Monday, September 2, 2013


In the past year, as I experienced living with people with whom I was not previously good friends, I have realized just how important my living space is to me and my emotional well-being. When I first moved out of the loft I shared with Precisely, I was renting a room in a house owned by a couple I met on the internet. It was cheap, it was flexible, it was in a good neighborhood, and I figured it would be fine.

It was fine, but it also made me more unhappy than I realized or wanted to give it credit for. I missed having a space that felt like mine. I really missed entertaining and having people over. It was isolating and lonely.

Luckily, it was also temporary and didn't last for very long, and I like my current apartment very much. So much in fact, that I signed on for a full year lease, and then decided that some upgrades need to start happening because if I'm going to be staying here, I want to like it.

As much as I love traveling, as cool as I am with living out of a suitcase and sleeping in strange beds, and as much as I get a thrill from adding to my frequent flyer account, I also really like having a home base. And more importantly, for that home base to be a place I am happy to come back to. So, I've started nesting again, and it's really nice.

I started with the kitchen. My Mom, who is the best, came out for the weekend to help me, and she got everything started while I worked, and kept painting while I ran out to send emails or make phone calls,  took me out to dinner, and showed up with multiple bottles of wine. Thank you, Mom. You made what would have otherwise been a tedious long weekend for me really fun and easy. Because here's the thing about painting. I always think it's going to be a breeze, and that it will go quickly and I'll enjoy it, and then I start and within 10 minutes I'm completely over the whole thing, but I've only covered half of one wall with one coat of paint, and have to keep myself motivated for hours until it's finished and I vow to never paint again.

I digress - back to the kitchen. It turned out so well. I'm very happy with it. And having a kitchen you like is so important, isn't it? Here are some perfunctory before and after pictures.

Before: ugh. Boring white walls, fake wood cabinets making the whole room seem much darker than it actually is, there is nothing inspiring about this room.

After: So much brighter! So much better. To quote Emily Henderson, "I'm gonna cook so hard in this kitchen!"

Before: Those cabinets were the bane of my existence.

After: Paint makes everything better.

Before: Expansive, maddening, never ending white.

After: Color and artwork (courtesy of my talented best friend). Now it's a room I actually want to spend time in.

We also left the cupboards open on either side of the sink, mostly so that I can show off my collection of stemware (a girl's gotta have priorities), and I love them. I love these cupboards so much.

My mother also disapproved of my former compost collection, which was happening in an old tupperware, so we bought a new one. Problem was, we could only find jars without lids, which doesn't work, but a piece of scrap fabric, an old hair tye, and some chalk board paint later - it's the cutest compost jar ever.

I still have some plans for this room (like getting rid of the table and putting in a tall butcher block counter along the wall instead) - but it's good to have goals. Life is boring when nothing needs to be improved on. In the meantime, come over. I'll make you dinner.


  1. Love it. I want to hire you to design mine.

  2. Hi there,
    Quite surprised a landlord would let you have so much freedom to do this, but that is cool! I noticed you have lived with several individuals in the past, do you still now? Coming from a Psychology background it does seem as though this may be all about you and what you want and not a roomate if you have one..

    To the decor'. Its okay, but a gray to white contrast while bright doesnt have much style. The stemware is nice but lacking variety, as most are in-expensive wine glasses. The artwork (3 paintings) on the wall have color but are definitely personal taste. One suggestion I would make is leave the table. It makes it "homie" and looks nice especially for guests. It does look brighter and a bit nicer in spots, but still a bit bland in my opinion..

  3. Hello,
    It is interesting what you have done with the kitchen, and it's quite a change. It is even more interesting that your roommate, who had been there a while before you moved in, was not aware of your plans until the plans were already made. It is also very interesting that you are planning to get rid of her kitchen table. Have you gotten her opinion on that yet? When you are living with a roommate, it is very important to communicate your wishes and feelings before you act on them. It makes for better living arrangements.
    The kitchen does look nice (although I would not have left the cabinet doors off). Did you ask your roommate what she thinks, and what she might want?

    1. Hello Anonymous commenters!

      Thank you for your thoughts, interior-design opinions, and questions. It's been flattering for me to discover that people other than my grandparents are reading this blog. Though, I do wish you had posted under your names. Connection and dialogue is so much better when you know who you are communicating with, don't you think?

      There seems to be a lot concern about my roommate's feelings on my re-painting the kitchen. I would like to assure you that I did not paint the kitchen in an act of spite or selfishness. I made the decision to paint the kitchen after she alerted me and my landlords to the fact that she would be moving out sometime within the lease period, and I re-signed for the year. She and I have discussed all this in person.

      Thanks again for your concern, and thanks for reading.