Friday, January 3, 2014

Sliding into the New Year (With a Little Rearranging)

We had a quiet and uneventful Christmas holiday, thanks for asking. It was just what we always wanted. And while I've got a few stray boxes yet to be packed in storage, most of the holiday riff-raff has been put away until next December. 

I wish I could say I'm prepared for 2014's launch, but I'm sitting here in pajamas at 11 a.m. on a Friday morning, I appear to be so behind on laundry that I can't find a clean pair of pants, and I really NEED pants today because it was -5 degrees Fahrenheit at dawn this morning. This is not cute skirt weather, even with cute sweater leggings and cute boots, all of which I have. 

What I'm saying is that readers are getting a blog post because I'm waiting on the washer and dryer, and clean pants. Clearly I have very high performance standards. 

I'll be following up soon with a New Year's/New goals/Famous last words type post in a bit, but in the meantime, here's something I did while I was waiting for my cookies to bake and my holiday plans to gel: I rearranged the dishes in my dining room built-ins. 

I get in this attitude that if a room is in transition, why bother with the niceties? And my dining room has been in that place for a long time-- fleshy beiges, tacky 80s vinyl wallpaper, furniture I no longer like. There was one other picture I was going to share, but decided showing blog readers a photo of a dining room with an ironing board in it looked too much like a stage set from the old television show Hee-Haw. But this is where I am with this space: 

I'm beginning to change my feeling about this. Even with wallpaper half-peeled, doesn't shambling disorder make the situation even worse? Why would I completely ignore this room if I walk through it every day going from the living room to the kitchen?

This is the east built-in cabinet, with stacks of various dishes, paint chips, and some odds and ends I didn't want to lose track of: 

And this is the west built-in, which looks even sadder to me, somehow. 

It's the land of Misfit Tableware, orphaned gravy boats and all. 

It was bugging me as I was doing my annual holiday foofing and baking, so I took half an hour to clean everything out of there, put away, and rearrange. 

Here are my afters. First, the east built-in: 

And here is the west built-in: 

These corner cabinets were about 15 percent of my decision to buy this house. Call me superficial, but it was love at first sight. Even so, they need a fresh coat of paint, and that wallpaper insert taken off the lower door panel. I'd like to do something with color/wallpaper/shelf-liner in the inside, but have no ideas yet. 

Still, just tidying up in both made the room feel just a little better. Incremental improvements are a way of making me feel like there's progress until I find the time, energy, and money for the big bang efforts. 

Here's hoping there are a few of those big bang efforts in 2014. Oh, and clean pants. 


  1. I do believe we were separated at birth. Our bedroom has been in that similar "who-gives-a-crap-when-it's-so-hopeless" state for 2.5 years. Peeled wallpaper and all.

    I love those built-ins, and those would get me to drop a downpayment in a hurry, too. They look so much nicer now! Like the reminder that small things can make a difference, especially when you just keep doing them over time.

    Wishing you a great year! Can't wait to see what you do with it.

  2. Oh, Rita. More than you even know. My bedroom has been in the same state for about the same amount of time. :)

  3. Your built ins look great! Well done.

  4. Those built-ins are completely amazeballs.......I shudder every time I see them getting ripped out on those crappy HGTV re-do shows......I love them to bits and could only hope to have one in my "forever" house......maybe someday! The after pics looks fabulous - great job girl!!!

    1. Thanks, Sara! I love them to bits too. I will like them better with a slightly different paint color and something to spruce up the insides. Also, someone wired them, long ago, with a low-voltage light system...with bare wires. Yikes! That needs some help too. Add it to the list, right?