June 8, 2011

a wee tour

Here is a wee tour of the apartment, or at least most of it. When I was taking the photos I was NOT ALLOWED in the kids room because they were building something (Lego ninja stadium as it turned out) so we'll have to visit that room later. I've got plans for it in the works anyway.

The whole of our place is about the same size as the downstairs of our old house. So, roughly 2/3 the size of the living area but without the benefit of the huge basement for storage, which makes things a little tricky.
First up, the living room. See those yellowy walls? They are driving me nuts. As soon as we get a little more settled into a routine, they are being painted. No matter what time of day I photograph in here, it looks yellow. Yuck. But other than that, it's a pretty good as far as size and shape. I ordered a new rug for this room because our floors are supposed to be 80% covered and the old one wasn't cutting it. Oddly, the bigger rug makes the room look way bigger. Which has me wondering about getting a bigger one for the bedroom as well. Maybe down the road.

We still need some more art on the walls but everything we brought is up, so I'll be on the hunt through the year for a few things to add (always fun)
The only thing I don't like much here (other than the paint) are the heavy grates on the window. Don't get me wrong, I know why they are there, but they make me feel a little like I'm in jail. Beyond them is a fire escape which we can go out on but haven't yet because we don't want the kids to get any ideas. I might put some plants out there though. Also on the list here is to put a small thin shelf behind the couch. We have a ton of boxes sandwiched up back there and so it sits off the wall a bit. Will mentioned that it would be nice to have a place to put coffee mugs and the like so I've got plans to have the hardware store cut a piece of plywood that can be painted and mounted on brackets.
Just off the living room is our room. It's spacious and much lighter, strangely, since it has the same paint and the same number of windows. It must be the grates that cause the living room to look darker. Who knows. We wanted to give the kids this room and I still wish we could because theirs is TINY. But neither of the other rooms can fit a full bed and still have doors that open. Ah well. Because we don't have much extra closet space (meaning none, nada, zilch) I've put the baskets that used to hold our clothes under the bed to hold all of our off season clothes and linens. Also the cat sleeps in them. She changes which bin each time, just to throw the kids off when they come looking. Smart kitty (more on her later)
All of my craft storage is in here in the white boxes along with my machine. Unfortunately the missing box also seems to have my sewing notions in it so my good scissors, all my thread, buttons, snaps and sewing machine accessories are MIA. Rats. Also. the closest fabric store is in the Fashion district WAAAAYY down town. I went there yesterday and it was, well, not like popping out to JoAnn. (both in schlepping and in the type of people shopping there) The fabrics were amazing but I was so overstimulated by choice that I forgot things like thread and extra needles. Double rats. It's a long way down there with two kids.
Our bedroom leads into the office/schoolroom/dining room. It's not as pretty and calming as our old dining room and I miss that, but it pulls triple duty.
During the day the kids have been working on projects there (painting, computer time, puzzles) and it's where Briton and I will do a lot of our work in the fall. For dinner we pull the table out from the wall and round up the chairs. Two office chairs, one kitchen stool and Evie's chair, so we can all eat together.
After dinner back goes the table so that Will can work at his little desk in the corner. Like I said, not super pretty, but functional. And with some more kid art and some plants in the window, I think it will be a pretty fun space for all of us. That thing on the table is part of my spruce the kids room up plan. more on that later.

Ah the kitchen.
Will thinks the bathroom is the worst room but (as you'll see) it's not too bad. Old, yes, but in a classic kind of way. It doesn't really bother me. But the kitchen is just plain ugly. The problem with getting to design your kitchen from scratch and then leaving it is that everything else from then on will be not quite as good. And something that is functional but really pretty darn ugly, well, ugg. On the bright side, I've always wanted a comfy chair in the kitchen and this weird too small for a table space seems to work for that. My view is of our bikes, but whatever. I'm heading to the farmers market later today to get some herbs and house plants for that window though, it's begging for it. Also on the bright side, I have about twice as much cupboard space as I used to. Should have brought the waffle iron and the crock pot after all. Live and learn.
And finally, the bathroom. See. It's not too bad. What? Oh, the thing on the toilet? That, my friends is a cat toilet training tray. Yep, toilet training. the litter box was too much to deal with so we got one and are well on our way to having a toilet trained cat. This is not our first foray into cat toilet training, by the way. Will trained the cat we had in collage to use the pot as well and Ella was trained when she was younger. She was hit by a car when she was about a year old and, despite broken hips, miraculously survived and dragged herself home. After she healed we kept her in and trained her, so this is more of a refresher course. I know your jealous. We could be in a circus freak show, right?

And that's about it. You can see the entry hall in one of the living room pics. We're going the shoes off route so most of the time there is a pile of shoes at one end. I need to find a bench to replace that table because it's hard to put on your shoes standing up in a narrow hall, but we'll get to that. I've also asked my woodworker extraordinaire dad to make something like this for me which will solve the winter/fall coat issue that I know is coming as well as the where to put the mail problem. Can't wait.

So, now I need opinions. What else should I do? How many rooms should I paint? The living room for sure and maybe the hall? Can't decide how much work I want to do here. Any ideas for making the kitchen less blahtastic on the cheap? What do we think?