Category Archives: design

Kitchen Facelift Complete

DSC_0100 The kitchen is finished! Ok, it’s not quite finished. But it’s so close to being finished I decided to post some photos anyway.  Continue reading

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The Interminable Kitchen Facelift

There are a lot of houses with terrible kitchens. This is what I learned when Soren and I began house hunting last year. Some of them are just dated, but many more are dirty, dark and cramped. One house we perused online boasted a kitchen that was 8 ft x 6 ft. I’m not kidding. So when we first looked at our house a year ago, the kitchen was one of the selling points. Sure the cabinets were sort of crappy, and some of the doors had pulls shaped like forks and spoons (dear god, why!), but the room was spacious and bright. “It’s a good place to start,” I thought.

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Back then I had big dreams. “Oh, I’ll just gut this kitchen,” I said to myself (and drunkenly to the neighbors at our housewarming party).  HGTV makes it look so easy. You just rip out the cabinets, pull up the tile, and start over! Voila! Brand new kitchen. I dreamt of marble countertops and brass faucets. Of white enamel cast iron sinks. Of huge islands with bar stools.

Once we moved in, I realized several things. 1. Kitchens are flipping expensive, even if you do use Ikea cabinets. 2. We are not as handy as I thought we were. 3. House projects take five times longer than anticipated. So, with my renovation dreams in shambles, I settled for a kitchen facelift. Continue reading

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Living and Dining

Patience is a virtue, but not a virtue I possess. I understand that I should take my time decorating the new house. In an ideal world, I would work with the junk I already own and then spend the next decade accumulating one-of-a-kind pieces at thrift stores and garage sales — a distressed leather chair in the perfect shade of camel! an art deco brass floor lamp! And then, voila!, my house would be fit for a Design Sponge tour in 2024. But that’s not how I roll.

In other words, I had to buy some shit. I couldn’t not. And while our living/dining area is far from done, I no longer want to cry every time I look at it. For instance, I had to buy a rug. The one we had in Brooklyn looked so tiny and pathetic and wan in our spacious new living room. See?

photo

It was terrible!

Here’s the new one.

Living room - urban cholita Continue reading

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Homeowners

Much has happened in my absence. We packed up a truck, left Brooklyn, and moved to Wisconsin — a place with far less swearing and far more beer and cheese. But that’s not the most exciting part. We also bought a house! What WHAT?!

Here she is:

New House

Or at least that’s what she looked like when we first saw her in September. Back then the grass was green and the shrubbery was flowering. Continue reading

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Brooklyn Apartment Tour (Part 2)

Welcome back to the tour of our Brooklyn apartment. If you missed Part 1, or want to see the floorplan again, you can find it here. Today we’re taking a look at the back of the house: the bedroom, bathroom, and office.

BEDROOM

The bedroom used to be chainsmoker yellow like the kitchen. But thanks to Apartment Therapy, it’s now sort of purply-gray.DSC_0075 Continue reading

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Brooklyn Apartment Tour (Part 1)

In just a few short days we’ll be moving from Brooklyn, NY, to Madison, WI. I won’t miss the upstairs children with their banshee shrieks and elephant stomping (so long suckers!), but I will miss our lovely apartment.

What’s that? You’ve never SEEN our apartment? I’ve never offered you a tour! What a terrible hostess I am.

Let’s start with the floor plan, shall we? (Soren is really good at drawing floor plans.)

FloorPlan Continue reading

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The Cure – Painting, Framing, Dinner Party

Here’s my confession: I am not a dirty person, but I can be messy. I’m really really bad at picking up after myself. It should be so easy. The scissors come out, they make a cut, and then they’re supposed to go back in their drawer. But instead they end up on the dining room table, and then I run off to do something else. Soon the table is hidden under a thick layer of detritus and the bedroom floor is covered in clothes. Sigh. The junk piles up. And then putting it away becomes an actual time-consuming chore.

But people can change, right? (Shhhhhh — they can). As a first step toward change, I decided to join Apartment Therapy’s January Cure. The goal is to get a little more organized. Each day we get a new task. Some are easy (making lists). Some are kind of awful (mopping the floors, organizing files). I haven’t been religious about every single task, but I’ve mostly stuck with the program. Here’s an update on a few of the tasks. (To see the full task list, go here.) Continue reading

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Green Table Setting

I hosted Christmas for the first time this year, so I decided to try my hand at creating a fancy pants table setting. You know, one with cloth napkins. One where things match. One where everyone has at least one fork, spoon, and knife — whether they need them or not.

DSC_0006(Um, I realize that no one has any silverware in this photo. But I did put it on the table before we ate. Honest.)

So ever since I turned my dining room green, I’ve been crushing on the color hard. I can’t get enough. I wanted to work green into my table setting, but I also wanted to work with what I already had. Continue reading

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A Very Kitschy Christmas

Urban Cholita: ChristmasThe design blogosphere has been seized by Christmas spirit. Bloggers are hanging their hand-knit merino stockings by their painted brick chimneys with ever so much care (in the hopes that Todd Oldham soon will be there?).

I like Christmas too. But when Christmas decor succumbs to design trends, I want to vomit — just a little bit. Pink Christmas trees? Ombre decorations? Random bowls of matching ornaments? Not my style. Continue reading

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All I Want For Christmas . . .

Every year my parents ask me for a Christmas list. That’s right. I’m in my mid-thirties and I still make a Christmas list. Sometimes it feels like cheating. I mean, if they really knew me, would they even need a list?? But then I remember that I am very picky. And that lists are helpful. And that my parents are busy, and worried about disappointing me. And I relent.

Here are a few things from this year’s wish list:

Urban Cholita: Cool Earrings

1. Southwest Brass Earrings ($60) 2. Feathers of Fancy Earrings ($17.99) 3. Sky Earrings in Green Agate ($55)  4. Brass Tubes with Black Leather ($35) 5. Neon Dagger Studs ($16) 6. Point Me Toward the Shore Earrings ($17.99) 7. Gold Arrow Hoops ($28) Continue reading

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