Archive for September, 2010
more new house joy: moving into someone else’s idea of pretty and finding it, well, ugly. the previous previous owners of our cute house did a very respectable kitchen overhaul about five years ago, replacing it all: cabinets, countertops, appliances…the works. in general, i am super happy with the granite countertops, thoughtful cabinets (like the big pull out drawer pantry), and stainless steel appliances. one thing i did not so much care for: the hardware.
it caught my eye the first time we looked at the house. and not in a good way. i’m not sure what to call the finish–hematite?–but it was shiny, metallic and wrong. i mean, it just did not go with the rest of the kitchen. i’ve dreamed of replacing ever since i first walked into the kitchen.
we did some major-ish work in the kitchen, adding halogen lights overhead and a fan where the breakfast nook will be (um, when we get the table) and i figured we’d done about as much as we could for a while. then we went to our friends’ house where i got some serious house envy. everything had been updated and was just so right, from the exposed wood beams in the living room right down to the brushed nickel old school library-ish pulls on the drawers in the kitchen. i l-o-v-e love that look. and i thought, well, we could do that in our kitchen.
so for the low low price of i-don’t-even-wanna-talk-about-how-expensive-cabinet-pulls-are, we did it! and let me tell you, it was sooooo worth it. now the brushed nickel pulls and knobs go with the rest of the kitchen instead of screaming, “look at me, i’m a knob!”
somehow our kitchen just seems so right now *and* i get to have the cool pulls i’ve admired for so long.
it should come as no surprise that when you move into a house that’s new to you there will be lots of surprises. the exploded bag of cat food in the cabinet, the eggshell and ketchup melange under the refrigerator, the jenky cast iron pipe on the water heater that should be have been replaced ages ago. for me, i didn’t expect to find five boxes of personal items from–not the previous owners–but the previous previous owners (who moved out 5 years ago).
we were having some work done in the attic–insulation and a whole house fan–and the workers had to remove a few things first, like, um, still rolled up insulation that someone had bought but never laid out and five (five!) boxes of photos, baby clothes, and personal items. i felt a little guilty going though the boxes because it felt like i was snooping, but i wanted to donate whatever i could to the thrift store. and then i saw photos from their wedding. jeez. but it wasn’t until i came across the little blue plaque that had a child’s hand print and name from 1975 that i just knew i had to find the previous owners and return their stuff to them.
it’s kind of funny because when we found the boxes and i realized it was up to us to get rid of this stuff, i was pretty annoyed with the previous previous owners. i mean, how could you forget five boxes of your stuff? and leave it for me to deal with?! i mean, really. but when i found the plaque, all that irritation vanished and i felt compelled to find the person that plaque belonged to.
oddly enough, finding them was super easy, as they still lived in our town, and after leaving an awkward message on some strangers’ voice mail, i got to meet one of the previous previous owners and give her the photos and hand-print plaque. it was really cool and in a way helped me connect with the house.
so the surprise ended up being on me! i started out feeling angry and ended up feeling happy and a little pleased with myself. kinda crazy, huh? just from a little kids’ plaque.