Sunday, July 27, 2008

Thing of beauty

Last weekend, Steve & I went in search of a table base for a kitchen table. We've been eating every meal in the dining room for quite some time and while that is so very civilized of us, we longed for more casual meals in our kitchen. Actually what we really long for is not having to carry everything into the dining room for every meal.

We headed to a magnificent place called Architectural Artifacts. If you haven't been, go. You won't believe it. It's not cheap, but it is the best salvage place in Chicago and that says something. They have everything from $30K garden statues (I'm not kidding) to tables sprawling with antique tile to rooms filled with an amazing multitude of fireplace mantels. I glazed over at the sight of a half dozen or so polished cast iron fireplaces.
The owner, Stuart Grannen is constantly traveling the world in search of treasures. It shows.

They had a pretty good selection of table bases that I found to be pricey and nothing spectacular. Then, we came upon a selection of English pub tables. As you can see, we took one home with us.

The first thing we did after bringing it in was cut a plywood top for it. This served two purposes. One, we could use the table this way and two, we needed to determine the optimum size for our space. We started with just under 38" and that was too large. The scale seemed a little off in the room.

Steve cut a few inches off and the table size now seems perfect. Today, he went to another favorite place of ours, Owl Hardwood & Lumber to select some bird's eye maple for the table top he will be making. As I said, a thing of beauty, a forever table I am calling it.
As I'm writing this, Steve has just come home and is bringing in the wood. Bird's eye maple... He really knows how to get to me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

World's Most Famous Kitchen

I'm kidding of course, but our kitchen was featured again in a publication. This time Better Homes & Gardens Do It Yourself magazine.

After the Chicago Tribune, The Reader, and now we've gone national, our humble little 2-flat kitchen just feels so proud.

Nothing like professional photography to make your house look it's best too.

This interview and photo shoot was about a year ago and I had thought it was dropped, but then voila, 4 issues came in the mail this week.

Want to hear the funniest part about this? We actually are not "done done" with our kitchen. It's just hilarious I know.

The pantry is 97% done, just needs some trim work. We decided to add more cabinetry over the stove because believe it or not, we need more storage. And we have just purchased a table base for the kitchen so that we can finally have an eat-in kitchen! Steve will be fabricating the table top soon. And he still needs to make a plate rack too. Then, we'll be "done done," unless we decide to get new counter tops or something.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

This is the house that nature built...

We spent last week in Ludington, Michigan visiting Steve's parents. When we go there, we always get in a day of hiking and a short canoe trip.

As we walked the trail, the thought came to my mind that we were in "Nature's House". I studied poetry in college and sometimes it comes back to me. Not like it used to. I used to think in poems all the time, but when I got into the business world, that kind of went away.

I chalk that up to not being immersed in a creative workshop (as I was in college) and instead being immersed in the business world. I like when that poetic thinking comes back to me. To me that means that this part of me is still there, just kind of dormant for now.

Even a day hike is a lovely respite for my mind. Taking in the quiet and just noticing all the small details. Like this expanse of maple tree seedlings. I was really amazed with nature's abundance when I saw this.

Or this bit of a tree covered in moss that looked like a hand. "Nature's hand," I thought to myself.
Or this area where the dune and forest meet.

Some people need to travel the world to see things, but I am a firm believer that you can see quite a bit right in your own "backyard". Not that I am against travel in the least. But I'm all for being a tourist in your own town. It's amazing to me how many people rush through life and don't notice what's going on right beside them.

That's what a walk in the woods reminds me of.