Kalakala's Profile

Display Name: Kalakala
Member Since: 4/1/08

Latest Comments...

That sofa/daybed/windowseat next to the fireplace is perfection! I'd like to curl up there with a book and snooze the day away.

Caro & Josh's Colorful & Quirky English Home House Tour
7/23/14 12:35 PM

I live in Seattle and while I wouldn't ask a total stranger what she pays in rent, a friend or neighbor? Sure! What have I got to lose? Rents are skyrocketing in my neighborhood (Capitol Hill), so there's lot of opportunities for sympathetic clucking (when someone's paying through the nose) or awed respect (when someone has a killer deal).

Would You (Could You?!?) Talk About Your Rent with Your Neighbors? Renter's Solutions
7/17/14 11:24 AM

Since cold coffee keeps for a week, I like to make several days' worth at a time, which means my French press is far too small. So I use a glass container (these days it's usually a growler since I have plenty of them around) and strain with a mesh strainer. The mesh strainer leaves some small grounds behind, but that's fine with me. If you wanted a totally particulate-free brew, you could strain again with a coffee filter.

I find that letting the brew sit for at least 24 hours results in a stronger, mellower brew.

5 Tips for Better Iced Coffee Smart Coffee for Regular Joes
7/8/14 12:21 PM

I like buying drugstore items -- shampoo, body wash, lip balm, etc. -- when I'm in another country. They're cheap, useful, consumable, and a fun reminder of my trip for as long as they last.

I also love place-specific kitchen items, like the grated cheese cellar that I saw over and over again on Italian tables, or the wire cheese cutter that's in everyone's kitchen drawer in Denmark.

Bring the Holiday Home: Practical Souvenir Ideas for Design Lovers
6/30/14 01:32 PM

I make a similar sauce with curry powder instead of hot sauce. Initially I always made it with regular yogurt, but ever since Greek yogurt became widely available, I use that instead because it makes it even better: richer and mellower, plus it has more protein. What's not to love?

The yogurt/dijon/curry powder mix is fabulous as a dip for raw veggies, sauce for salmon, condiment for sandwiches, dressing for chicken salad, and so on. I bet the Sriracha version is fantastic too.

3-Ingredient Recipe: Magic Summer Sauce Recipes from The Kitchn
6/26/14 06:25 PM

Wow, I'm surprised at how many people are saying they prefer empty rooms. I'm always impressed at how much bigger rooms look with furniture in them; empty rooms look smaller. And since buyers are presumably going to be putting furniture into the house, doesn't it make sense to show the place in the same state (furnished) that someone would using it in?

Furnishings are also important for listing images, which is where most of us start our real estate searches these days. Since so many real estate photographers use those magical room-expanding lenses, furniture gives you an idea of the room's actual size. Without the visual cues of a couch or a bookshelf, it's pretty much impossible to tell how big a room is.

Five Things I Learned About Real Estate From Reality TV
6/26/14 03:02 PM

I'm with catiaelizabeth ... once I hit 30, it no longer seemed appropriate to ask friends to help me move.

My last move required getting two people's stuff from a fourth-floor apartment to a 52-steps-up-from-the-street house, so we decided hiring help was a necessity. The movers got everything from point A to point B in under two hours. Total cost (including a generous tip) was the same or perhaps slightly less than it would have been to rent a moving truck and buy beer and pizza for six to eight friends. Plus the whole process was faster and far more efficient.

Movers: they are pros for a reason!

Heavy Lifting: How Did You Move The Big Stuff?
6/12/14 04:59 PM

Love this space! It really nails that difficult-to-achieve balance between expansiveness and privacy.

But what is "note space"?

Danny & Joni's Former Knitting Factory Small Cool Contest
6/12/14 04:19 PM

Amazing space! I've always been drawn to homes that look they've been furnished with handmade or improvised pieces rather than filled with designer furniture. This place looks so wonderfully homey and lived in. The bedroom cubes and the wall of plants are especially awesome, and I'd put up with a lot of temperature fluctuations for those windows.

Carlos’ Custom DIY Loft House Tour
6/12/14 12:40 PM

Beltway Barbarian, that looks like the Ikea Molger: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60241450/.

Amy's Light & Airy Apartment Small Cool Contest
5/22/14 11:13 AM

I commissioned an acquaintance to do an oil painting of Johnny Cash for my husband's 30th birthday. For his 35th, I had a comic artist illustrate the family motto ("It's not easy being pals"). I paid both artists $300, which I guess is my go-to amount for commissioned art.

Tell Us: What's the Most You've Ever Spent on Artwork?
5/8/14 10:48 AM

I love candles and good smells, but most scented candles are a huge disappointment; I'm usually sick of the smell long before the candle is burnt out. I've always liked beeswax but been put off by the price. Then I discovered a nunnery (!) nearby that makes 100% beeswax candles that are very reasonably priced. They're not scented with perfume, but the natural beeswax scent is lovely and mellow. Their shop is called Quiet Light Candles (good name!).

Tell Us: What Are Your Favorite Scented Candles? Apartment Therapy's Home Remedies
3/25/14 12:40 PM

"It'll dry darker" and "Wait until you see it with two coats" ... so true!

I have repeated these phrases to myself over and over again in the midst of a disappointing paint job. Note to self: if you don't like it after an hour, it's not going to get better over time.

Share the Pain: What Was Your Biggest Paint Mistake? Apartment Therapy's Home Remedies
3/13/14 01:29 PM

I had a roommate once who, in a fit of what must have been winter madness, decided to paint the hallway of our popcorn-ceilinged, textured-walled, 70s horror show apartment a shocking pink color. He did a horrible job -- there was paint all over the place -- and the end result had a undeniable "cut-rate bordello" vibe. I referred to it privately as the love tunnel.

As for me, I thought I had picked a nice earthy green for my treehouse-level living room. I tested at least five variations on the wall, looked at the sample patches in all sorts of light, solicited feedback from anyone that happened to pass through ... but once the whole room was painted, it turned out to be not the mellow green I'd anticipated but an uncomfortable institutional green. I hate it but I've been too dispirited to paint over it.

This is not the first time green paint has turned out far more zingy than anticipated. Note to self: greens are tricky.

Share the Pain: What Was Your Biggest Paint Mistake? Apartment Therapy's Home Remedies
3/13/14 01:24 PM

Do the bookshelf and bike need to stay? If not, this would be a great space for some full-width seating that takes up the entire back wall. To me, few things are cozier than a luxuriously large couch. You could go DIY with something along the lines of Mark's DIY Case Study Bed or this multiple-use Danish daybed. Bonus: the space could do double duty as a guest room. If you wanted to take the cozy to outrageous levels, you could paint the walls a dark color and add curtains to the front so that the whole room can become a sectioned-off bastion of coziness.

If the stuff currently in there needs to stay, as other commenters have mentioned, some lamps, comfortable seating, and a nice rug would go a long way toward upping the coziness factor.

Ideas for Transforming Corner into a Relaxing Sitting Area? Good Questions
3/4/14 05:43 PM

My apartment has incredibly cheapo berber -- I saw the same carpet at Lowe's and it was 18 cents a square foot -- throughout. Since we're renting, replacing the flooring isn't an option. So I have rugs throughout (inherited Turkish carpets). Since the rugs are wool or silk and fairly heavy, there isn't a problem with tripping or migrating -- those suckers stay firmly in place. And they definitely make the ugly cheapo carpet less noticeable: since the the wall-to-wall stuff is a neutral color and the rugs are bright and multi-colored, the eye is always drawn to the rugs and the background carpet kind of fades away. My preference will always be wood for floors, but rugs over carpet is definitely better than carpet alone in my book.

Are Rugs on Wall-to-Wall Carpeting Really that Bad? Good Questions
3/4/14 11:28 AM

When the Mister and I moved to a small town in Alaska for a few months, I was really surprised at how many of our household costs went up. Yes, rent was half of what we paid in Seattle, but pretty much everything else (groceries, eating out, gas and other car-related expenses, health insurance, etc.) was more expensive ... sometimes shockingly so ($11/pound tomatoes, $5/roll toilet paper). The extra costs would have been okay if we'd been earning Seattle incomes, but we weren't, and we realized pretty quickly that we couldn't afford to stay.

I know Alaska isn't necessarily a typical small-town experience since nearly everything has to be transported at least 2,500 miles from "Outside", but it made me realize how much I take cheap freight costs -- and the economies of scale that living in a city provides -- for granted. I'd guess at least 90 percent of the stuff I buy in Seattle is from far, far away, but I don't notice the transportation costs since getting stuff here is relatively efficient and inexpensive. When you live in an out-of-the-way place, you definitely notice the premium freight charges.

Another big change in the household economy was a shift in the way we ate: pretty much every meal was cooked and eaten at home; we ate out maybe once a month. Cooking at home was a tremendous time sink. On an average day I'd spend at least three hours on cooking and cleanup (no dishwasher). I generally enjoy being in the kitchen and I wasn't working much so I had the time, but had I been working full time, I think it would have gotten old really quickly.

Big City To Small Town:
A Personal Cost-Of-Living Update

2/28/14 02:38 PM

"... {B{asically a tree house"? LOL. I've never seen a treehouse with a toilet and shower, not to mention the small-but-perfectly-formed kitchen this place boasts. Yes, it needs to be hooked up to the grid, but so does pretty much every other house in this country. Why do small houses get judged by a different standard?

A Peek Inside Alek's Tiny Project House House Call
2/5/14 07:27 PM

"To be totally self-sufficient, you cannot rely on someone else for utility hook ups." Sustainable isn't the same thing as self sufficient. Where does it say that tiny houses must be electricity and water independent? It's not an RV.

As for property taxes, the tiny house dwellers I know most certainly pay property taxes: those who own their land pay directly to the county, and those are renting space pay the same way the rest of us renters do: via our rent.

I think it's interesting that tiny houses inspire such strong negative feelings in some people. It's as if the who-could-possibly-live-there people find the choice to live in a small space offensive.

A Peek Inside Alek's Tiny Project House House Call
2/5/14 07:25 PM

Mille Bornes! It's a car-racing game with awesome 60s graphics. Fun for kids and adults alike.

10 Best Board Games for a Night In Apartment Therapy Game Room
1/10/14 07:18 PM