Friday, July 16, 2010

Home Sweet Home

New bedroom carpet.We keep adding or changing small things at our place. Wanted to post a couple of shots of the latest changes. Luckily for me and not so luckily for him — Andrey was staying at our place for this modification. We are very grateful for his help.

Padded carpet covering 100% of the floor of our bedroom.The first one is done in preparation for family expansion. We decided to cover 100% of our bedroom floor with a thick carpet and padding. This should cut down on some noise and if the neighbors are still not happy — it’s not our problem anymore — we’ve done what the rules require. Even though it might not look as great as hardwood floors we think it gives us a peace of mind and that’s more important. Plus it actually did make the room cozier.

Half of the mirror installed. You can see how big the difference is.Another one is a small improvement to the living room wall unit. We inserted a pair of mirrors into the areas with glass doors. This was my parents’ idea and it sure made the whole interior look much brighter.

Both parts of the mirror installed. Hard to capture on the photo because glass reflects as well.Turns out there are tons of mirror shops around and we got ours cut precisely to 1/8th of an inch several blocks away from our place for something like $90 or so. I think it’s a big improvement.
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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lazy Memorial Day Weekend

AlenaThis year we spent Memorial Day weekend at home. This goes against our recently established tradition of driving someplace reachable by car on long weekends, but these past 6 months have been a little bit out of the ordinary for us, so we are allowed to do as we please. )

We actually considered going to Cape Cod, but the truth is that I just wanted to relax and get a couple of days of nice sleep (and the fact that we came back from our road trip just a few weeks ago also contributed to a desire to be passive). Plus Cape Cod is kind of pricey, especially on holidays, and we’re trying to save a bit in preparation of more frugal times.

Three days flew by. On Saturday we went out to dinner to Al Di La (I think I had satisfied my black ink risotto craving for a long Twenty nine weeks.while now), and on Sunday — to Danya’s parents (his dad cooked a delicious cream of broccoli soup, and his mom treated us with a new dish made with pork, tomatillos, potatoes and other vegetables).

After Sunday night dinner we watched a whole bunch of the Russian game “What? Where? When?” which Danya’s parents recorded from Russian TV for us. I’ve noticed that when at the end of the game the best player is asked to choose the most interesting question, he/she invariably picks the one he answered himself. Isn’t if funny how the human brain work? By the way, I guessed one question — and you know what, this was the most interesting one! ) If you’re curious, that question sounded something like this: “Traveling through Britain, Guy de Maupassant often saw the following picture: 3-4 cows and one sheep grazing together. What was the purpose of this?”

We also went to IKEA and got some shelves and door handles for the new wardrobes. I was wearing my nice pregnancy dress and Park Slop. A place across from Al Di La.felt like a “hot mama” for a change. ) I mean, when I am with Danya I always feel pretty, but when I am on my own (especially at work), I just feel fat rather than pregnant (maybe the fact that I mostly wear pants to work contributes to this). I also miss being a blond, but this is such a small sacrifice for the sake of the little one, that I should not even mention it. )

We started watching “Babylon 5″ again after running out of shows to watch. It’s not bad, but we still remember too many details. I can’t wait for the season 6 of “Entourage” to come out on DVD — Ari Gold, where art thou?

Also, the watermelon season has officially started. I can’t get enough of them and keep bothering Danya to go and get yet another one. He jokes that I already got a pretty big watermelon with me at all times — why do I need an extra one? )

Another good thing I’ve done on the weekend is talking to my family in Minsk. I don’t do it often enough, and a couple of hours spent chatting with my sister and mom were very satisfying (I also talked to Tanya through Skype — didn’t hear her in ages, so it also was a pleasant experience).

And now we’re back at work. I wish we could just stay home together and do nothing for a couple of weeks (and don’t be stressed out about money at the same time) — this would be so awesome! ) Need to buy some lottery tickets. )
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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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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Storage Space

New IKEA Besta unit in one corner and the table in the other.We’re at it again — apartment redesign. This time though we’re just adding some finishing touches to what we started in October of last year.

Corner looks empty without the new unit. And the curtains add a lot too.We wanted to fill up the corner that was occupied by our monster TV earlier, but now with the expected arrival of a 4th family member we figured we need to better utilize the space in our hallway as well. And as the last time we started with some planning in Google SketchUp.

Planning sketch.Then with a huge help from Misha over the weekend we started implementing the plan. Misha drove us to IKEA in his minivan and back and helped me carry all the stuff upstairs. Some of it was just incredibly heavy that there is no way I would be able to do any of it by myself.

Hallway with planned IKEA PAX units.At this point the living room is updated and the hallway is waiting for its turn, which is going to be this upcoming weekend. The table has also been relocated to its new place in the living room.
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Besta Wall Unit Construction

Cheapest way to construct Besta wall unit.A bit more about the construction of our unit, in help to those who might want to recreate the same thing. There are multiple ways you can build this unit. The most obvious one is on the image above. It’s also is the cheapest1 way to go, as you need the fewer components then what we did.

The way we did it.One of our objectives, however, was to make as few holes as possible on our wall, to mount it, or none2 at all, which we did. Thus by spending a bit more money, we built it so the middle shelf is not handing in the air, but is actually supported by the side cabinets. I also did add several additional screws in between the top cabinets, but the weight that they have to support is much less then that a full shelf with stuff inside.

  1. $510 vs $620 for the frame. []
  2. This clearly goes against IKEA’s recommendation. []
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Monday, October 12, 2009

Wall Unit & TV

New wall unit.This weekend was well spent. A good portion of our renovation project is complete. We put together the wall unit from a million pieces that it came as into a single solid system. It took a lot of work, but it’s all done. It came out better than we expected and it’s as custom as it can be. We added a lot additional support parts and cut a bunch of paths for wire management.

IKEA Besta. Ignore the other-dimension cat.We also bought a new TV and wired everything up — video, audio, network. And out of all the wiring there is only one wire actually visible and that will be corrected in the near future. We were also happy to get rid of our old open bar and move our vast alcohol reserves behind the glass.

Samsung LN46B750.The TV that we decided to go with is Samsung LN46B750. It’s a 46″ non-LED LCD panel with 240Hz refresh rate and 1080p resolution. After doing a lot of reading this is simply the best LCD available as far as non LED screens go. It is also better than latest Samsung edge-lit LED screens. And actual back-lit LED screens cost twice as much and in my opinion are just not worth it. Either way, I’ve been tweaking the settings on the TV and we’re pretty happy with the end result.

More updates will follow as we make more progress.
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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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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

IKEA Billy Bookcases

IKEA Billy bookcase for our office.As I wrote before we went to IKEA this weekend to get some stuff for our apartment. Out of all the stuff that we wanted we didn’t find anything, but one thing — IKEA Billy bookcase, even though even this item was marked as sold out.

To our surprise we were able to find the right color bookcase and the glass doors for it at their warehouse. So that’s what we bought. I assembled it the same very evening and Alёna moved some of our books and a whole bunch of trinkets into the bookcase.

It’s came out like a micro version of my parents’ bookcase that I wrote about a while ago. But even though it is much smaller it looks just as good, or so I think. teeth
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Monday, August 18, 2008

IKEA Food

Sweedish Meatballs at IKEA.Yesterday we went to a new IKEA in Brooklyn, for the 2nd time — we wanted to get a couple of things for our apartment, but as always most were out of stock.

Either way, by the time we were passing the restaurant for the 5th time or so I couldn’t resist my hunger anymore. We went in and got ourselves one set of meatballs and one set of chicken tenders.

Alёna and Ignat at IKEA.For about $5 each we had a decent dinner, which even seemed delicious at the time. However I don’t think we’ll go there any time soon again. Cheap food is cheap food after all.
In: Food & Dining   Tags: ,
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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Books and Bookcases

IKEA BILLY BookcaseA lot of things are happening, but we haven’t been writing much about it. My parents have moved into their new apartment almost 2 months ago. All this time they have been slowly finding and buying the furniture for their new home.

It’s been an exhausting, yet fun experience. Problems like these are my favorite kind of problems. At this point however they are very close to done.

The latest addition is the IKEA BILLY bookcase system. Huge thanks to Misha for helping us get all of it to Brooklyn. Without his help there is no way we would be able to get it. Long live the minivan… and its owner! teeth

My dad has brought a lot of books from Tashkent with him. All this time they’ve been hidden away or stacked Continue Reading
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