Thursday, May 15, 2014

closet and house stuff

So as you might expect, by now I have put the clothes in the closet.  Like so:

In the foreground there is a pile of sweaters, sitting on top of my little CD/alarm clock.  They are supposed to go on my husband's sweater shelf in here:

But I couldn't reach it.  I figured that he could, and he agreed to put them up here, but he didn't understand it to be pressing in the way that I did.  Ultimately I fetched the stepstool and put them there myself, but I didn't take another picture.  I have the right side of the closet:

Including the shelves in the niche:

Both of us have suits on the full-width lower rod.  Mine are below: 

Look - the floor! 

And the ceiling! 

As planned, I am using my extra-high bar on the right for my dresses, which are longer than shirts and jackets. 

It's all very exciting.  I want to clarify a few things.  First of all, the night I published my last post, I went home and suddenly realized how my closet - which so sadly looked like a builder-basic special (only blue) after all my hard work - could have looked beautiful.  Designed, even.  I could have used a fluted wooden porch column in the center, to hold the rods on each side.  I could have used nice rod-end hardware to hold the rods at the ends.  (Uh, obviously.)  I could have supported the shelves with cleats around the walls (back and sides), and the half-width shelf could have been supported in the middle with a decorative wooden corbel.  Then I wouldn't have had any ugly metal brackets, and there would have been pretty stuff in my closet. 
Behind the clothes, where it couldn't be seen. 

And it would have cost a good $100 more.  Once I got the clothes in there, I realized that that was really stupid.  Good design, for a closet, is actually all function, I think.  If the functional design is good, it will look good, but it can only look so good because it's a closet.  IMHO, our closet looks pretty great.  When you look through the door, you see a neat row of shirts, and a neat row of suit jackets.  Topped with sweaters.  Given the number of higher-end stores that look pretty much like that, I think we're doing fine.  A porch column would be a great idea for a pretend closet. 

Second clarification.  I still have not put in the fancy hook (no decent reason - it already came in the mail - I just have to find the right size wall anchors in my stash and get that done).  I'll share a picture when it's in, because it will be awesome.  I also haven't put the conduit over the run of wiring on the left side:

Now that area is concealed by shirts, and I am getting tempted not to do it.  But I should at least give it a shot in case it's easy.  I will not be sharing a picture of that, because it will not be awesome. 

Also, I have made some progress cleaning out and reorganizing the two closets in the other bedrooms (which we were formerly using), and the armoire in our room, but I have not yet re-established a linen closet (in the armoire, probably), meaning we still have this situation:

I also haven't finally decided what furniture goes where, largely because that will require me to move an extremely heavy armoire (it's oak) and a highboy that is not that heavy empty, but presently is full, and is taller than I am, so still a pain to move.  Plus another dresser that is only quite heavy rather than ludicrously heavy.  But I will get there (shortly) and then there will be pictures (that are of no interest to anybody). 

Meanwhile, I did so much work in the garden that no one but me can see the amazing transformation, which I sincerely hope actually will look amazing some time this summer, or at latest next summer. 

And also, on Sunday (peculiarly enough), my stove came.  (It was supposed to come last Friday - this is the second stove; the first one came two Fridays before, but was badly damaged.  I figured a delay was just going to be the start of the problems with the latest stove, but it was undamaged and looked brand-new.)  I failed to take a picture of my kitchen with two stoves in it and a cabinet pushed in front of the door, but that looked weird, as you can imagine.  (As people who have bought new stoves will know, delivery happens on one day; installation is later.  So for some period you will have two stoves.  And my kitchen is not large.)  The installers came Wednesday.  Whereupon they changed this situation:

Which I just never liked - somehow it was not quite working, aesthetically.  Please note that I did not buy a brand-new stove because I thought the old one (which I am also responsible for selecting, although it was just $170) was ugly.  I replaced that one because repair to the oven door was impossible, causing it to be dangerous, and it had additional defects that would have cost more to repair than the stove did to buy.  So now I have this:

You may be able to see that I kept the spice-and-condiment rack from the prior stove, which was probably my favorite part of it.  (It came with that, by the way.)  It was attached to the old stove by brackets screwed onto the back, which I (uncharacteristically wisely) spirited off the old stove and hid before the installers came, in case they should want to steal my spice rack and/or its hardware.  (I also kept two burner grates and two oven racks.  You never know when they might come in handy.)  In a stroke of good fortune, the spice rack sits perfectly square on the back of the new stove with no brackets.  It's heavy (and full of glass), so if it wobbled at all, I would screw it into the wall, but so far it is contentedly inert. 

A broader view of the wall. 

Oh, and look - from the other direction!  So, what do you think?  Is it an aesthetic improvement?  I think it's better.  I can't decide whether it's all the way better, or what that would even look like in theory.  I think probably maybe best would be something the same color as my cabinets, but maybe best would be an Aga (actually I think that probably is true by definition).  But I am happy if this is good.  And I think that it is.  My little tea-towel there is covering up the cute shape of the oven window, but I think what with the styling of the controls it still looks kinda retro.  Plus there's the shape of the burner grates - which I didn't photograph.  That's also retro (in my view, based on my many hours of staring at mid-century stoves). 

So far it has only heated water for tea and baked pizza, but it did both of those things plenty well :).  And no part of it is broken that I can see.  The programming features are intuitive and easy to use - already better than its predecessor's.  In the next week, I intend to test it on homemade bread, cookies, and broiling the Gruyere onto some French onion soup.  (Yes, I know it is not soup season.  I haven't had a working broiler in a very long time now, and cheese is at the top of my list of things I miss broiling.  Followed closely by summer vegetables, pork chops, and salmon.  We'll get there shortly.) 

I think my kitchen is done now. 


  1. You did an amazing job with your closet. Is there anything you can't do? (I think not.) :)

  2. Yeah for the closet and stove projects being completed! Now you can make your soup and eat it too...and why can't you eat soup now? I didn't know it had a season. I eat it all year long...maybe not when it's super hot out so maybe most of the year makes better sense, huh?

    1. You're right - I'm not trying to be a loon with the soup seasons. I merely mean that (a) I start to really crave soup when it gets chilly in the fall and (b) it gets SO hot and humid in summer in DC (and that phase will probably set in firmly in about three more weeks), and I have no central air conditioning - so the attraction of cooking something that needs to simmer for 45 minutes or more, or indeed even of eating something steaming hot, is limited indeed. We may get one or two more clammy, chilly days, though, so soup is not out of the picture yet.