In which the author tells you how to run your life -- or at least how to make the most of the fun parts of it.

For instance, inside these pages you will learn how to weather a mortar attack in good spirits; how to avoid booking yourself on the Internet into a bed and breakfast full of twee quilts and dusty tchotkes; and how to plan a dinner party that will stun your guests with deliciousness and style and not destroy your will to live with the amount of work you have to do to pull it off.

These are things I know firsthand, and things people who know me often ask me about (though I usually just book them into bed and breakfasts myself -- identifying ruffled death traps is an acquired skill). I am almost always right about everything (food, style and travel-related, anyway, and often many other things) and if everyone would just do as I say, dinner would taste better, cupcakes would not be dry, your parties would be more fun (for you), and mortar attacks... well, they always suck. I can't do anything about them.

*except laundry. I can't manage my own laundry, much less yours.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

ok, so D's kitchen! 
You'll recall she is transforming a first floor bedroom/living room combo into a full-blown apartment -- ie, adding a kitchen. She's got a $15k budget, more or less.  I am in charge and am very happy about that.  Here's the plan (you'll also recall the idiot builder she was going to go with wanted to do a corner kitchen in this rectangular room, which made my eyes roll back in my head with fury because hello: corner sinks generally suck, and super suck if you are jamming a dishwasher on one side and an oven on the other. You can't stand in front of the sink to load the dishwasher in that configuration. And there's no where to put anything next to the sink because the stupid range is there. Anyway: here's a better plan:

 Here's what it looks like in Ikea's 3D model (hint: even if you aren't buying ikea stuff, iots a really easy tool to do 3D planning -- better than others I have tried to use).

This first shot shows the room if you were standing at the double doors that open into the room from the street. The appliances aren't actually levitating -- I just didn't add in legs. Here's the genius part: I flipped a base cabinet around backwards so it's accessible from the snack bar side. This lets me block that area on the opposite side with a run of 1-foot deep cabinets. More counter space, more storage. The second genius part is the counter. I will actually be builduing that counter up with a false wall and topping it with a chestnut board I have that has a live edge on it (the bark and natural contours). Very fancy and Nakashima-esque.

here is a view if you are floating above the room. There is a lot of levitating in this kitchen,

This is a weird view from the far wall next to the fridge. If you were, say, a plant on the counter looking out.

I have a great handyman who can do all the cabinets, carpentry, and painting,and will get a professional plumber and electrician in to do the lighting and sewage. Hopefully I can get everything done for under $15K, and she can rent this place for big jack. The most fun part is I am TOTALLY IN CHARGE.

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