Lonely Island

Storage, storage, storage. I wouldn’t say that we’re hoarders or
anything, but we are always in need of more storage. I think we are in
need of more storage than our 1950s home can provide us. This is
especially true in our kitchen. Our kitchen is fairly large and open,
but with limited cabinet and storage space. To be fair, we lost some
space when we put the dishwasher in. We gained some more when we
installed our pantry and our coffee bar, but we are still left feeling
stranded. Like we are on an island or something. Or rather we are in
need of a kitchen island!

Kitchen island layoutWe’ve been pondering this option from day one. Now we’re finally
moving ahead with it. We’ve measured and taped out a spot on the floor
and have spent the last week trying not to bump into our imaginary
island.
Measuring for a kitchen islandWe selected and ordered an island online and have copied the
dimensions, including extending leaf with stools. As it turns out, it’s
not as big and space consuming as we thought it might be. Now while we
stumble around avoiding a taped off box on the floor, we’ll wait for
our real island.
Kitchen island floor planBefore the island becomes a permanent resident though, we’re going to be laying down new laminate (faux wood) flooring. We’re saying “see ya never” to this ugly brown/yellow crap. We’ll be starting the flooring project this weekend with the goal of finishing it before our Halloween party on Saturday the 29th! We’ll see how that goes! 😉 Stay tuned to our tweets and then look out for a blog post about it!

You Can Call Me Al (Borland)

I’ve never in my life felt like much of a “handyman.” That seems to come with a negative connotation and conjures up visions of faulty wiring and not-so-level shelves. On the other hand, owning a home kind of forces you to become a “handyman.” I’ve also never really thought of myself as being any good at building things. I think I’m much better at the whole “taking it apart and putting it back together” thing. I’m more of a tinkerer or modification expert. I like to think I’m good at finding creative and practical ways to alter something for my own use. My Dad seems to think I’m pretty good (a regular Al Borland of Tool Time fame), so let’s take his word for it.I don't think so, TimWith that being said we’ve been quietly working on a lot of different small projects that involve a good bit of handy skills. We’ve also done some fairly basic things that have improved the quality and practicality of our living space. The kitchen has been a big point of contention for us in the landmark case of Megan & Andrew v. House.

kitchen before listing photoThat’s the kitchen before. Those are the listing photos, but they are really the most dramatic “befores” we have. The way the kitchen was in this condition just lacks the kind of storage we need. It also lacks the practicality that we crave. Mornings are crucial for both of us, so we decided to build a coffee bar of sorts.

coffee bar ikea stenstorpThis was a simple build, and is a combination of 2 IKEA units. The top shelf is a Stenstorp, and the bottom is a Lyckhem. The table also lets us make great use of the Kuerig we just got and the shelf has built in mug hangers for our new mugs.

target pull outOne of the best things we were able to do with the table was put these cloth drawers in the cubbie holes. We found them at Target and they just so happen to be the right size and the perfect fit! They match and are easy to pull out. Awesome!

flower pigAlso featured on the shelf is this pig that my Grandma gave us a year ago. I’m not sure if it is supposed to be a flower pot or if maybe it is supposed to be a pitcher or maybe a watering can? It seems to be working fine right now as a decorative pig with flowers.

tools on the floorTo end this post, I’m gonna bring it back around full circle. Here’s some shots of me working with various tools on the floor in various pants and short. Note the sparks coming off of the Dremel in the last one. Also notice the not-safe-for-the-workplace open toed shoes/flip flops. Would Al Borland approve? I don’t think so, Tim.

Besta da Best

After an early morning trip to IKEA in Elizabeth, we came home with some much needed practical kitchen furniture. As it turns out, showing up at IKEA when they open is one of the best things you can do to ensure a stress free day. There’s no one there, it’s quiet and when you’re done, you don’t have to wait in line for hours and hours.

Fridge Empty SpaceAh yes, the empty space conundrum, one of many conundrums we are faced with on a daily basis. We’ve got our new fridge in place and we’ve got our dishwasher and cabinets where they belong, but what to do with the blank spaces?! Fill it with the most practical and easy to build furniture in the whole world, direct from Sweden; IKEA.

Besta ShelfWe got a Besta shelf unit to use as a pantry next to the fridge. As usual with Ikea, the whole project goes from some pieces of wood and parts in a cardboard box to a fully functional piece of furniture in a matter of moments.

Ikea Besta PantryIn literally a matter of moments this cabinet went from a big white box to a fully stocked pantry, complete with a fanciful shelf liner! Wow!

Fancy Shelf LinerThat’s the Besta thinga that’s ever happeneda to us.

OK, so that didn’t really happen that fast but what did happen was we quickly got ourselves a good deal of storage space while not sacrificing our living space. That seems to be a theme with us, and that just so happens to be IKEA’s slogan for this year’s catalog.

“A home doesn’t need to be big, just smart.”