February 17, 2009

a REVISED normal

Referring back to a note posted a couple weeks ago, we decided to revise our temporary layout for the living room (see above). I don't know if this will help us get to normal, but let's hope we manage to achieve some level of comfort.

On a side note, ignoring the crumbling plaster walls and crudely constructed surface mounted electrical conduits... the existing flooring in the living room is this tightly woven beige berber carpet. It would be tolerable except for the fact that it is SHREDDED in several areas, and when I say shredded, I mean huge patches of pulled fibers exposing the floor underneath. We're not going to discuss in detail how we got those patches. Let's just say that instead of chewing on furniture, Charlevoix shredded carpet, books and dvds as a puppy. ANYWAY, our pathetic temporary solution for THAT problem was to cover the patches with cheap area rugs strategically placed in two zones. Problem is, the layout above doesn't cooperate with our 'zones'.

What to do?

The floors underneath are in grotesque shape. They look like rotten teeth and probably function like them as well - we're afraid that the carpet is holiding the flooring together, so we don't want to pull it up quite yet. Recarpeting the living room is not an option either - too expensive (unless we go with $0.50/sf Astro-Turf from the Home Depot... yeah, NO).

Suggestions...? I'm thinking we just get a couple of LARGER area rugs for the time being...

February 15, 2009

the start of a dining room/library

The past week has been somewhat busy at the office (even with this economy, believe it!) so we haven't had a chance to tackle too much at the house. We did manage to set up the dining room table and chairs and unpack a few boxes of books.

The table is a hand-me-down from my grandparents (dad's side). It's very very old (1950's) and in desperate need of refinishing and some major repair, which we plan to try and do once the weather improves. Depending on our repair effort results, we'll see if eventually we'll need to invest in another dining room table. For the time being though, this will do just fine.

February 11, 2009

February 7, 2009

the beech BILLY

Today's project was to assemble the full wall of bookcases in the dining room. As mentioned in a previous post, unfortunately our budget, at this time, doesn't allow for custom bookshelves PLUS we still have yet to rehab the living and who knows what we'll end up doing once we tackle that area.
SO, as a (temporary) solution, we decided to buy four BILLY bookcases (31 1/2" wide each) from IKEA, plus the extension unit for each, placing them at approx. 8'-0" tall (our ceilings are close to 10' so we try and maximize vertical space wherever possible, PLUS most of the doors and the tops of the window openings are at 8'-0" so a standard height looks good).
The four of them fit perfectly against our north dining room wall, so that they almost appear to be built-in. We ended up going with the beech veneer option since it looks similar to cherry. As a result, our dining room and kitchen now have this continuous visual flow. Now we finally get to unpack all of our books!!!

February 5, 2009


Even though the living room still needs a complete overhaul, it's not going to be happening anytime too soon, given the following:
1. We're trying to be conservative with spending given each morning we awake, wondering if there will be layoffs at the office, due to the crappy economy.
2. Our own personal finances have been drained after the last gut-rehab phase (kitchen/dining/powder room/basement stairwell).
3. We're tired.
So, in an effort to live somewhat normally, we figured out a temporary, yet comfortable, layout for the living room. The best part... take a look at the plan above... compare to our
October 2006 floor plan ... notice any difference? NO STORAGE BOXES! NO STORAGE SHELVES! NO LUMBER! NO BEDROOM FURNITURE NEXT TO THE LUMBER! NO BATHTUBS NEXT TO THE TV! This is a major improvement folks...

February 2, 2009

the sebastian

During the latest Ikea expedition, I picked up two Sebastian barstools for the kitchen. I think during the next Ikea expedition, I'll pick up at least one more. They are comfortable, the perfect height, and look quite good in our kitchen... plus at $49. each, not a bad buy at all (sorry Bertoia, $800. for one barstool is just not in the budget).

February 1, 2009

95% of a new kitchen

... the plumbing has been plumbed, gas connection hooked up, all the appliances have been installed, dishes unpacked and refrigerator and pantry kind-of filled. The only things missing are a few additional shelves for the cabinets, hardware which still needs to be installed, plus the trash bins which also have to be installed. Then we just need to live in the kitchen, figure out a place and space for everything and slowly get it a little more organized.
We wouldn't be architects if we didn't have a few criticisms:

1. The cabinets could be hung about 8"-12" lower for me. Bryan likes the height functionally, and I like the height aesthetically, since at their current height they almost touch the ceiling. But functionally, they are a little too high for me. Oh well, the price we pay for good design!

2. The cooktop is a little crude. I would have been okay with electric, but Bryan really wanted gas, and we could not afford a sleeker/flatter looking gas cooktop.

3. I really wish we had an extra 6 sf of space for a pantry. Maybe we'll be able to come up with something...?

... however, in general, we love the new kitchen!