A Flurry of Home Improvements

mad as a hatter's tea party!

When I moved into this apartment, for whatever reason, I never fully settled in. It always seemed as though it would be a temporary landing space, even though I positively loved the neighborhood from the get go. It's possible I was just acting out in response to how seriously ugly the brass with fluted glass chandelier is that dominates our dining room.

15 years later, despite our recent efforts to look for a slightly roomier place to call home, we are still here in our wee rent controlled apartment in the fog belt.

Around my birthday, we made the decision to truly commit to living in this apartment and figuring out how to make the most of its limited space and cramped kitchen quarters. And thus, we have spent about one day per week since my birthday weekend refining the apartment.

The first order of business was going through all my books and CDs, paring things down, and reorganizing them on some new bookcases from IKEA. This prompted me to put some books up on Good Reads' bookswap, and to donate a bag full of books to the Friends of the San Francisco library.

I also took the opportunity to rearrange my pseudo pantry shelves, and take stock of all my excess canned goods (I probably had a dozen cans of enchilada sauce lurking in one cupboard…) With the living room and dining area under control (and sporting a stylish new rug), the last target for sprucing up was our bedroom.

We had an issue with water damage in one corner that we'd been putting off asking the property management to fix. When we did tee it up, one forgotten appointment (by them) and some 3 weeks later, we finally got the water damaged wall (the roof leaks in the corner) repaired and repainted. And while we had them here, we had them rehang the bathroom door so it will properly close (it's been stubborn and unwilling to close as long as I've lived here, thanks to an improper rehang after it was last painted.) And to top it off, we had them install the hardware for a curtain rod we picked up during our mega-IKEA shopping trip.

This afternoon, after a nice local and organic crispy chicken sandwich for lunch at Eats up the street, we came home and hung up the chocolate brown curtains, hung up the nicely framed rock and roll prints that had been sitting in a corner waiting for some attention, and can now say: this place looks like a home. Finally.

And it only took well over a decade to get everything in order…

Kitchen Envy

image from farm6.static.flickr.com

Walking to the spa to have a massage today, I stopped and peered in the window to gawk at this gorgeous huge designer dream kitchen at Kartell, as seen above.

It makes me frown when I see these huge display kitchens. Why? Because I already have a bad case of kitchen envy.

Our apartment is spacious by San Francisco standards, but it has a teeny galley kitchen designed for short people who don't actually cook any food from scratch. Every inch of my three countertops is covered with appliances — toaster oven on one, kitchen aid mixer on another, coffee maker and bean grinder on the third.

The cramped quarters mean that you'd be claustrophobic while cutting up veggies if the kitties are underfoot eating their dry food.

Some day, I'll have a kitchen big enough to cook and take pictures in. With an effective hood over the stove and with a window for airflow. But until then I'll suffer silently with my kitchen envy, frowning at the model kitchens I encounter as I go about my day.