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, 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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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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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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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Old Painting

Painting by Takefumi Hori.Last weekend we finally decided to hang an old painting that we had up in our old apartment in the living room. Ever since our move it’s been rolled up, collecting dust behind our couch.

Custom frame.After the redesign in the living room that space on the wall in the hallway seemed empty and it proved to be an ideal spot for our painting. And it looks good with our old custom frame.
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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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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.
In: Gadgets & Gear, Home Sweet Home   Tags: , , , , , ,
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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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Time: 15:07   Comments: 2 Comments   Post a Comment  
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