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Posted by on Nov 11, 2011 | 2 comments

Let’s Get Organized! Creative Storage for Small Spaces

Let’s Get Organized! Creative Storage for Small Spaces

Undoubtedly, the subject comes up in all of my conversations with folks from the Del Ray area — I can’t get organized because I don’t have STORAGE!  Well my friends, I’m here to report that we have options! We have had the great opportunity to tour many houses in the Del Ray area and have gone through our own houses to offer you some easy solutions for organization and storage.  So sit back, take notes and apply: Books What to do with all of your books (because we’re all smart, we have so many). This is a built-in bookshelf in the entryway, jammed with books, DVDs, and CDs. A great use of space. Why not color-code your books while you’re at it and make it a piece of art? We’ve seen this idea fulfilled in two home tours, the perfect book shelf for small homes. In one, the homeowner took out the upper railing and installed a bookshelf with a new railing. In the other, the stairway has become a...

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Posted by on Oct 17, 2011 | 8 comments

Delicious New Look for a Drab and Dated Kitchen

Delicious New Look for a Drab and Dated Kitchen

A couple of months ago we featured the fabulous color-coded bookcase designed by my friend Liz Cherry. Last week, I visited Liz again to take a tour of her renovated kitchen — the transformation is nothing less than remarkable. Liz and Cameron bought this 1940s cape as-is in 2009. Aside from repainting the walls and having the wood floors refinished, renovating the kitchen was a major priority. The kitchen came with an overdose of dark caramel colors. Those cabinets without doors (and not in a trendy open shelving kind of way) are awkward and confusing. And topping the list of weird features were the side-by-side ovens. The one on the left from the early 1990s didn’t work. The one on the right is the original and when it was used (yes  it still worked!) the outside got about as hot as the inside. It finally conked out, but not too soon for Liz to burn herself on multiple occasions. Don’t let its cool retro look deceive you. The layout was also awkward — a refrigerator...

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Posted by on Sep 8, 2011 | 7 comments

RIBBA to the Rescue

RIBBA to the Rescue

In the past 7 years living in my Del Ray rowhouse, I’ve tried so many ways to organize my small galley kitchen. Where do you keep the stuff you hardly use that takes up lots of space like your electric mixer, blender, and Cuisinart? Where do you store plastic containers whose lids and bottoms never seem to match? What about various oils, vinegar, and spices that you only needed a teaspoon of for a recipe you made six months ago and probably won’t make again? It’s an unending battle. I’m constantly simplifying and sorting. My latest attempt at organizing occurred this past weekend when I installed narrow shelves on an unused wall by the door to the basement. Here’s the before shot of this wasted space, screaming for attention: Without a pantry, I wanted a place to store frequently used items like pasta, rice, flour and sugar, and open up more space in the kitchen cabinets for rarely used items. I thought using clear containers would be both functional and...

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Posted by on Aug 3, 2011 | 3 comments

Soulful and Spacious – A DIY Kitchen from Start to Finish

Soulful and Spacious – A DIY Kitchen from Start to Finish

Elin and Peter’s breathtakingly gorgeous kitchen remodel in their Del Ray rowhouse is all the more impressive for the fact that they did practically all of it themselves. They obtained the permits, construction plan, design drawings, and contractor licenses from their vendors. They researched and purchased all of the resources. Peter did all of the demolition and the heavy labor in general. They had hands-on help from one of Elin’s friends and worked side by side with a handyman, who essentially provided the tools and oversaw their work. The only work they contracted out was the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. A glimpse of the stunning end result, before getting into the nitty gritty. Their Inspiration Elin and Peter wanted an open plan and the kitchen space to be connected to the living area, as well as seamless in terms of style and color. They entertain a lot and wanted to prep and cook while socializing. They wanted bar seating in the kitchen, as well as a formal dining option. And...

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Posted by on Jul 21, 2011 | 0 comments

Move-in Ready Kitchen? Yes, Please!

Move-in Ready Kitchen? Yes, Please!

Amy is a lucky lady. When she purchased her rowhouse four years ago, the kitchen had already been renovated. The previous owner did an outstanding job selecting quality materials and creating an efficient and attractive space. Amy didn’t have to make a single change or endure any stressful renovation projects. Although we don’t have any “before” pictures, I saw the kitchen before it was updated (I live in the house next door), so I can attest to its once dismal state. There was no dishwasher and almost no counter space. The cabinets and the walls were both painted the color of key lime pie. While I love key lime pie, I don’t think I would love it in my kitchen. In the photo below, imagine a wall instead of the large island (see the before photo from this post to get a better idea).  The island provides much-needed counter space as well as storage underneath.  The previous owner could have installed upper cabinets, but opted for a more open concept. Mechanical ducts...

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