Archive for August, 2009
As we previously mentioned, we recently enjoyed a whirlwind trip to New York City and back, the highlight of which was meeting our new nephew:
And while we were bonding with him in his parents’ gorgeous uptown co-op, we finally got to see their new kitchen in the flesh, after months of makeover magic on their part. See, John’s older sister Katie and her husband Martin had been living with their tiny NYC kitch for too long, so they decided to move some things around and take their cramped space from wee to wow. Their former cooking area was just one short wall with a tiny old stove and a seen-better-days fridge. Here’s the before for ya (yup, that’s all the built-in storage they had- two bottom cabinets, one drawer, and a few more upper cabinets).
Of course there was no dishwasher (that’s the stuff of dreams in Manhattan), but Martin and Katie soon realized that they could make that dream a reality by utilizing the empty wall across from their tiny cramped kitchen and adding an entire L-shaped area of cabinets to their modest layout (thereby almost tripling their storage space and creating a functional work triangle to boot. Here’s the empty L-shaped wall (which used to include a now-relocated door to their bedroom) before the addition of some much needed cabinetry:
And here’s the old kitchen all gutted and ready for a retake:
After using Home Depot’s kitchen planning service (just like we did for our renovation last year) here’s their lovely new after of a kitchen:
New taller upper cabinets add even more storage space, and relocating the refrigerator across the room allowed for a mini dishwasher to be installed, which is seriously the most amazing perk in Manhattan. Of course the new stainless steel appliances and granite countertops have added endless value to Katie and Martin’s kitchen investment, and everything from the updated hardware to the gas stove keep the space feeling oh so sleek and current. We also love that Martin and Katie went for a few glass-fronted cabinet doors (two on each side of the room) to keep things open and to break up all that wood. We adore the glass door in our kitchen since it almost mimics a window and reflects tons of light, so we tell anyone who will listen that a few well placed glass fronted cabinets really can be the icing on the kitchen-makeover cake.
So there it is. A metropolitan kitchen that gained tons of storage space, function, and easy-on-the-eyes appeal. Do any of you guys have a tiny kitchen that you’re thinking of expanding? Anyone considering swapping out some solid cabinet doors for a few glass ones? Anyone else in the city jonesing for a tiny dishwasher like Katie and Martin’s? Let’s talk.
We asked him if he had any more home-related tips that might be of use to our readers and he thought for about a nano-second before spitting out this brilliant solution: cleaning old rusty tools with a common household item. That item, you ask? Well, it’s none other than some good ‘ol thirst-quenching Coca-Cola. Here’s what Almost Doctor Dan has to say on the subject:
To clean old rusty tools with Coke, submerge the tools in a tub or bowl of Coca-Cola overnight (not sure if Diet Coke or Pepsi will work – best to stick with original Coke). If you can still see rust, leave them for a few more days. Rinse them thoroughly, let them dry, and oil them if necessary to prevent future rusting. This works because Coca-Cola is loaded with phosphoric acid, which dissolves both iron and iron oxide (rust), but dissolves the iron oxide much more quickly. If you left the tools in there for months and months you would probably see significant dissolution (corrosion) of the steel, but for just a few days this isn’t a problem. For those who may be scared to drink Coca-Cola after learning this, just know that the contents of a healthy stomach are about 100 times more acidic than Coca-Cola. You aren’t harming your digestive system by ingesting Coke or any other dilute acid (i.e. vinegar, citrus juice), although they can be harmful to your teeth and esophagus. Of course Coke isn’t the healthiest beverage for those watching their waistline, so submerging your tools in it might just be the best way to use it.
So there you have it, a simple way to get rid of pesky rust and keep your tools in tip top shape. We know we’ll be breaking out some Coke whenever ours are looking a bit worse for wear, and you can’t beat the fifty-cents-a-can cost! And heck, it could also work for rusty metal candlesticks, vases and other decorative objects. Good to know. But what about you guys? Any other household items that you use to keep things clean or otherwise functional in your home sweet home? Do tell.
What makes Almost-Doctor Dan the smartest guy we know? Learn more about our resident braniac (and my little brother) right here.
Thanks for sharing all of your name and nickname stories on our latest giveaway from Name Your Design. We figured we should chime in with our own stories. Sherry’s name is simply the only name her parents could agree on (they both made secret lists using a baby book and it was on both). I’m named after my grandfathers, getting each of their middle names (Emanuel John + Harry Freeman = my name, John Freeman). Oh, and as for Burger, long before we got him we would laugh and laugh over how funny it would be to have a dog named Hamburger. So when we met this patty-sized chihuahua with a spotty cow belly it was a more than perfect moniker.
But enough jibber jabber. Before I get to the most important name of the day (our winner’s) we’re excited to announce that Name Your Design is offering not one, but two special discounts for you! Through August, you can get 20% of any print by entering “younghouse20″ at checkout. And if you’ve got your eyes on a Nie Nie Bird print, you can score a whopping 25% off by entering “nienie25.” No too shabby, eh?
Last but not least, we plugged all 1600+ of your names into random.org to see who would be the one deserving of a new nickname: Lucky. And that person who has won their pick from Name Your Design’s personalized canvasses (up to $125) is… Mama Mongoose (also known as Parker or P-Bird). Congrats! Do share which design you’ll be picking. It’s gonna be a tough decision.
As for the rest of you, we don’t typically endorse drowning your sorrows. But after you see next week’s prize we certainly won’t blame you if you’re reaching for the bottle. Yup, that’s a clue…