Friday, February 8, 2019

Kids’ Rooms

Aaron's room.As the time goes we’re getting more and more settled in. The house has became really nice and cozy.

Aaron's room.This week we’ve got the bedrooms of our kids finalized. The last touch was a pair of Kallax shelves from Ikea.

Aaron's room.The only things that have moved with us from these rooms are the beds. And while Anna’s bed came with a nice foam mattress, Arosha’s old spring mattress was totally destroyed from all the jumping that has commenced on it. So he’s got a nice new Casper.

Anna's room.Anna’s curtain are from our old bedroom. Aaron’s are new. She also has a mega collection of dogs on her wall.

Anna's room.Aaron has a venetian mask on the wall from our recent trip to Italy and Venice specifically. He also has a laminated world map which was his new year gift from a couple of years ago. And this year he got his own set of Nanoleaf lights.

Anna's room.
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Friday, February 13, 2015

Storage Upgrades

New expanded Besta unit.With the arrival of kids we were acquiring more and more kid related stuff and our apartment was getting kind of buried under it all. Enormous piles of kid books, toys, board games, clothing and on and on and on. Something had to be done.

Billy bookcase full with kids' books.So now that Alёna’s mom is here we had a chance to go to IKEA without kids. The reason why we needed to go without kids was because we had to take out the car seats in order to convert our SUV into a load carrying truck. We wanted to do these furniture expansions even before we had our SUV, but there was no easy way for us to get this stuff home.

My work desk.We did two major things — expand our IKEA buffet in the living room into a full height cabinet and replace our half length book shelf into a full wall one as well. And that’s exactly what we did.

Books before.IKEA got rid of the red colored doors for some reason for their Besta sets, but luckily we had 3 already and 2 more in our hallway. So we used those to make it look nice and modern. Otherwise the big black brown set would look pretty gloomy. They also got rid of Billy color that used to be a perfect match for our bedroom, so we had to go with a darker one.

More books.Overall it all came out looking nice. We have a lot of new storage space, so we cleaned up our apartment and made it look cozy again. And Billy bookcase fit almost all of our books for kids. The rest went into my office desk that also got some new space from us moving all the non-book stuff into our new Besta.

Desk mess.And to finish it all off we put up new curtains in the living room. Alёna’s mom brought us a set from Minsk. They look really great and fit really well with our room design. We would’ve had to pay around $2,000 to get something like this here. The place is looking good.
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Bedroom Curtains

New window curtains in the bedroom.When my mom came to visit, she brought us some gifts from Belarus — national crafts, some jewelery, clothing. What she really wanted to get us though is the curtains for our bedroom. I kept saying that we’re fine as is and that our whole bedroom needs redesigning and we’re not willing to spend the money at the moment, so she gave up on the idea. However, before she left, she measured the wall and the windows and said that she will get us new curtains after all.

The thing is that it’s impossible to find good European-design curtains for a reasonable price in New York. At least we were not able to. There are a few curtain stores in Brooklyn, held by USSR expats, which have a good selection of modern curtains, but the prices are over the roof. We paid something close to 1K for our living room curtains, and were not willing to spend this much money again. My mom was very surprised by the prices and the lack of choice in American stores, since in Belarus you can choose from literally hundreds of designs. She laughed — at least there is one area where Belarusian stores are ahead (she was very impressed with US stores otherwise).

Closeup of the curtains.By the way, when she was looking for the stuff for our bedroom, she actually found the ones that we have in our living room — they were selling for the equivalent of $16 per meter (so it would have cost us a bit over $100 for material + around $50-100 for work if we would have bought them over there).

So my sister and my mom went to two stores, took lots of pictures of the samples that they thought would be a good fit and emailed them to me. We liked quite a few, and chose curtains which were made in Germany. After consulting with a designer which works in curtain department of the store, they’ve decided that having only one type of curtains will be boring, and got a brightly colored solid curtains to hang in front of the walls. The total they paid for the whole deal was around $200.

OK, I think I just made too big of a post about curtains. But I wanted to say that I appreciate the gift very much. I know they spend a lot of time trying to buy something nice for us (and my mom’s monthly pension is around $200 — at least it used to be before the Belarusian ruble got devaluated a few weeks back) and wanted them too look good. I like how it all came out.
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Living Room Curtains

Living room with new curtains.One of the last touches for our new living room is a set of modern curtains. I think they look great, but we paid way too much money for them. You just know that when your curtains cost nearly as much as your whole wall unit or your new 46″ TV you’ve been screwed. But you either get something ugly, get nothing, or pay. That’s why we are sticking with blinds in the office and cheap, $90, Bed, Bath & Beyond curtains in the bedroom.

Curtain rod and curtain rings.We picked them up on Sunday and I custom cut and installed the curtain rods myself because the curtain people wanted another $120 for 30 minutes of easy work, freaking con-artists. There hasn’t been a sunny day in NYC since then, so the photo that I have has a rather gloomy look outside.
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