Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Little Improvement

The kitchen sink backed up Friday night which caused the plumbing underneath to weaken and basically fall apart, with water spewing everywhere.  This after cooking a great dinner for friends so there were dirty dishes everywhere.  What a mess!  After about an hour of hard work we got things under control so we were able to get to bed, but we got up knowing that we either needed to call a plumber ($$$!) or work on the problem ourselves (&#@!)  

In the morning we decided that Ben would give it a try.   I've been acting as Assistant Plumber, buying parts, finding towels and buckets, and generally keeping the Plumber company through the repair process.  After working with a lot of Drano yesterday, this morning we are going to run a snake through the pipe in the wall.   Meanwhile we are congratulating ourselves on keeping our tempers and working well together.  Go team!

Actually, the timing for this problem is pretty good since we still don't have a refrigerator and now with no sink we're pretty much down to not having a functioning kitchen.   We can still make coffee, and we do live in restaurant heaven, so all is not lost, but we are looking forward to getting our new refrigerator on Wednesday and getting the kitchen back to normal!  

Anyway, my plan for yesterday had been to organize the entry/laundry area downstairs and I was on a mission to get that done regardless of my new role as Assistant Plumber.   So while we waited for the Drano to do its thing, Ben helped me downstairs. 

If you enter the house through the garage, you come into a room that holds the laundry and a big open closet.  It's connected to a small bathroom, Paul's room, and the area containing the furnace.  Here's a photo of the laundry back in May.  Dark and gloomy, right?  

Since then the plumbing was reworked so the valves are behind the machines, the wall cabinet was removed, the walls were painted yellow,  a wire shelf was installed above the machines, and an additional light was added.   Much better.  

In this photo you can also see the relationship to the  adjacent furnace area; the blue tape is holding up a cushion a workman put up to keep people from bumping their heads on the venting as you walk into the furnace area. 

The photo below shows the open closet, used previously as a little kitchen area for renters who lived in the basement.  The big brown cabinet held the microwave and kitchen supplies.  When we moved in we just dumped things in there, but I planned to use it as a place to hold cleaning supplies and as a launching pad/entry way, holding shoes, gloves, jackets, shopping bags, and school backpacks. 

It's an odd closet, with the metal pipe for the furnace running across the top,  dry wall for half the back wall and concrete block for the other half,  not to mention the quad electrical outlet positioned in the middle.   The closet is also extremely deep, meaning that things would end up way in the back of the cabinet never to be seen again.  

So yesterday, when he wasn't working on the plumbing, Ben helped me move the cabinet to one of Paul's huge closets and install some Metro Commercial shelving on the left side of the closet.  On the right side we put white recycling bins, perfect for holding all these grocery bags and soft coolers we use nowadays for shopping instead of paper or plastic bags --I think these bags reproduce when humans aren't around!-- as well as gloves, scarves, baseball caps, and other small things that get taken on and off when you come into the house.

Now the depth of the shelves/baskets is manageable and the extra depth is used for storing the vacuum cleaner, brooms, and mop.
Ben also hung up a coat rack we'd brought with us from Maryland.

Here's a view of the entire space.

Some day I'll spray paint the wood screen white; we're keeping it to block the view of the furnace which is sitting right behind it.  

I think we may have conquered the shopping bag problem but not the shoe problem.  The white bench has a broken leg, now supported by a brick, and is hard to use as storage since you have to lift the whole top off, which no one does, so I'm thinking of replacing it.   The Container Store is selling this bench  which is the wrong color but otherwise looks perfect for our needs.  Or maybe a chair will do.  Meanwhile I need to find a cute basket for shoes since all of us seem willing to throw our shoes into baskets, and do something about all that blue tape!

1 comment:

  1. You've managed to make those dismal spaces into something attractive and functional. You will be so glad when your fridge arrives, unbelievable you could cook dinner for friends with no fridge. You get a gold star.


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