The Interminable Kitchen Facelift

There are a lot of houses with terrible kitchens. This is what I learned when Soren and I began house hunting last year. Some of them are just dated, but many more are dirty, dark and cramped. One house we perused online boasted a kitchen that was 8 ft x 6 ft. I’m not kidding. So when we first looked at our house a year ago, the kitchen was one of the selling points. Sure the cabinets were sort of crappy, and some of the doors had pulls shaped like forks and spoons (dear god, why!), but the room was spacious and bright. “It’s a good place to start,” I thought.

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Back then I had big dreams. “Oh, I’ll just gut this kitchen,” I said to myself (and drunkenly to the neighbors at our housewarming party).  HGTV makes it look so easy. You just rip out the cabinets, pull up the tile, and start over! Voila! Brand new kitchen. I dreamt of marble countertops and brass faucets. Of white enamel cast iron sinks. Of huge islands with bar stools.

Once we moved in, I realized several things. 1. Kitchens are flipping expensive, even if you do use Ikea cabinets. 2. We are not as handy as I thought we were. 3. House projects take five times longer than anticipated. So, with my renovation dreams in shambles, I settled for a kitchen facelift. Continue reading

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No Excuse (Ok, One Excuse)

I’m not sure what happened to the past two months, but I suspect it was this:

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That’s right. We got a puppy. We’re idiots. Puppies are needy and messy and not at all potty trained. But OH MY GOD, they’re also ridiculously cute.  Just look! Continue reading

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The Nook

Today I want to take you into the guest room, which also serves as my office. Or more accurately, my office, which also serves as the guest room. It’s the largest of the three bedrooms and the previous owners used it as their master bedroom. But we don’t really need that much space to sleep, and the room is weird. It’s shaped like an “L,” but the real strangeness is due to the closets. There are three, two of which are on one wall. Let me show you what I mean.

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On the right, you can see a normal closet. On the left, you can see what amounts to a ridiculous hole in the wall. I’ve taken the liberty of pointing out everything I hate about this weird configuration in the photo above. Continue reading

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Living and Dining

Patience is a virtue, but not a virtue I possess. I understand that I should take my time decorating the new house. In an ideal world, I would work with the junk I already own and then spend the next decade accumulating one-of-a-kind pieces at thrift stores and garage sales — a distressed leather chair in the perfect shade of camel! an art deco brass floor lamp! And then, voila!, my house would be fit for a Design Sponge tour in 2024. But that’s not how I roll.

In other words, I had to buy some shit. I couldn’t not. And while our living/dining area is far from done, I no longer want to cry every time I look at it. For instance, I had to buy a rug. The one we had in Brooklyn looked so tiny and pathetic and wan in our spacious new living room. See?

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It was terrible!

Here’s the new one.

Living room - urban cholita Continue reading

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Homeowners

Much has happened in my absence. We packed up a truck, left Brooklyn, and moved to Wisconsin — a place with far less swearing and far more beer and cheese. But that’s not the most exciting part. We also bought a house! What WHAT?!

Here she is:

New House

Or at least that’s what she looked like when we first saw her in September. Back then the grass was green and the shrubbery was flowering. Continue reading

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Brooklyn Apartment Tour (Part 2)

Welcome back to the tour of our Brooklyn apartment. If you missed Part 1, or want to see the floorplan again, you can find it here. Today we’re taking a look at the back of the house: the bedroom, bathroom, and office.

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The bedroom used to be chainsmoker yellow like the kitchen. But thanks to Apartment Therapy, it’s now sort of purply-gray.DSC_0075 Continue reading

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Brooklyn Apartment Tour (Part 1)

In just a few short days we’ll be moving from Brooklyn, NY, to Madison, WI. I won’t miss the upstairs children with their banshee shrieks and elephant stomping (so long suckers!), but I will miss our lovely apartment.

What’s that? You’ve never SEEN our apartment? I’ve never offered you a tour! What a terrible hostess I am.

Let’s start with the floor plan, shall we? (Soren is really good at drawing floor plans.)

FloorPlan Continue reading

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