Wednesday, February 27, 2013

One Project at a time please

One of my home improvement magazines did a section for new homeowners.  Among the gems of advice was only take on one project at a time. 

So we got one of these over the weekend.  Nightingale's sister had one in her basement and since we couldn't get our shit together in time to pilfer it before they moved it to Michigan and packed it away in someone's basement, we had to go out and buy our own.  It's only $200 which isn't bad as far as snap-together IKEA furniture goes.  And we're not quite yet at the point where $200 will make or break us, though if we don't rent or sell my condo soon, we might have to get jobs for the cats.

Nightingale is very happy because she was able to put away a lot of things there were stored in plastic bins which makes me happy because now we have a lot of empty bins which can go away and we now have an almost empty basement floor.  That means I can order the furniture I've dreamed about for years.  Though I'm holding off on that until I know for certain what we are doing with my condo (rent or sell).

I would say at this point we are 95% unpacked and 70% organized.  We have a few bins of stuff that just won't get unpacked now and in fact likely never will be unpacked.  It will live in the attic for the short term until finally we run out of space or need to make better use of the attic in which case it will fall into the "we haven't used it in 5, 10 years’ time to get rid of it".

I think the next step is to move everything that hasn't found a home into the attic and start hanging the various artwork, mirrors, and other things that need to reside suspended on a wall to be fully appreciated.

There are a few other more involved projects.  By that I mean once you start them, you cannot or should not ignore them because until they are completed, your life will be in disarray.

I want to epoxy the garage floor.  In spite of the unseasonably high temperatures, I still have to wait for the warmer weather of the spring before I can tackle that project.  The level I want to take it to will require having our cars not in our garage for at least 72 hours, perhaps an entire week.  I've avoided bringing over my table saw and other tools from my mom's basement specifically so that I have fewer things I need to drag out of that garage and store in the basement

We were going to pick up some bookcases and perhaps a "bridge" to build out our coat rack storage system.  We want to utilize this bench that I got from Target a million years ago along with this shelf that I got at a yard sale and touched up.

However, we have some limitations and want to think about this before we get ahead of ourselves.  We have 71 inches of space to work with.  The storage bench we are trying to utilize is 40 inches so that leaves 31 inches to work with.  It is fine if the edge of a bookcase goes past the door opening by a few millimeters but anything beyond that would be unacceptable.

Our first option was to get two Billy Bookcases from IKEA because, at 15.75 inches, they would line up perfectly.  Unfortunately, these are very simple plain looking bookcases; they just don't make a good impression when you walk in the door.  Also, we would not be able to utilize a wall/bridging shelf effectively.

A much better-looking bookcase is this Hemnes Bookcase.  Unfortunately, it is 19.25 inches wide which would be too long if we try to use two of them.  Therefore we have to wait and determine a few things.

  • It might be a case of me building something custom.  That could take time as I build up skills and also cost as much or even more than buying stock pieces.
  • We could keep looking until we find another bookcase that happens to be the right size and yet elegantly built.  Doesn't seem likely as 15 inches seems to be the minimum width for a functional bookcase.
  • We could use just one bookcase, a bridge, and be done with it.  I'm not opposed to that idea but I'm also not ready to spend the money to find out it looks funny, so I need to figure out a way to sketch it out first.
  • We could not use the existing bench but then that creates two more challenges.  What to do with the existing bench and what to use in place of it?
Every option has its own set of drawbacks and what-ifs.

Update:  We went with this option.  


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