Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Uncovering History...In My Sock Drawer

No one gives thought to their sock drawer, at least not much anyway. I don't mean the actual socks in the drawer - a well-stocked supply avoids the need for the dreaded smell test - but the actual drawer itself. Until recently, I considered myself among the blissfully ignorant.

It all started when I posted pictures of our recent bedroom renovation project. A photo captured the corner of our room where I keep my dresser. One of my wife's relatives commented, "love that piece." I began thinking: this is really a nice dresser.

This piece of furniture has a long history. At some point in the 1950's it had a happy home in a guest room of a Boston hotel. The name of the hotel is still up for grabs in family folklore. But in the early '60's the hotel closed (or remodeled), and it made its way from Boston in the trunk of my great uncle's car. It made it to White Street in Quincy, where my mother used it as her dresser until she married my father.

In the mid 1980's my grandparents and parents bought a two family together. For the next fifteen years this dresser accumulated dust in the basement and was used to store Christmas ornaments. I noticed it in college, and brought it out of the basement to use in my room. I've used it ever since.

After hearing the history, I decided it was worth taking a second look at the details. I must admit, I have seen one too many episodes of Antiques Roadshow. They are always finding the imprint of Paul Revere on the backside of a bedpan or an artist's signature on the back of a blue ceramic hippo. So, I decided to see if I could find some clues.

And, much to my surprise, I found an imprint- In My Sock Drawer!

The imprint said it was made by Paul McCobb as part of his Planner Group. Apparently, McCobb is a famous furniture designer (Wikipedia).

McCobb's designs were counted as some of the most popular in contemporary furniture during the 1950's.

Who knew this much history could be uncovered from a sock drawer!

Monday, January 24, 2011

It All Comes Together

The first thing I have to say is that it is really hard to take pictures of the nook. In order to get a good picture, I had to open the window and stand on the side porch. I also need to become a better project photographer. I keep getting into projects and then remembering I forget to bring the camera. Since the last post, I installed the cabinet surrounds and built a custom wine rack.

Put to good use already.

...even better use!

Repainted kitchen.

Sarah's cookbook collection.

Countertop and Plan B

Home Depot doesn't stock our counters anymore! Instead of trying to find something that was "close," I decided to go with something completely different. I found a butcher block counter at Ikea for under $50.

I had to remove some of the surround moulding in order to fit it in.

Fits great!

Long Week-End Adventure

Behr's new sample size was perfect to cover the entire cabinet and was cheaper than buying a small can of paint. The purple paint will get covered with a few layers of clear coat.

Working on the cabinet.

After putting up the backsplash, I put in some bracing to make sure the cabinet went in level.

And voila: perfectly level. We didn't get a good picture of the installation because it took two of us to hold the cabinet in place and use the drill.

The base cabinet was a lot easier. To maximize space I installed an Ikea shelf system. I had to trim it down from 4 to 3 bins, but it otherwise fit great.

It's starting to look like something!

New Kitchen Color

First Steps

Moving our wooden pantry out of the way was the first step in the project. It served us well, but doesn't really fit the space. It will do well to serve as storage in the basement for all our bulk purchases we make with our new BJ's membership.

When we first moved in the nook was a hodgepodge of wooden shelves and a homemade cabinet. Since we used the wood pantry, there was no need to take out the shelf supports. Now they need to go to make room for out new cabinet. Of course, they didn't go without a fight.

So there's a lot of patch work and plastering ahead.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Picking Materials

I could spend hours in Home Depot. Sometimes I do. But this time I was on a mission. I really like the kitchen color combo I found Here. One problem: I don't want to repaint all of the kitchen cabinets. So, I'm going to use green for the walls and paint the wall cabinet in the nook purple. The tin backsplash is going to continue from the rest of the walls.

I was able to find most of what I wanted today:

Nook Project

I must say that I generally try to be more creative with my post titles. But apparently Barnes and Noble has "Nook" all locked up in the google search market. The best I could come up with own my own was "I Did it All for the Nook(y)," but that seemed a bit much. So, you got "Nook Project." And that is exactly what we are embarking on.

When we first bought our house, the kitchen was gross. We fixed up the cabinets, painted, covered the old backsplash, and put down a new floor. Generally, we were happy with the results, but it was one of our first projects and it needs some fine-tuning.

Most of all, we need more storage. There is a small nook (better word?) in one corner of the kitchen. We originally bought a small wooden pantry to go there, but there's lots of wasted space and it doesn't look quite finished. My plan is to maximize the space and make the kitchen look a little fresher.

This is the first time I've drawn a project plan. I'm going to try to stick to it.

The kitchen when we bought the house. The nook is on the other side of the wall from the stove, facing the dishwasher. Because of space, it's hard to photograph.

The kitchen now. It's time for some different paint.

The Dog House

I had to get at least one picture of our dog, Gilligan, here on the blog. He's a four-year-old labradoodle.

You'll note that Gilligan has his own sign over his water and food bowls. I made it out of MDF by sketching a rough bone design and then cutting it with a jig saw.