Thursday, March 28, 2013

Kitchen Update

My aunt is looking at updating her kitchen cabinets and countertops. Right now, it's very bland and not really "her". She brought some samples to our Passover seder, and after we all gave our recommendations, I offered to do a quick Photoshop mock-up of my idea.

Here's what the kitchen looks like now:

As you can see, it's very narrow, and has little to no natural light. Any sunlight it gets comes through that open area above the sink, which leads to the back room. The wall of bookshelves and cabinets spans the entrance to the kitchen and the back room, where it houses the TV.

My aunt likes a very neutral color palette, so while I am normally drawn to color in small spaces, I know it's not for her. The samples she showed us included a white cabinet, a gray cabinet, and a few faux marble Ceasarstone colors. In such a narrow, dark kitchen, we thought gray on top and bottom might be too dark, but white cabinetry with off-white faux marble seemed just as bland as the kitchen is now. To add some visual interest while staying in her favorite palette, as well as trying to lighten up the space, I pulled this together:

Inspired by looks like this kitchen I found on Apartment Therapy:

What do you think? Do you like the look of two-toned cabinetry, especially in a small space?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Garden Progress

It's spring now, and the garden is letting me know it!

Even though we only have a balcony, we grow a good chunk of our produce. Here are some of the plants that are doing well right now:

 Our lemon tree is starting to bloom! I can't wait to get some fresh lemons from it.

One of the six pea pods I planted has grown...considering the number of birds I've caught on the balcony, I guess that's not a bad figure. I'll need to look into netting or something to protect my seedlings next year. We're looking forward to the crisp sugar snap peas!

And our nasturtiums are doing well, as always! I like to pick the leaves when they're small and tender and add them to salads. I've also seen some ideas on how to eat the flowers, but haven't tried that yet. Maybe an experiment for this summer!

In addition to what you see here, we're growing parsley, basil, strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce, pole beans and carrots. The balcony also houses some chairs, and soon a BBQ (just need to move it over here from my parents' house). We're also planning to add a worm bin to the balcony this spring...details to come if that pulls through!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Dining Room

The first room of my home that I'm revealing to the world is the dining room. Here's a "before" picture:

And here we have it "after":

Not a lot of changes between the two, mostly just tidying up and minimizing the clutter. I did also have some fun setting the table for the staged photo!

Here are some more images:

My goldfish plant sits in the corner. It adds some life and green to the dining room (as if green walls weren't enough!) I first got this plant in 2007 when one of my 2nd year architecture studios required that we each keep a plant alive on our desks for the quarter. Somehow, this plant not only lasted that quarter, but also through about five moves, cats chewing on it, irregular watering...this plant is definitely a survivor!

And here are some vignettes of the bookshelf:

And that's the dining room! Simple but functional for two humans and a cat.

Now on to the next room that needs to get organized and decorated for it's internet revelation!

I'm linking up to One Project at a Time on A Bowl Full of Lemons. Go check it out!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bay Bridge Lights

Have you heard about the light installation on the Bay Bridge? Artist Leo Villareal designed this light sculpture on the east span of the bridge. It's best seen from near Pier 14 in San Francisco. It opened March 5, and will run through 2015.

On Friday, we went with my cousins-in-law and sister-in-law to see the lights. We especially wanted my "nieces" (cousin's kids) to see the lights -- and it was the 2-year-old's first trip into the city too! She was up way past her bed time, but what a trooper! Despite the cold she smiled and pointed at the moving lights the whole time.

My older "niece" -- hard for kids to stay still for long exposure photos!

My camera doesn't quite capture the beauty of the different patterns, but I got some nice pictures anyway. I definitely recommend checking out the installation yourself if you're in the SF Bay!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sourdough bread!

Remember that sourdough starter I mentioned last week? Well, here is the delicious goodness it turns into:
The most beautiful loaf of bread we've made so far!

I came down with a cold this week, so this was actually my husband Sean's first loaf by himself. He was so excited about how gorgeous it turned out.
And it's just as amazing to eat as it is to look at! Thanks Sean for making such an awesome loaf of bread!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Design Finds of the Week #1

While doing visual research for both my design classes and for the different plays I'm working on, I come across some fascinating design inspiration. A few of my finds this week:

The Singing Ringing Tree
To me this looks more like a tornado than a tree, but I love it nonetheless!
(image from the linked source)

Drain Pipe Tree
A creative way to hide a drain pipe and provide homes for birds
(image from the linked source)

Now on to more design research!