Friday, September 28, 2007

Looks Good on Paper

So, I haven't posted for a couple weeks, mainly because we haven't made much progress. I hate these weeks of stagnation. But while we wait, why don't I tell you about a cool little service offered by Ikea?
We decided to do an Ikea kitchen, mainly because their prices are incredible. By happy coincidence, the Ikea aesthetic fits nicely with our rather modern tastes -- AND Ikea kitchens have tons of fun features, like drawer dividers for pots and pans, pantries with drawers instead of cabinets and garbage cabinets. Just kind of cool and well designed.
But they also offer this cool service through an outside vendor. For $350 these young designers will lay out your whole kitchen for you. They come and take measurements, then they do these 3-D renderings to show you what the final product will look like. They've been out to measure twice and have been really knowledgable about what Ikea offers and how to make it all fit. I've got to say, I'm impressed!

But don't take my word for it -- take a look at the layouts they produced above. Click on an image to see it really BIG. And there's another service through Ikea, a contractor, who installs the whole thing for $100 per cabinet.
Even with all of this expert help, Jim and I are still facing a decorating connundrum. We need to choose a floor tile, backsplash tile and paint color that match the "warm brown" cabinets and black granite countertop we've chosen. With such a dark-on-dark base, we want something lighter, and maybe with a splash of color. How it hurts to think our indecision could hold up the whole project. My goal -- if I dare say it -- is to have this kitchen done by Thanksgiving. That's the big holiday in our house -- we host it every year and invite both sets of parents. It's a production.
Will we make it? Stay tuned ...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Kitchen Confidential

(click on any picture above to see it MUCH larger)

Just want to show the latest situation in the kitchen. Hard to tell it's even a kitchen yet, except for the makeshift sink in the middle of it all. The space is already brighter, in large part because of the (newly lowered) garden window. But also contributing to the light is the absence of wall between the kitchen and dining room. You can see in the picture on the left that Francisco's men erected a counter-height divider — evidence that I lost the battle for bar-height. Jim's victory there means more openness between the two rooms and probably more light in the kitchen, which is always a good thing.

We had Jeff, the Electrician Magician, in to soup up the electrical in the room. One fun thing about designing a kitchen from scratch is being able to add quirky details that you've always dreamed about. For me, it was a bank of outlets. I never feel like I have enough of them in the kitchen, and you need them for so many things: The blender, the mixer, the coffeemaker AND the espresso maker. The juicer (so what if we don't have one yet?) the toaster, and the list goes on. So I had Jeff put an outlet, like, every two feet.

Did I mention that it's been years since I had time to cook?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Gab's Home Page

Are you on any of the social networks? MySpace, Friendster, Facebook, Shelfari, Twitter, etc.? If so, come be my friend! I aggregated links to all my social networks on my home page. (Yes, my home page. For all you teens out there, a home page is sort of a pre-cursor to MySpace. It's like MySpace without the perverts -- or maybe with the perverts, but without Rupert Murdoch ... Rupert Murdoch and perverts -- well, I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere, but I can't think of it right now.)

I'm no designer, but so you have it, here's a link to my home page, Gab's Livingroom:

Come be my friend!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Worse before It Gets Better

Just when I thought the kitchen couldn't get anymore gutted, I came home to find this: The entire wall between the kitchen and dining room GONE. And the garden window, which I had asked to be moved down has been removed and is now on the kitchen floor. It's progress, but the kind of progress that requires patience, because more trauma has been inflicted on the scene than had been previously and it just feels like forever before this monster job gets wrapped up.

This evening Jim and I ran errands at the mall. The Glendale Galleria to be exact. And while a part of me finds the place excessivly cringe-worthy due to its being the mall of my youth, (Let's face it. This is L.A. It's the mall I'm from.) It suddenly dawned on me that the mall is infinitely more pleasant than home. Especially for Poppy. There are wide expanses of carpeted flooring for her to run around (and fall down) on. No construction dust. No loose nails or shards of drywall. Climate controlled throughout. And multiple eat-in food options -- an essential for someone with no kitchen to go home to. At this point we don't even have a sink.

If it weren't for the temptation to shop, I'd move in.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Back to Windows

I return now to the windows. You saw the before pictures (and can see them again if you just scroll down the page). Now, here are the after pictures with our newly installed Superior vinyl windows in the color Almond:

Lower living room, inside and out:

It was only in looking at these new windows that I realized that the color our house is currently painted is an exact almond. So the window frames don't really pop right now because they're the same color as the house. That will change when we paint the Jewel of Hollywood a deep olive green.

Upper: living room, inside and out:

And finally a look at our new kitchen garden window. For the record, I would like to say something that will probably make my husband very happy:


He told me the bottom of the garden window should be the same height as the counter top. I argued that it was OK, and indeed preferable, for it to be higher than the counter. Now that it is installed, I see he was right. It's so hard for me to bring myself to do this, but I'm going to ask our contractor to lower it. Here it is: