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Archive for the ‘home improvement’ Category

To follow up on my previous post from long ago, we got the chair. 

This is my little office area in a room otherwise designated as the dining room.  It is a small room right next to the kitchen with no closet, but I don’t think we’ve ever sat down to eat at the table here.  It’s more of a catch-all, which isn’t the best thing!  My thoughts in the future are to get a smaller table in here….but long long term plans are to knock down the wall in between this wall and the living room, increasing the living space and having much more of an open feel. 

There is a whole lot of ikea going on in this corner.  The white filing cabinet is an ikea buy, as are the shelves, the desk, the flower pictures (a steal at $7 each), and the the green magazine organizers and boxes.  I am not handy, but i did put the filing cabinet together all by myself – and I love the sleek white design. 

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Yuck. And I knew I had these kicking around somewhere, but yesterday I finally found them.

BEFORE:

yuckapalooza

yuckapalooza

Here is a shot of what we found underneath the cabinet we (or shall i say my dad) tore off the wall.

yikes

yikes

here you can see the old backsplash (which I attempted to paint over and then ultimately chiseled off)

here you can see the old backsplash (which I attempted to paint over and then ultimately chiseled off)

SIDE BY SIDE COMPARISON:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
BEFORE :                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            AFTER:
new-stuff-010
kitchen-before2

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kinda after

Updated pictures on progress in the kitchen!

full view - new floors, vinyl adhesive

full view - new floors, vinyl adhesive

from the christmas tree shoppe!

from the christmas tree shoppe!

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This morning I tutored in a neighborhood that put me in the area of my favorite uber-cheap, uber-huge housewares paradise, IKEA.  First off, it must be said that Monday afternoon IKEA is much more tolerable than the hysteria-prone Saturday afternoon IKEA.  I was able to browse much more comfortably (and slowly, beacuse I didn’t have IKEA-hater Will in tow– haha) ; but it didn’t seem like any of the employees came to work, either.  I left without finding out what parts I needed for a corner desk I was coveting, but all in all, I picked up some good organizational gear and cute accessories to spring-a-fy the apartment, and most importantly, the new kitchen!

For instance, back in September, I picked up these “closet organizers” from Kmart for our new bedside tables for $10 and change a piece (way cheaper than a conventional bedside table)

closet organizer turned bedside table

closet organizer turned bedside table

The only issue with them is that all your stuff is out in the open….so I’ve been on a search for the perfect baskets to put within the tall, skinny openings within.  Well, tada(!!), I found them today.

it fits!

it fits!

At $5.99 a pop, I can still buy enough of them to fill the holes on both of our tables, and it is STILL cheaper than buying a garden variety bedside table.  After my text tutoring session, I’m buying some mo’. 

I also picked up :

 a do it yourself herb-growing kit (basil – and $4, since you asked),

2 super cute little white flower-pots ($1.29 each)  

some frames for the photo collage I’m working on behind our bed

a tray to go under the cats’ food bowls ($3)

 and a cute little rug to go in front of the sink ($13)

and some other cute, cheap little things.  After going to IKEA, I find it hard to shop anywhere else and rationalize spending more money on similar stuff.

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Our apartment has been in Will’s family for about 25 years.  His parents rented here when Will was a wee tot, and then Will’s aunt took over the lease…and the building eventually became co-op, etc, etc. 

This September, we bought the place.

I immediately removed (or my dad did, at least) a set of built in cabinets on the left hand wall.  Unfortunately, the adhesive underneath tore off a chunk of plaster in the wall, leaving us with a concrete dent the size of a cinder block in the wall.  I told my dad I was going to throw up when I saw it, and he told me to stop overreacting.

Afterwards, I went over to Home Depot and picked up some joint compound and filled it in.  Joint compound is just a fancy word for the spackle type jazz that you need to use to fill in holes in your wall that you cause by being an asshole.  This was a fairly easy process, but one that took a fair amount of patience, as joint compound doesn’t just dry into a magical new wall.  It needs to dry in layers, and honestly, now it’s dry and all and no longer a massive hole, but it’s best hidden behind a baker’s rack.  More on that later.  I can’t find a picture of the hole, but here’s the kitchen “before”.

on the left of this photo, there used to be more built in cabinets.  That is also the site of the infamous hole.

on the left of this photo, there used to be more built in cabinets. That is also the site of the infamous hole.

It is now March, and I am finally tackling the kitchen re-do.  Back when we bought our place, we talked to a contractor, who told us that a complete renovation would run between $5 and 10K.  We were “property virgins” and really didn’t realize how much things cost – even a renovation in a kitchen as small as ours can cost you quite a bit.  We retreated from the room and decided to revisit the situation when we had more money – ya know, when Liz had a full time job and we were rolling in it.

Well, five months and two leave-replacements later, I again find myself as a per-diem sub with a bomb-shelter kitchen.  I decided that a cheap renovation would beat no renovation at all!  I decided to finally tackle la cocina del infierno…or, the kitchen from hell.

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