Begin Anywhere

Remember I was going to tell you where that “Start Somewhere” reference came from?  Well, it comes, in a roundabout way, from this card I stuck on my computer over the summer:


Dr. Jay got a new computer to go with his new job over the summer so that meant I could inherit his laptop.  Which looks VERY similar to his new computer.  We started having trouble telling the two apart so I took matters into my own hands and fixed that by taping a card I saw in a bookstore to it.  The quotation by John Cage is “Begin Anywhere”.  It spoke to me because at the time we were living with my in-laws and really had no idea where we would be moving but we knew we would have a new beginning soon.  We knew there was a beginning in store for us, but had no idea what it would look like or even where it would be.  So “Begin Anywhere” was just a way for me to think positively about the changes I knew were in store for us.  And John Cage is significant to me because at some point in college I designed a space around his piece 4’33”, so I’ve done a little reading about him and know a little about his theories so it made sense to me to think about John Cage while simultaneously contemplating our move and the impending changes in our life.

So how did we get to “Start Somewhere”?Image

Well, our first full weekend in house we had our parents come and stay with us and start helping us with some of the necessary projects.  My mother-in-law brought this little chalkboard and set it up the first morning with the words of wisdom from my computer.  Or so she thought.  I laughed when I saw it that morning because I knew exactly what she meant, even though Begin Anywhere had somehow become Start Somewhere.  Also good advice.

And it’s what we mean to do.  As far as the major work on the house, we’re starting with the kitchen.  Let me give you a preview of what we are working with.  Brace yourself.  There are appliances from when Eisenhower was in office.  There is wood paneling.  Oh is there paneling.  There’s linoleum.  There are gold-flecked countertops.  See for yourself:Image


ImageSee that angled door in the last photo?  That leads to the laundry room.  We’re thinking of getting rid of it entirely.  Rather, I REALLY REALLY REALLY want that odd little room to go away and become kitchen space, I’m just waiting to hear whether or not we can afford to relocate the laundry room.  Once our space plan is finalized, I’ll be sure to share it.  I worked feverishly this past week to finish some plans and elevations to give to a contractor for pricing.  Since I’m not with an architecture office anymore, I don’t have access to CAD software.  I finally downloaded a trial version of AutoCad for Mac (so I can use it on my new-to-me laptop) and I’m loving getting back into drawing.  Too bad my trial ends in less than 2 weeks and too bad a real version of AutoCad costs $4000.  Yes, three zeros after that four.  OMG is right.

Okay, back to the kitchen.  I am actually grateful that this kitchen hadn’t already been remodeled.  This way we can make all the decisions ourselves and not feel bad about replacing relatively new appliances or floors.  I mean, that refrigerator leaks OFTEN.  The oven door gets hot to the touch on the outside when it’s turned on.  And the gold flecks.  PEOPLE.  That counter never looks clean.

So, a new kitchen we will have.  Here’s a run down of what I am thinking.  Soapstone counters (these deserve their own post because what I’ve learned about them is lengthy), stainless steel appliances (some locations may change if we bust out that laundry room), marble subway tile backsplash, commercial-grade faucet, single basin stainless sink, white cabinets (we think we are having ours refaced, but we’re still waiting to hear if that will work), dark wood floors (probably a walnut finish) and new lighting.  If we take over the laundry space for the kitchen, we’ll gain a window which will be amazing for the light in the room, BUT we still need lights a night time and the single central light right now is pathetic. There’s actually a lot of lighting issues in this house, but one thing at a time and right now we’re talking kitchen.

Here’s an example of the look we’re going for.  Call these inspiration photos.Image


Both of these may be slightly more traditional than we are going for.  We definitely like a kitchen to have a more industrial vibe, but still warm.  I think the warmth will come from the wood floors and color by way of accessories and window treatments and some of the furniture.  I’ll leave you with a photo of one of the investments we’ve already made, some barstools in “lime-aide”.  I love these things and I think they are going to be perfect against a black countertop and white cabinets.   I had to snap this photo of Mark the other day, eating his snack at the counter.  This is exactly how I envision these stools being used and, let me tell you, they are really sturdy.  Mark has put them through the motions and these things are tough.



If you look closely, you’ll see that we’ve already painted some of the paneling white.  Times they are a changin’.

I’ll be back to tell you more about soapstone and our plans for appliances and floors and schedules, oh my!



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