it all starts with cheap sometimes

It all started with a manufactured granite kitchen sink–a black one. Gorgeous compared with the old off-white, scarred enamel in my kitchen at the time. I’d scrub it every few days and get it all shiny and then as soon as I set a pot off the stone into it, there would be another stain to scrub. We replaced the stove, dishwasher and refrigerator about a year after moving in because the old refrigerator died suddenly one day while my temperature sensitive inoculations were sitting there. That off-white sink was the last vestige of the sub-par kitchen accessory left behind by the seller.

I was scouting all the hidden corners in Costco that day, to see if there was anything interesting and there it was. A few big boxes and a model thrown on top to look at. Holy moses! That would look stunning in my kitchen. A few days later, through the good graces and fix-it nature of my S-I-L who lives down the street, it was installed. Even the old scratched Corian counter perked up. And I was so amazed by the transformation, I went directly to the hardware store and bought a special polish for counter tops.

That decorating triumph led to a trip to Ikea and new black bookshelves that fit perfectly across the family room wall and now almost every one of my books live in the same part of the house that I’m in most of the time. When I think of something I remember reading somewhere–and usually I know just the book I read it in–I no longer have to go downstairs, or upstairs as it was in the Las Vegas house, I just walk over to the bookshelf and voila! There it is! I am reading a lot more without going to the library or ordering on Amazon these days. That’s a good thing.

As I noted, it started with the kitchen sink. And we all know that one thing leads to another and another and another. Today I sit here waiting for the contractor we’ve hired to come along and get back to finishing up the master bath/closet that are getting their turn at a fix-up. When he’s all finished, and we get all the debris cleaned out and the dust mopped up, we’ll have an additional two feet of walking space from what had been planned as a walk-in closet. Why anyone would have wanted a walk-in closet with a tiny passage between not one, not two, but three doors all adjacent to or across from one another beats my imagination! To get from anywhere you had to close one door and then slide open another. I lose the walk-in feature, but I gain a specially designed closet with space for shoes all lined up. And I get to dream about the extra four feet extension to the adjoining master bedroom I’ll be gaining later in the spring.

Then there’s the main bathroom. It would be lovely to switch it out from a kiddie size bath to a more contemporary and adult-style feature you’d be proud to point a guest to. And in the meantime, there’s a 50’s style bar and additional family room downstairs off the guest room. I’m thinking Kitsch theme will work perfectly there. Otherwise what will I ever do with the Mickey Mouse phone, my favorite sling-back reading chair, and the red, black, and white occasional tables I picked up at Ikea for $7.99–my cheap way of investing in our economy. I’ll let you know when or if it all ends eventually.

7 thoughts on “it all starts with cheap sometimes

  1. Ah, insanity indeed. My himself has been to the Habitat for Humanity store and bought enough flooring for the original tiny bath downstairs. Slowly we inch toward finishing this place…..while he is unemployed. We have bookcases, and in two cases they are floor to ceiling, in the living room, hall, bedroom, and computer room. I may have let a lot of stuff go, but never the books.

  2. Oh this brought back memories! When I was little I decided to fix my mother’s little stand by the bathroom sink so the towels wouldn’t fall out the back … I put a back on it, painted it and put a little curtain across the front! Mother loved it! But the bathroom then needed remodeled and it went out into the hall, then the kitchen! She was really grateful for that little project of mine!

    Yours sounds pretty … you will have to post pictures

  3. Projects tend to morph. Last summer, I decided it was time to replace the cracked concrete slabs on the front sidewalk and steps. I talked to three contractors, and we tossed around ideas. One guy suggested replacing the broken slabs, another visualized a new paver walkway, and the third guy felt that flagstone would be perfect. These ideas were as varied as their pricetags. After visiting a local landscaping supply yard, I walked away coveting the flagstone. Guess I couldn’t find anything more expensive. As the gorgeous flagstone was being cut and laid, I decided that I needed yard lights and also new landscaping for the front yard. This summer, I’m getting new lights for the back yard. Please, someone cancel my subscription to Landscape Architecture magazine.

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