I now officially have the home renovation bug – bad. I know I promised the other day that I would share images of the built-ins we just installed in my sons’ room and didn’t deliver. I will, eventually, I swear. But I am in love with my built-ins. In fact, I am in love with built-ins in general. As a kid there were a built-in closet and dresser in my bedroom and we cursed them nearly every day. The placed serious constraints on how I could arrange my room, and seemed a highly inefficient and unattractive use of space. And as an adult homeowner I have noticed that built-ins seem to have generally fallen out of favor for some time now. But I think that’s a big mistake. When done well, the storage — and therefore space, organization and dimension – and character that they can add to a room is truly phenomenal.
I received perhaps my favorite complement of all time the other day when my son and his friends did some baking for a school fundraiser in my renovated kitchen and one of the boys commented that it was the best kitchen he had ever seen (or something to that effect, but we’ll just assume that was the gist). I loved not only the complement itself certainly, but the fact that it was made after and in response to spending the day working in my kitchen. Because certainly whether it is the nicest looking kitchen around is highly debatable. The really beauty of the kitchen is in how efficiently and effectively the space is used, so that it honestly makes me happy every single time I cook or bake in it. All of which feels fairly arrogant to say, since I designed the kitchen, but I think the actual point is that built-ins work best when they are designed by (or in conjunction with) the owner and take into account the user’s specific needs. While pruning the photographs in the iPhoto library which threatens to take over — and then take down — my computer I came across pictures of the kitchen pre-renovation. Organizing the room around efficient storage was nothing short of transformative. Read the rest of this entry »