Tuesday, November 3, 2009

That's Better

Urbanites and suburbanites have entirely different expectations about their homes (and lawns). After all, if you live in the city — where most homes were built in the early 1900s — "keeping up with the Joneses" has to look a bit different.

Suburban Neighbor to Mr. Jones: "Hey, how’s that home theater project coming along? Man, it’ll be nice to watch the games down there! Ya think there’ll be room around that fancy new wet bar for me and guys? Sure hope so!"

Urban Neighbor to Mr. Jones: "Hey, how’s that foam insulation project coming along? Man, it’ll be nice not to have ice forming in that south-facing bedroom this winter! Ya think that’ll solve your mold problem? Sure hope so!"

Luckily, we haven’t had any major issues with our house....yet (knock on wood). We have completed a few projects to make it more livable, though. For example, our kitchen cabinets are original to the house. The layout is a little odd, but the cabinets are large and made of solid birch. We talked about replacing them, but I choked at the thought of destroying something so central to our home's history.

So for now, we’re working around them. In October, we repaired some of the kitchen walls, put up a fresh coat of paint, installed a pegboard pot rack, and bought a small kitchen cart. Little things, to be sure, but they’ve made a big difference.

East Wall Before:

East Wall After:

We also bought a new stove and are having a chimney-style vent hood installed. But I won’t show you those “before” pics until we can take the “afters.”

I’m quite happy with the little changes we’ve made. Does my kitchen ever seem small? Sure. But I remind myself that families much larger than ours survived in this house just fine. In fact, families all around our neighborhood are surviving in kitchens like ours right now.

It’s all a matter of perspective.

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