with a contractor in another 3-6 months.  In the meantime, I want to explore ideas.  Like the idea of having Julia Child style pegboards, as seen at the Smithsonian.  Julia not only hung pots and pans on the board, all of which were outlined to indicate their proper home, but knives, utensils, gadgets, paper towels, and knick knacks.  I could conceivably use every empty wall in the kitchen!  There would be order and availability.  It would free up room in the cabinets for even more things like a food processor and a Dutch oven. Painted a zingy color (Julia’s is blue) would make it a little more attractive, because it is by nature, pretty ugly.  As I sit at my peninsula, I look straight at the rear wall, which covered in stuff, would it hurt my eyes, or make me anxious from the clutter?  Would all the hanging objects become a repository for dust and grease?  Food for thought.

Instead of Wallpaper?

October 8, 2009

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At the beginning of the summer, I had seen these vintage shooting targets at the Brooklyn Flea.  Making a mental note, I really liked them, but wasn’t quite sure how they’d fit into the decor.  I hadn’t seen them again all summer, until last weekend, and I jumped, absence having made my heart grow fonder, and desperate.  Now I have a raccoon target, still unsure of its new home.  

I am testing it out on the designated wallpaper wall in the kitchen, and I sort of love it.  The red chinoiserie wallpaper had been universally rejected on that wall by my design council, so I’m open to new possibilities.  The target has a demented old-timey sensibility that goes with the rest of my apartment; the faded ivory paper compliments the color of the vintage cabinet.  One seems a little lonely on the wall, so I’m thinking of a few more displayed salon style for a critter shooting gallery, especially now that I know that I can get them from the vendor online.

My Wallpaper, My Self

August 25, 2009


I have been looking for wallpaper to cover the back of the kitchen wall for what seems to be an eternity.  Ideally, I’ve wanted a decorative wallpaper with a little metallic in it.  I’ve looked at abstracts, baroques, pictorials, nature scenes, vintage, and new, keeping a list of resources from my dearly departed Domino.  Nothing has been quite right – too much of a detectable repeat, bad rendering, too flat, not the colors that I want.  Maybe what I want doesn’t exist.

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Feeling a little defeated on the matter, I never thought that I would get lucky at the flea market.  I found a red hand-painted vintage chinoiserie print with metallic detail, really the wall paper of my dreams.  I did hem and haw for a while, wondering if it was too pictorial for my purposes, ultimately deciding that it could go into the pod, because for $10 I couldn’t afford to let it go.  Trying it out in both areas, I think that I like it best in the kitchen, how it warms up the space, and how it ties in with the vintage cabinet and the red/blue mat.  In the pod, aka my “bedroom”, it sequesters my chinoiserie in one area, or more like against one wall, which I’m not sure if I like.  

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For practical purposes, the wallpaper would be ruined if any oil got on it, as a patch test revealed, a strike against having it in the kitchen.  I have a long time to think about it, the hunt for wallpaper was long, but the search for a wallpaper hanger, may be longer.


August 6, 2009

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It took over a year, a minor mental meltdown, and diligent savings, but I finally got my oven.  I have mastered the fine art of procrastination on this one.  In March, I decided that I had enough money to get the oven.  In April, I consulted with an appliance installer who assured me of my decision and to call him when I was ready.  That meeting would require a cabinet fine tuning from my cabinet maker, who told me to call him when the oven arrives.  After a slew of guests in May and June, I purchased the oven which arrived in a matter of days.  My cabinet maker made his adjustments in minutes.  The appliance installer did his thing.  It’s done and it’s August.  I’ve only run it once to burn off the factory smells.  Now that it’s finally summer, it’s too hot to bake.  Maybe I should’ve waited until fall.

Having It All

April 8, 2009


I’m realizing that the special someone to repair my re-modelling, may have to be many someones.  Contrary to my initial thoughts, I feel like I’m looking for a general practitioner when I need a bunch of specialists.  Since the oven is the priority, I checked in with someone who I thought was more of a GC, but is actually an appliance installer who works with an electrician and a painter.  He offered me confidence where I had none, explaining the pros and cons of gas and electric ovens.  He assured me that the DeLonghi oven that I originally wanted would be fine for under counter use, that the warning the company heeds about ventilation was more of an extra precaution than anything else.  There was no danger of fire or overheating.  I will only need an extra shut off valve for the gas intake (each gas appliance needs its own shut off valve) and half an inch taken off of the oven frame to accommodate the oven.  As someone who is licensed and insured, he may not be the contractor of my dreams, but I sure wish we met last year.

Got Shelves?

April 1, 2009

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For The Littlest Kitchen 2.0, along with the oven and finishing the vintage cabinet, I’m thinking of subway tiles for the backsplash and more little shelves above the cooktop.  The two ideas work well together in the sense that the the shelves give the tiles a stopping point, otherwise the tiles would have to go all the way up to the ceiling, a costly and complicated undertaking.  The new little shelves would fit in the recessed area above the cooktop, about 4 1/2 inches, which would mimic the open shelving on the opposite wall.  I’m finding that I could use more shelving, since the open shelves are starting to overflow with goods.  The bottom of the shelves, or the top of the tiles, would start at the same height as the bottom of the vintage cabinet.  The top of the shelves would go up to the top of the panel adjacent to the stove.  I would probably have to hire my cabinet maker for the shelves, a ridiculously small job, which may or may not be worth his while.  And although I wish for the contractor of my dreams, I may not have enough money to have the work done all at once for 2.0.

The Fixer

March 26, 2009


I’ve been looking at a lot of interior design porn for work, and all I want to do is redecorate my apartment!  In the past three months, there have been improvements (resetting the leaky-ish kitchen sink, tightening the leaky shower faucets, installing a hallway chandelier, replacing the window latches) and additions (a cutlery tray, a grater, a glass food container, a garbage can).  When I look around my apartment, I still see millions of things that could be done, but the most glaring things are the oven, the backsplash and the unfinished vintage cabinet.  All the things that I’ve been putting off.  I need a fixer, someone to correct all the wrong in my place, someone who will just do it.

Part of the problem with my renovation, was the de-centralization of jobs.  I had three different people doing the work, which is practical and specialized, but it all should have gone through one person, a contractor, not me.  Yes, I admit it, I should have hired a contractor!  Mea culpa!  Now I want that person, maybe not a contractor per se, but someone who can do or can oversee these tasks being done.  It’s sort of the dregs of an already small job, but I’m hoping to find that special someone in this economy.

Decisions Decisions

July 25, 2008

I have a hole for an oven and a gap for a backsplash. I have to decide on what to do with them so I can move on with my life. Or not. I’m not dealing with either right now because I’m going on vacation! I’m letting go of all of my worries for a week and then I’ll give both sides careful analysis and consideration. For now, the kitchen is closed.

My Beautiful Closet

July 22, 2008

After all my hemming and hawing, I am thrilled with my broom closet. All the cleaning supplies in one easily accessible space. The shallow shelves allow for a single line of vision, no digging around in dark, dank spaces. The Muji rack is genius, if I may say so myself. Sliding hooks from which to hang my mop and broom, and all my various kitchen towels and dusting cloths, part of my concerted effort to reduce my paper towel usage. It’s just too good.

Taking the Shame

July 21, 2008

My marble guy called me before I had a chance to call him, checking to see my satisfaction with the new counter top. I had to express my disappointment with the installation of the backsplash, and he graciously came by to check it out with his installer. In their Sicilian-Italian, I was able to discern “not right” and “mess”. It was agreed that they wouldn’t be able to re-do the backsplash, so they offered a few solutions:

1) place another thin piece of marble on top of the gap that would be about 7″ high, forming a higher up backsplash. My least favorite option.

2) install a tile backsplash.

3) fill the wall with drywall and feather it up the side of the old cabinet.

I’m just happy that they’ve acknowledged the shoddy work and are willing to do something about it, whether I take them up on their offer or not. They’re taking the shame. I’ve forwarded their suggestions to my architect. He’s the decider.