So we have come to a point in the house where all the cabinets are assembled, the floors are laid down and the plumbing is set up — but we are putting the final touches on electricity and well hot water. Both are essential to moving into the little shack of horrors. I wanted to wait to post final final photos so you could see it finally.

I spent last night in search of a couch. First, a tale of couches. I had for years a comfy green sofa that was very easy to fall asleep watching television It showed it age, and had kids and dogs jumping on it so it was retired for an IKEA couch, which, I do love me some MDF and particle-board constructed cabinets and furniture, but anything that involve foam, well, the Swedes don’t hit the target in my opinion. The couch we did own, well, it did not support your neck, so you’d fall asleep with your neck hanging back over the edge. Very uncomfortable. And the dark blue color gave me hives. It was a particularly virulent shade of bluish navy. Gave one bad flashbacks to catholic school uniforms.  But I digress from the situation at hand.. my search for a new couch….

I had the walls painted  a nice silvery color to complement my black and white photography. I did not want either a beige or chocolate sofa. I was hoping for either black, gray or red. (You know you are a graphic designer when color becomes first priority).  I decided to hit a very well known furniture store in Rhode Island. Oh god, oh god the horror.. Two hours later, I escaped the clutches of a high powered sale assistant named Susan. She tried to steer me towards every couch in there, even though I kept throwing out more and more bizarre yet strangely creative answers to the questions.

Reclining *Powered* (by what I wonder, a battery pack? I really don’t want to have to plug in a sofa in addition to my computers, TV and assorted lamps) Sofa: ”I don’t like the loss of control over my chair movements, plus, my dog would bark it.” I sounded like crazy level one.

Microfiber Sofa with Ottoman: It’s beige. I don’t like beige. Gives me strange thoughts. Crazy level two achieved.

Giant Sectional: “It’s a really small house. I have to have room for my three computers in the same room.” Crazy level three achieved. (This is true actually, and its not counting my iPad).

Small Leather Sofa: “My dog has really long talons.”  I make clawing motions with my hand. She looks a little frightened, but Susan, bless her heart sticks with a potential sale.

Giant fluffy couch with cushion explosions:  ”The pillows would shift about and drive me insane. Plus, you know, I’d spend all day rearranging them.” In the meantime, I spy a gorgeous turquoise leather chair and begin to stroke it. She then tries to sell me chairs, but I finally just take pity and tell her that I’ll be back, and walk out.

I discover at the next store telling them you left your cell phone in the car is a great idea. Finally, I make my way to Bob’s Discount Furniture, which I like the name I must say, even though the photo of a rendered 3D Bob is kinda creepy. And what CEO gets his photo taken in ratty sneakers? I suppose if he’s not making much money… but anyway, they have a clearance pit, which I wander in past the levels of cushion explosion beige and chocolate sofas, and see it. Charcoal gray, with a chaise lounge that my dog would approve of (and half off). They are discontinuing this line of perfectly beautiful, modern and plain lined sofa, and it was the floor model. The extra pillows are pretty awful, I suspect the designer may have had an off day in the world of fabric design, but that can be easily fixed.

Couch achieved. The best part? Someone else tried to buy it as I was swiping my card to purchase.

seriously, who designed the blue and beige zebra print pillows and WHY?

seriously, who designed the blue and beige zebra print pillows and why would you commit such a crime against the fabric arts?




  1. Go on a time when most people would not, say 7pm on a Friday night or 9am Monday morning. Do not, I repeat attempt to talk to the kitchen designer staff on a Saturday or Sunday. Poking hot poison filled needles into eyeballs is better than the madhouse scene that is a Saturday at IKEA. Friday mornings are apparently a prime time as well.
  2. Research and poke around looking at the kitchens you really like. Don’t expect someone to show you each individual ones. Or have other people waiting for the designers to be free want to throw you into a wardrobe and lock the doors.
  3. Don’t sit down with your private interior designer and Ikea coffee in the middle of the kitchen planning computers and spend 3 hours obsessing over every detail of your $7,000 kitchen. If you can afford to hire a private designer, why are you at IKEA? It will make your neighboring kitchen planners envision throwing you into a GRUNDAL shelving system.
  4. Pack a lunch, or eat first, you’ll be waiting awhile.
  5. Remember that your house may not have any numbers, so look foolish attempting to explain that its a really a house, but there are no numbers for delivery, then just explain you’ll have a sign.
  6. Note that if you order custom countertops, the price will jump considerably. Go back to the IKEA countertops.
  7. Realize that you’ll have to assemble the 65 boxes that are coming in five days.
  8. Panic about the 65 boxes that are coming in five days.
  9. Make a choice about the knobs, because you’ll have to drill holes for all of the them. If its too much of  decision, wonder if you really need them anyway, envision macguvering handles from duct tape.
  10. Debate about the knobs.
  11. Go back to Ikea and look at knobs. Panic about the cabinets that are coming in three days.
  12. Rinse and repeat.


I like to shop — especially for household goods. I left most of my kitchen ware and all of the bathroom stuff that I had owned in Burlington. But I took all my curtains. I horde curtains. I always feel a room is finished with the right set of draperies. When I tore down all of the curtains that were mine, I made sure to replace them with only the most garish and hideous that were left in the linen closet. Since the ex had the design aesthetic of a toadstool, I felt I was justified in my vindictive curtain shenanigans.

Since I am paying for a storage for the things I did take, like furniture and books, I have been trying to quell my inner shopper and buy things only on sale. Or are very small. However, I since I have been purchasing everything for the bathroom lately, I went online to see bathroom ensembles. This was clearly a mistake because I promptly became obsessed with a shower curtain which has a pattern of silvery gold dragonflies across it in the perfect shade of minty green.

I have a thing about dragonflies. They have symbolism is most places around the world and especially in Japan.

Maturity and a Depth of character
The dragonfly, in almost every part of the world symbolizes change and change in the perspective of self realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.

from: The Meaning of Dragonflies

I feel like the whole part of my life has been leading up to this change. Of course, I had to search three Bed Bath & Beyonds to find the curtain — and accessories in stock. One can not live on shower curtains alone.

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 10.05.20 AM

Now onto paint color!


I went to see Oz on Friday night, which of course I loved. Then spent the weekend obsessing over floors. I had originally picked out Tundra from IKEA in an oak finish, but it is not recommended in bathrooms.  So I went to a chain outlet which uses high pressure sales tactics and promptly fell in love with one of the more expensive laminate floors they had. The sale is on until Monday, so it looks like I’ll have to go back during my lunch hour on Monday. I should also get a commission from them because two people have already commented on how much they like it, and are going to think about doing it themselves.

It looks like everything for the bathroom is now done! I wish I could say the same about the rest of the house!


It is called Venetian Cream — it is lighter than it looks on photo. Pulls in a spectrum of warm and cool colors.

I also feel in love with the most expensive kitchen backsplash too. I could paper the back of the walls with dollar bills — and it would be cheaper. However, I feel that sometimes you need to splurge on one or two elements to really pull something together…but my focus is really on the bathroom today.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

There is something very funny about IKEA selling Swedish Fish.  I know everything that Ikea has, because I feel like I have been living there over the past few weeks, without the ability to curl up into a RESTA bed.  I went on Saturday, but it was far, far too busy, and I was armed with the shopping list of bathroom bits and pieces that I needed. I did go with the dark brown, simply because I was going to get white cabinets in the kitchen and felt that would have been far too much white cabinetry in such a small house.

The bathroom is coming together. The saga of the bathtub has been alleviated by the lack of space in the bathroom, so we had to go with a special sized tub and enclosure.

I went to IKEA last night to inspect the kitchen cabinetry. I had been torn during my late night wrangles with the IKEA Kitchen planner over two cabinet faces, and I went there to inspect everything Kitchen. I am a graphic designer by trade, and have wrestled with design programs since about 1999, including a version of QuarkExpress that would crash every time I went past six pages. In my head now, I have called Quark Express Lucifer, and thankfully most printing presses eschew the devil in favor of InDesign. Anyway, I digress, but back to the Ikea Kitchen Planner. I have nicked named this program “FRUSTRATO” which sounds like an apt Swedish term for how it functions.

It doesn’t allow you to change the settings easily on a cabinet, and when you buy an Ikea cabinet, you need to select faceplates, corner strips, deco strips. knobs and sizes. The original kitchen I designed, based upon the roomy 5×5 size with a side island for the sink, well, I forgot about drawers. Useful things those, are, drawers. Keeps things tidy. So I went back into FRUSTRATO and redesigned with drawers in mind.

Since I am a graphic designer, I started off with some pieces of inspiration. Funny enough, interior designers do the same thing. My kitchen table and chairs set from circa 1950, and these two handy images found online:


Retro kitchen sign from–still need to purchase.

From Pinterest:

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I made a decision based upon the look that I was going for (50′s vintage kitchen). I love everything vinyl and formica. AND I LOVE THESE COLORS.

Here is the kitchen table thats currently sitting in storage. Some of the vinyl may need to be re-upholstered. I got this for free from a cousin who was going to throw it away.

My table & chairs, this is was taken at  the Burlington house.

My table & chairs, this is was taken
at the Burlington VT house.

Photos from the work in the house coming soon!