Category: Around The House

Greening Up The Carport

Sometimes when I walk through big craft stores that have a faux plant section, I feel like I’m in a great aunt’s house, especially when I see the fake grape bunches. But that doesn’t mean that I’m too good for non-live plants. I love them! I have a penchant for killing succulents of all things, so I have a few fake succulents in small pots around the house. I also have been looking for a bigger faux plant to put under our carport to make it look more tropical and relaxing. I feel bad putting real plants under there since...

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Small Pool = Spool!

This summer in particular I’ve been driving myself to seek out water as much as possible after a drought of it the summer before for a reason I can’t really recall. I’ve gone to friends’ parent’s pools, to the lakebeach at Lake Murray, to the actual beach, and to hang out in another friend’s newly set up blow up hot tub. But that still is usually only on weekends. There are five days between each weekend that I could be submersing in water to cool down, relax, and just plain enjoy. So I’ve been trying as hard as I...

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Our Kitchen Renovation is Complete!

We bought our house seven years ago this month, and since the first time I laid eyes on it I knew one thing- that the kitchen had to GO. Like all first time, starry-eyed homebuyers, we thought the kitchen would or could be redone with saving for two years, max. We were so wrong. For years I tried to save and failed and tried again. Well, in 2015 I got serious about it and saved all of my freelance checks, so I had a little cushion to start. Then I started looking into how much it would cost to get the actual work done, the one totally unknown number. So I interviewed a couple of contractors. Then the numbers seemed pretty doable, actually. I still didn’t have enough saved up or a big enough line of credit on my card, so through the magic of putting myself into some debt with a home equity line of credit and a new travel rewards credit card, I suddenly had enough and started the wheels in motion. This is the first photo of the kitchen when we looked at it in March 2009.  With Jim and Andrew Heath of DadNDad Remodeling lined up to come in late December, and my Ikea kitchen plan in place, I started on the demolition, which I did all myself to keep costs down. I started about two weeks before...

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Kitchen Part 2 – The Shiny Stuff

Finally, let’s talk about the jewelry of the space, so to speak, the shiny things that your eye is drawn to. Initially we were going to keep our jumbo 42″ wide porcelain sink that was original to the house but did I mention my measuring technique? I didn’t factor the sink into the design. The 36″ wide Ikea base cabinet wasn’t gonna be holding that big sink. We let go of the dream and I bought a single basin stainless steel from Lowe’s. This one came with extras though to make it a two basin sink if needed. A colander and cutting board that fit in round out the package for a really cool sink. And right above that sink is a gorgeous pendant light.   (The window still needs one more piece of casing, and the drywall patches need a sand down and paint but that’s coming soon!) In Columbia, everyone knows One Eared Cow, a glassblowing company that makes incredible pieces. I didn’t think I’d be able to have one of their pieces for my very own, much less a custom piece, but as a friend told me, “What’s three to four hundred bucks in the grand scheme of the kitchen costs if it’s what you want?” I agreed, because I did want to infuse my big box kitchen with lots of local artists in an accessible...

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What You’ll Eat During A Kitchen Renovation

Like most people in these times, I turn to Google with questions. Medical ones, common sense but I forgot the answer ones, and ones I shouldn’t call people about at that time of day questions. So it only made sense that I asked Google what to eat during a kitchen renovation. What I found is that Google is an optimist. It didn’t tell me “LOL takeout, canned soup and microwaveables, sucker” but that turned out to be the case for most of the first two weeks of not having a complete kitchen, and also having everything that was once in said kitchen scattered throughout our house, stuffed in boxes in various nooks in every other room. Our home turned into a funhouse, where getting from the bedroom to the front door involved squeezing through narrow passageways and twisting to avoid knocking over a precarious stack of cabinetry. Before everything was ripped out of the kitchen and the stove shoved into the hallway, I did try to plan ahead and bought several frozen microwaveable and toaster oven meals from Trader Joe’s. But did you know those things leave you feeling hungry when you’ve been flexing your muscles destroying your home? True story. There goes convenience dishwashing… Another inconvenience of not having a kitchen is not having a sink or dishwasher. So we stacked coffee cups, spoons, and knives in the...

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About April Blake



April Blake edits web content by day and writes by night, usually about local food, unusual flavors, and craft beer. Please follow me on Twitter, but not in real life.

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