Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Porch and Patio

Covered porch and patio.Now that the summer season is over I wanted to post a couple of pictures and write a couple of words about our outdoor areas.

When we were looking for a house we came upon some really nice porches — a raised veranda with an exit from one of the top floors leading to a nice outdoor space. These came in different varieties, but the one type that we liked the most was that with a roof and a set of screened windows.

Porch set. Table and 8 chairs.Other houses came with nice patios where you could put some furniture down and a firepit in the middle for some of the cooler nights. The first house that we tried to buy and didn’t succeed — luckily — came with a smallish patio. I was really sad that we wouldn’t have a nice porch.

Porch. Another angle.But fate had it so that the house we actually bought had both. A nice big patio and a really nice big porch with an uncovered area to put the grill at in addition to everything.

This indeed ended up being a nice perfect setup as our first summer shows. We’ve spent hours open hours in both of these areas and ate most of our family dinners on our porch.

Around the fire.Throughout most of the summer we had multiple guests visit us for a day or two — my parents with my sister, Ignat, Vika and their daughter Alisa, Ilya and Ulyana with their kids, Zhanna and Marat with their kids, Arosha’s Brooklyn friend Mehdi with his grandparents, Arosha’s other friend Alex with his family, Geoff, Sarah and their daughter Io and some other people. Not to mention my 38th birthday bash.

Patio set.It was great. As far as furniture goes we got everything from local Patio.com retail location. We weren’t sure whether we should go with wood or aluminum patio furniture, but in the end we went with a very nice, albeit expensive, aluminum set. In retrospect it was a good decision as it will age a lot better.

Patio. Around the firepit.For the patio furniture it was Arosha who set us on a path that we went down with. When we were picking up our porch set he saw a whicker chair with ottoman and a coffee table that was on sale for $200 since it was a floor sample. He liked it so much that he talked us into letting him buy it with his own money.

Grill on the porch.And then we got the rest of the pieces from the same set or similar sets. And then we bought a nice, deep firepit to top it all off. We got the last piece — loveseat — delivered on the day when we had a lot of people over for the birthday.

By now it has gotten too cold to spend this much time outside so we moved most of the patio furniture into our living room for the winter, which actually seems to work really well in its new location.
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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Home Office v0.9

My home office. 27" 5K screens on top of 96" long Mayline desk.This is my first “room” update for our new house. In the past three months we have made a lot of progress on settling in, so to speak.

My home office is the last room we’ve completed, but I’m going to start with it. One reason for that is the fact that I didn’t actually have a chance to have a separate office for a while now.

Closeup of the work space.As the kids arrived we freed up my previous office and turned it into a bedroom for kids. So my workspace lived in a corner of our living room for many years.

I’ll probably make a separate post on the technology part itself in more details later, but in short — the center-piece is a pair of 27″ 5K monitors powered by 2018 MacBook Pro.

A slightly earlier shot, but it depicts the actual color of the furniture better than the shots above.There is a another screen on the desk that is connected to my old Windows 7 PC, but it is a temporary thing that is assisting me in my full migration to macOS.

Monitors are placed on a pair of single monitor arms from UPLIFT. I went through a number of configurations before stopping on this one.

View from the door.The goal was to have better controls of the monitors by being able to angle and raise them as I wanted and move them away from me as far as I wanted. Dual monitor arm that I started with prevented me from pushing them far enough away.

There is a good amount of space between the table and the wall. So the connection point of my monitors is hanging in that space.

And all this is resting on a beautiful gray 96 inch long desk made by a company called Mayline.

Backwall. National park posters and casino chips.Underneath the back side of the desk there is a shelf kind of thing is hiding ALL the horde of the wires of this office. None of them are visible and there is nothing under the desk.

The back wall decoration is an idea that I’ve conceived years ago. I’ve acquired a large format book that had a lot of art done in vintage style depicting all of the national parks of United States. I loved the art and finally I have a place to display it.

Hidden mess of wires sitting on a shelf between the desk and the window.I’ve picked out some of the national parks that we have visited. We’re going to add two more frames to the bottom row in the near feature. On the side I have a place for my small old collection of casino chips.

The chair is Steelcase Gesture. I’m still getting used to it, and still is not sure if it was worth the investment. The sofa folds out into a queen size bed so this office can serve as a guest room. Which makes the computer powering the whole setup being a laptop convenient.

And to finish it all off there is an LED lamp connected to a wall light switch and a pair of simple curtains to cover the black holes of the windows in the later hours of the day.

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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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Friday, May 28, 2010

Hallway PAX

Reflection in the mirror.Here’s a follow-up to my previous week’s post about some furniture updates that we’re doing to our apartment. We’ve put everything in the hallway together over the weekend and even made another trip to IKEA for some internal organizers, since PAX wardrobes themselves come completely empty.

Hallway PAXI ended up with way too many pictures, but it presents the new house “mod” from all the angles.

View from the living room.Overall we added 3 PAX units — a pair of 2-doored ones and a single slim 1-door unit. In between these we added a BESTA unit, similar Internal organizers.in style to our living room setup to keep keys, mail and sunglasses on once you come in.

We also ended up replacing our chandelier that we had in the hallway. One of the doors would not open fully with the old one. Also because of the size of the PAX wardrobes one part of the hallway became quite dark. We ended up getting a set of 5 lights arranged in a pretty much straight slim line. This way we can direct the light evenly throughout the hallway and it resolved the problem with the door not opening fully.

Another angle. Looking through the mirror.We also added a big nice mirror, something that Alena has dreamed for quite a long time now. In the old place of ours we had a pair of weird, wavy mirrors on the wall, but they weren’t very good and we managed to lose them somehow during our move.

Little PAX for little-one.As you can see this adds tons of storage space. Finally we don’t have to keep shoes all over the hallway in massive disarray and have a place to hide all kinds of miscellaneous junk that we had lying all over. The little closet is going to be fully dedicated to the little one that is arriving in a very near future.
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Living Redesign

IKEA wall unit, Giormani leather sectional sofa.Big day today. Had two deliveries of new furniture and then we had a pickup of a donation of our old stuff to a Jewish organization. The new sectional sofa and a table are awesome. Huge upgrade. We really lucked out on the sectional deal1, I think.

New Giromani leather sectional sofa and coffee table.Our old couch, armchair, TV and the stand are gone. It’s somewhat sad, but I’m glad I’m not the one who had to move that stuff out. Poor guys barely moved that TV and then I saw2 poor bustards unload it on the wrong floor, before reaching the bottom level, by mistake. But they seemed to be laughing when they realized.

  1. 25% cheaper than all other places, and when the price is in the thousands it really means a lot. []
  2. Internal building video feeds. []
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Galactica, Furniture and More

Battlestar GalacticaThe weekend flew by so quickly. On Saturday we were chain-watching “Battlestar Galactica”. I know it sounds somewhat pathetic, but at least we did the laundry in the process (I always dread this chore). ) We felt so glued to the couch, that we even ordered pizza in as opposed to going out for dinner with some friends.

New winter jacket.Sunday was much more productive. We went hunting for furniture again — and as a result we are now the proud owners of a brown wooden coffee table and a brown leather couch. We also bough Danya a warm winter jacket which looks very stylish on my handsome husband. )

The new furniture will be delivered at the end of the next week, so now we need to quickly get rid of our current one. We’re thinking of simply donating it to one of the organizations which can pick it up — this way we’ll be able to at least write something off our taxes (unlike in case of just throwing it away).

Propolis and honey.The weather is pretty chilly. It was really cold at my work on Friday — I was literally shaking half the day. I’ve noticed that when I’m cold I become twice as whiny as normally. ) In hopes to stay healthy I’m taking propolis-honey paste twice a day — my mom believes it can strengthen immune system, so why not try it?

"Falcon and Swallow" book.I’ve started reading the newest B. Akunin’s novel “Sokol i Lastochka” (“Falcon and Swallow”). I used to like Akunin a lot, but this book seems a bit too simple. I guess, he just offers something to kill time and to relax without thinking too hard about philosophical questions or your own humanity. From what I see, the story here revolves around hidden treasures, corsairs and all such nonsense. )

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Living — Under Construction

Besta in progress.When we bought our apartment we moved in with pretty much zero furniture purchases and used everything that we had before. Now we decided that it’s time we’ve updated our living room. We have no plans to be moving any time soon, therefore we might as well make it as nice as possible.

Living room progress.The whole movement has started because of that BD movie and the player. The TV could use a refresh, and along with it could the arrangement and the layout of the room. Also I decide that it’s time I finally got my surround system back in place, as we have never connected the rear speakers after the move.

Living room and IKEA wall unit in Sketch Up.We visited a lot of furniture stores and came to the consensus — they either have something small, ugly or just plain wrong for our room, or they have something that costs WAY too much money. 5 grand for a freaking collection of shelves and doors?

Our final design sketch.Naturally IKEA came to mind and we came up with what we think should serve our needs for a very good price. IKEA though has no planning tools, but that’s when my old friend Sketch-Up helped me out.

Many more updates to come.
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Monday, June 16, 2008

Parents’ Apartment

Living room view from the hallway. Note the entertainment unit with a 46 inch wide screen TV in it and 6 spot lights in the ceiling.I made the last post on the parents’ apartment a while ago. I wanted to take some pictures for a while now, but I held myself off so I could post photos of when everything was ready, or almost ready.

Different angle from the same spot. Super comfortable sofa which fits the whole family and a buffet in the corner.That moment finally came on Friday, June 13th, which coincided with our 13th anniversary in United States. The final touch was the installation of curtain rods and the handing of curtains themselves, which my parents ordered a month or so ago.

Living room with a piece of dining table visible. Note an over a 100 year old clock on the wall. It was given to my great grand parents as a gift on their wedding in 1906.There is also a matter of getting the frames for all the paintings they have, but that will not change the general feel of the rooms.

And a nice dining area.All the pictures have captions on them, so just mouse over the photo to see a small description.

Master bedroom. My mom will say that she did not yet have a chance to get a matching bed cover. The monster does not care however.I think the apartment came out really well and is super cozy. I would trade in a second. ) I also will take credit for a lot of it. ) I talked my parents into getting most of the stuff in the living room, including furniture, lights, rugs and even picking the wall colors.

My sister's bedroom. Yes, it really is pink.The bedroom furniture was picked out by my parents themselves, but I like it a lot also.

In conclusion I want to say that I’m very happy for my parents. It’s nice to finally have a nice place which came out so great.
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