December 6, 2017:

Hola!

It's COLD here. Cold and windy. But the Sun has been out for the past 2 days so it's bright, and that helps me to bear the cold and the short days. Only 15 more days to Winter Solstice, and then each day, a few more minutes of daylight will magically begin to be added, and even though the cold and snow will continue, the "worst" will be over because I know we are over the hump and headed toward the Spring Equinox.

Meanwhile, I am busy decorating the tree. I dug out an old collage of photos from the former Maison Newton (above). Gosh, that was a beautiful fireplace. My current gel fuel fireplace is great, but no match for that large and lush gas fireplace in my former home. In my case, downsizing meant not only much less square footage and a single story (which IS nice), but no fireplace until I purchased my gel fuel fireplace. I love it, but there was only one wall I could put it on, and this current living room is much smaller than my former living room, so I sized the fireplace accordingly. (It was also much less expensive and did not need to be installed by professionals).

Yesterday I womaned up and muscled, huffed, puffed, cussed some, breathed heavily and heaved mightily to get my Christmas tree up the basement stairs and dragged into the living room, and then into position in front of the picture window overlooking the front of the house. Whew! Quite the work-out. But I wasn't ready this year to switch to a "single woman of a certain age" (4 foot tall) tree. Maybe next year...NAH!

Jan

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Look for Less: Ballard Design's Emerson Kitchen

I've been scouting my favorite sources online to see if I can find lower priced substitutes for the lovely Emerson kitchen:


The price tag for the server ($1,099), chandelier ($349), table and chairs ($899 as a set; table $499, set of two chairs $229), and rug (not priced, out of stock - I estimated between $500-$700 and selected the midpoint $600 for my estimate), is $2,947.00.

Ballard Design's server is the Paulette in a "Tuscan brown" finish.  It's dimensions are 83 3/4" tall, 28" wide, and 18" deep.  The hutch is 12" deep, so 6" shallower than the base.  The server is designed in such a way that two or more units can be pushed closely together with no gaps.  It's a lovely piece of furniture, made out of MDF and "fine veneer" in China -- I could not find a description of the wood used for the "fine veneer."  There is a narrow area on top of the drawer area topped with marble, but notice that the two small drawers at the bottom of the "hutch" part pull out over the marble top. 

I started with looking for the server, and I knew it wasn't going to be easy! The piece is not wide like I would consider a more "traditionally styled" server -- actually a hutch with drawers! And as we know, hutches with drawers are expensive when buying retail, which is how I shop for these "look for less" challenges.  I also looked at secretary/hutch combinations because of their drawers and shelves.  All too expensive! 

But, at Ikea, I found this piece and fell in love with its look and its price:


This is the Hemnes glass-door cabinet, that retails for $365.  It has to be assembled (think party of friends to help) and this is the brown-black finish, much darker than the Tuscan brown of the inspiration Paulette server.  But -- keep the doors off and voila!  Add a marble cutting board on the lowest shelf -- with the savings (see below), you can have one custom-cut to fit if you wish. 

A handy person with the right kind of equipment could, if she wanted to, cut a curved piece of wood to fit inside at the top of the Hemnes cabinet to give the look at the top of the inspiration piece, and add baseboards to give a "legless" look, but I like the design of the piece as it is. It could be modern, it could be cottage/country, it could be traditional. Actually, it is a very smartly designed piece. Kudos to Ikea! 

Hemnes' glass-door cabinet has the following dimensions:  77.5" tall (6" shorter than the Paulette server),  35 3/8" wide (7 3/8" wider than the Paulette server), and 14 5/8" deep, 3 3/8" less deep than the bottom of the Paulette server, but about you make up the difference in the shelves, which do not shrink by 6" above the drawers.  This piece would comfortably fit into my small dinette area and, while wider than the Paulette server, which is not a problem, it is shallower and therefore would leave important floor space/clearance on my one solid wall where it would have to be parked.  That area also serves as a passage way through the dinette into the family room so it is crucial to have enough space to freely walk through and not feel "crowded." 

This Hemnes cabinet comes in white and also grey-brown (which looks like a light taupe color) finishes in addition to the brown-black finish I selected.

I do not know what shipping would run on either piece.  Gross price savings, not including shipping charges (and assembling the Hemnes cabinet) is $1,099 - $365 = $739. 

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