The trials and triumphs of a newlywed couple, their animal menagerie, and their new (to them)home, a 1948 Cape Cod Bungalow.
Mary Oliver once wrote: "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
My answer: Anything and everything.
Life is really good.
Next to our fridge, there's this awkward space. It's about 3' deep and 2' wide (so very deep and narrow).
The previous owners stuck this rack in there:
A resounding GROAN, especially considering that the rack had many problems:
It was not stable-- it has about a 2" wobble side to side.
It was DEEP. You could only see about the first 6" of things you put on it, and then everything the rest of the 2.5' was lost to darkness and clutter.
It blocked the light. There's a light above the fridge that illuminates the entire alcove, but because of this tall rack that filled the entire nook next to the fridge, no light got down to the shelves.
So, needless to say, the rack was useless. We used it for two things: A dog food bin that we slid in and out under the rack, and a microwave on the third shelf. The other shelves had things on them, but neither Bob nor I could give you an inventory. It was a black hole of clutter. We'd tried to organize it, but with the problems listed above, nothing worked.
So, I took the rack out.
Then this happened:
And then this.....(!!!!)
Yes, the shelves, instead of being 3' deep, are only 15" deep. Yes, we lose the other 21 inches, but not really. Having shelves THAT DEEP isn't practical. So really, we're instead gaining 7 feet of storage that's 15" deep. We're not losing anything.
Plus, there's a HUGE area above the fridge. It's all a shelf! Previously, we hadn't been able to use much of it because things would get lost back there. Now? We can use ALL of it by just standing on a stepstool. So, all of our lesser-used appliances and such (waffle makers, dehydrator, egg cartons, etc) are all up there and organized.
The bins are great too-- they'll be used for bulk food and dog food.
And so, I got to fill this sucker up this weekend:
ALL (not just some) of our canned goods fit here! The top shelf is full of things we need, but not regularly (such as coconut oil and rye flour). We'll post an inventory on a piece of paper up there so we can easily see what's there. All of our jams, salsa, fruit, and marinara fits easily on these shelves. It also allows us to see what we have left and what we use regularly.
Previously, all this was in our other pantry and on top of it (eyesore). Now, that pantry has nothing on top of it, AND it's half empty. This allowed us to really organize the pantry and even put some of our commonly-used appliances in there (thus clearing up cabinet/counter space). More on that in another post.
It was a productive weekend, but OH, what an improvement and good utilization of space!
So, I'm all about this new Minwax product, Poly Shades. It's taken my furniture redo/revamp projects to a whole new and easier level. It covers old stain fabulously, and adds a nice layer of gloss at the same time (because poly is built in).
This dresser was started on before we got pregnant. I had sanded the top two drawers, but then we had to stop. This meant no fixing the top, no hiding the scratch on the side... nothing. We used it in it's beaten up shape anyway.
From this far away, it might not look so bad, but trust me, it was. It had seen MANY better days.
Fast forward to one application of poly shades:
AMAZING. It also matches our buffet in that room, so I'm extra thrilled. It was very low fumes, but still, I wore a nice respirator. I did go back and stain those top two drawers with a very light second coat, which makes them blend in just a bit better with the rest of the unit. And, sometime this week, I'll probably apply a layer or two of just poly to the top for extra protection. It's protected now, but since it's the top, we want to make extra sure it's durable.
The scratches are pretty much hidden. The big gash on the side the stain has hidden pretty well and I'm happy. Maybe someday we'll go back with filler and sander and everything to get it perfect, but it's so exceptional now that I'm pretty darn happy.
I cannot WAIT to use this product again. Only light buffing before application has me SOLD!
You might have thought the house painting project and other things have been going pretty slowly recently.
Well, there's a reason.... I'm pregnant! We're expecting a baby next spring. Since it already feels like winter/late fall here (we've received a lot of rain and a sudden drop in temperatures), this feels like it's just around the corner (though it's MONTHS) away.
Here is our announcement photo. I'm happy to report the furbabies are excited and bewildered. They don't quite know what to make of the recent reshuffling of furniture and all these new items that smell like little humans.
And, of course, the runner up announcement photo. We didn't choose this one because we thought it looked too much like we were announcing that we were getting another puppy.
While I'm fixing up the bedroom, I've been thinking about the kitchen.
When we moved in, it looked like this:
LOTS of potential without a dramatic amount of heavy construction.
We painted the walls a gray/green/tan color, by Behr, called Ashwood:
I love it because it changes colors throughout the day. Sometimes it's green, sometimes's it's brown, sometimes it's gray.You can see the brown undertones in the deeper colors on this color swatch.
But recently, I've been thinking about the floor. It's a simple linoleum, but it shows EVERYTHING. Dog paw prints, any little speckle.
Now, I'm not saying I want to live with dirty floors.... but I also don't want to have to be pristine ALL THE TIME. We already have that with the cabinets being white.
So, I'm thinking of the idea of putting in faux wood floors. They make linoleum/vinyl planks that are about 1/8" thick and attach to your floors with adhesive. You put them in plank-style, as if they were wood floors.
It wouldn't be absolutely perfect, but it wouldn't be that expensive to do (they run about $2ish a square foot, and with our cabinetry and island there aren't large swaths of empty space), and it would let us determine if down the line we want to rip up all linoelum and put down wood floors. I could see this lasting 10+ years though. The visible floor space in our kitchen is approximately 189 square feet, but add in about 12 more for the area under the fridge and in one big cabinet. So we're right at 200 square feet.
And, the end result would give our kitchen this feel:
At some point in the next 5 or so years, I can see us replacing our tile countertops with something less icky, and I already plan on staining and resealing our butcher block (on the island) within the next year (already have the special food-grade sealants and everything).