Home Improvement Part II

I don’t even feel like leaving the house these days because I am in Extreme Domestic Mode. After two days of assembling and a few days after that of cleaning and organizing, I have finally finished the spring cleaning and home improvement projects I wanted to do. Man oh man am I happy with how it all turned out.  Here is my new DVD system:


I like that I can add onto it at any time (unlike the old shelf I bought from target, this IKEA line is unlikely to be discontinued soon as it’s one of their staples).  I just wish I could make the wires around the TV stand disappear.  I hate wires.  Does anyone have a strategy for hiding them?

Here’s another shelf I got, mainly to house my typewriters and browse-worthy books in the living room:


It turned out to be a good place for the tall wine and cocktail glasses that won’t fit in my kitchen cabinets.  Let me confess, though, that this was not the easiest thing to assemble.  It’s really a two-person job, and with only one person you have to brace it carefully into a corner of the room so that you can push against both the X and Y axes when you’re adding all the cross shelves.  It was a nightmare until I figured that out (but once I did it went fine).  I am too ashamed to tell you that between attempts 2 and 3, I may have screamed, jumped up and down, stamped my foot, and kicked the back of the couch.  MAY HAVE.  I mean, there were no witnesses, so who can say?

The best part of all is my bedroom!  There’s not much that’s actually new here – just the dressers – but I re-arranged it in an effective way, finally hung some prints, and got rid of the plastic bins that were sitting in the middle of the floor housing my socks and underthings.


I wish I had two night tables like the one on the right there, but they’re such a pain to connect to the bed (you have to turn the bed on its side to drill the holes in the proper place) that I’ve never added a second one on.  Wouldn’t it look nice with two, though?

I should also note that the dog was definitely NOT supposed to be there, but he was so excited about all the moving and the shaking and the hey-hey that he just had to get in on the action.  After this photo was taken he spent the next hour or so staring up at the new mirror I had just hung:


Yay, new mirror!  I also really, really love these prints by Marc Johns, one of my favorite drawing/cartoon artists (his shop is here if you’re interested).  I enjoy the whimsical take on style and grooming in these two particular drawings and I think they go well in the dresser/mirror area of the room.

Here’s another view of the same wall with the dressers in:


It’s actually two small dressers placed next to each other – I could have bought one short, wide dresser that would have looked just like this but been only one piece, but I actually saved money by buying two smaller ones.  I just LOVE having a dresser finally! It may be build-it-yourself particleboard furniture, but it felt so trashy keeping half my clothes in plastic bins on the floor.  Now I at least feel like I am aspiring to be less trashy.

I joke about the cheapness of IKEA furniture (and a lot of folks complain about it), but the thing is that I really do love their style.  I am all about the clean minimal lines, woods, and bold colors.  It’s just how I roll, y’all.  Even if I won the lottery, I would probably still shop at cheap old IKEA.  Or maybe I’d upgrade to CB2, but still.


  1. I knew I had seen one somewhere. Check out here for a wire hider. Child safety searches may turn up more what you’re looking for than “wire hider.” Take my word for it.


  2. Ooh, thanks for the tip. I will look around at some child safety stuff – I mean, my dog pretty much gets tangled in the wires and unplugs things like a child would, anyway.


  3. Oooh, that is very cute! Leave it to Cazzableu to come up with a creative solution. I actually really like that even though it does call attention to the wires, but I’m not sure if that could work for multiple wires like the mess I have on the back side of my TV stand. Some kind of hybrid between that knitted one and the plastic one in Clarabella’s link would be nice – attractive, and able to house several wires (with different points of origin). Maybe I could devise something…


  4. Nice and clean lines with a kind of minimalist groove going on. Do you do contract domestic organizations? All my stuff is still in boxes from the move. I just hang the Suit of the Day when I get home, eat and drink something and then wash, rinse, repeat for the next day. Needless to say I have no time for organizing.

    Oh yeah – the easy access to the wine and martini glasses is genius, pure genius…


  5. To me, IKEA = ARGH! I hate the crowds in their stores and I hate the manipulative design of the stores (having to go past everything being sold to get to the check out), and the way that I have to write down a complicated code for every item I want to buy.

    Plus, the only IKEA item I ever ended up buying and putting together fell apart months after.

    I really like the bookshelf, and the bed-with-a-dog theme, and think that IKEA could extend this dog concept in a number of exciting directions. Egon would go well on that bookshelf right next to a typewriter, methinks.


  6. J – Well, you did just move! I’ve been in this apartment for almost two years and just gotten it near where I like it. (Except for the office, of which we do not speak!) You’ll settle in in time.

    C – Oh, those are good ideas too. Apartment Therapy always has neat things, but I never think to check there. Also, WOOFY – very adorable and apparently Danish. Yay!

    T – That manipulative aspect of IKEA bugs me, too, but I have found a way to circumnavigate it. I find the things I want online and when I get to the store I skip the showroom by going in backwards. I just walk against the flow of traffic through the checkout lines and directly into the warehouse. Then I get on one of their self-service computers to find the locations of the things I want and go get them. It goes SO much faster. Though I have to admit that it I’m not pressed for time or with anyone else, I like to spend time browsing around and fantasizing about what I’d buy with limitless funds. Sigh.



    While browsing over at the Apartment Therapy site, I came across this post, which poses the question “Are you Generation Ikea?” There’s a vigorous debate in the comments section that demonstrates exactly what I was referring to (only briefly) in this post. The folks over there who seem to think poorer people should just sit on the floor for ten years while they save up for a $10,000 couch just make me want to spit.


  8. Nice organization! I am moving soon and just purged like four entire shelves of books. It felt weird and good, but hey $80.

    Also, who spends $10,000 on a sofa? I mean, really?

    I’ve seen precisely one piece of furniture for which I’d have gladly paid that kind of money if I had it. And it was a 12 seat dining table hand carved from mahogany, stained black as midnight, with high-backed chairs. Did I mention that the chairs each had RAVENS above the shoulders? BECAUSE OH MY YES THEY DID. If I could have afforded this piece of furniture it would’ve gone in the formal dining room in my frightening mountain castle because I would have been goddamn Dracula.


  9. Tim, that Dracula table sounds weird and fantastic if not a little scary (Do I want a raven croaking “nevermore” while I eat my veggie burger? Maybe, maybe not.)

    Also, on an only loosely related note, this defines the difference between your Dracula vamps and your Twilight/Cullen Family vamps: that table w/ the ravens versus, say, a contemporary tulip table or the like. They’re just not the same kind of vampires at all, are they?


  10. Regarding the manipulative store layout — the one in Portland has a secret entrance to the “just buying stuff” area that is hidden under the stairs up to the showroom. Just slip through the unmarked door all surreptitious Mission Impossible, and there you are. Don’t other stores have this?


  11. Movie Night, Dracula comes over with another John Waters flick and the Cullens are all, “oh, we thought we’d just watch Lost In Translation again if that’s alright.”


  12. Danimal: If I remember correctly, the IKEA in Renton definitely doesn’t have any secret shortcuts. It’s also only one level. You start at the beginning and you’ve got to go through that sucker like a rat in a maze. The only way to cheat is to go in through the exit and straight past the check stands to the warehouse.


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