Sunday, December 25, 2011

Avram and I are the One Percent

Here's a Christmas Riddle for you:
What is a present that cost no money down, but you'll pay residual payments on for years?
What is a present that no one bought, no one expected, and there was a less than one percent chance of being gifted?
What is a present that although we did not look for, we are happy to get?
What is a present that takes months for delivery (slower than the Parcel Post, even)?

Monday, July 25, 2011


Since moving into our white cottage, I've been slowly decorating my first house, albeit a rental one. The important part though, is that I got permission to paint, and so I've been able to change looks more than the first five and a half years of our marriage, where we always had some dirty shade of white walls. My most completed room is our kitchen, which I'm excited to share pictures of today. Plus since Avram is gone, then this is the first time he'll see his own kitchen, too! The biggest change is the paint, which I accomplished last week, with the help of babysitting for the girls (thanks Myrona! I love visiting teachers).

Here are the before pictures, taken before we moved in:
You can't really see it in this picture, but the flooring is a blue, gray and taupe combination, made to look like stone squares. The peachy/tan walls clashed with the flooring.
This kitchen is small, and no amount of cute accessories and paint can hide that fact. Nevertheless, I am loving the new and improved kitchen.The Chinese lantern is from IKEA. I thought it would look a little too modern for my tastes, but at $9 I was willing to move out of my comfort zone in order to not have to eat at the dinner table in the dark. Now that it is up, I am actually digging the mordern twist it gives to the rest of the kitchen. I had planned some sort of project to jazz it up a bit, but now I'm not sure I'll bother doing anything at all.

Also in the picture is a new shelf with the best of my Mortar and Pestle collection. I collect Morter and Pestles, and before this, they were stacked higgeldy-piggeldy on top of the tall cabinet by the table, where now resides the toaster. They were un-seeable, and a drag to pull down and use for grinding breadcrumbs or spices. Now most are on this shelf that I installed myself, to the tune of lots of huffing and puffing and a few screams to punctuate. Although I ultimately prefer messier things to be hidden, this kitchen does not have any closed space nearby, and only two drawers in the whole kitchen, so I have had to find as many ways to be functional, looking nice, and in sight as possible. So here are the aprons and potholders.

Another project for the kitchen was a coat rack that the girls can reach. I want to encourage independence in my girls, but I know that a large part of child independence is creating a way for them to accomplish independence. Such as having a coat rack at their height, for jackets and backpacks. I snagged one that was already hanging upstairs, unused by our second bathroom, which is sadly, also unused. (Since it is attached to our girls' room, and what use for a private bathroom does Elisheva have?)So I put it up here, where it will get plenty of use. Do you like how I refer to hanging a coat rack as if it were some large DIY project? I do like to do home projects, but, as mentioned before, being a renter has previously limited my ability to much at all to the walls, so hanging things on the wall above and beyond pictures counts as a project to me.

In our old kitchen, we had a collage of family photos on one wall. Here we had no large wall to fill, so I spaced out the photos over the kitchen. I like the look of a collage wall better, but one by necessity needs a wall for it. The tops of the cabinets work as storage for the kitchen as well. Also notice the pitcher with kitchen utensils - yet another way to deal with very little drawer space. I love the new wall color (am I allowed to gloat, when I picked it out?) The peachy/tan wall color not only competed with the flooring, but with the warm wood of the cabinets and the table. The new wall color is Woodlawn Sterling Blue, by Valspar. Originally I wanted something Green, but when I painted the three samples I got, they looked horrible, and I knew none of them could work. Back to Lowes we went, and because of a sale I had no time to bring more samples home, so based on what I already knew, I went ahead and guessed a blue for the second try. Now I don't know what I ever was thinking - blue was what this kitchen was crying out for all along.

Woodlawn Sterling Blue is inspired by Neoclassical, and specifically Jefferson's estate, Woodlawn, in Virginia.
Photo from here.
Not that putting the paint on my humble kitchen turned it into an estate, but I like that this color has a history. Probably because it was painted over a pumpkin color, my Woodlawn Sterling blue has a more green undertone than this, which I actually like. My final picture is the part of the kitchen that looks the most utilitarian: Not that "exciting" but all of the not-as-pretty appliances, like our microwave or up top storage items have to go somewhere. I'm still planning on making Roman shades for the three windows, but other than that my kitchen redo is done. Here's a sneak peek of the next room I'm going to feature: