DrMMSSP's Profile

Display Name: DrMMSSP
Member Since: 3/3/12

Latest Comments...

You guys rock! I would never try all this by myself, w. kids and pets around--yikes!

I agree that the banister posts against all the white are looking stark rather than blend in. BUT that may be because I lived in a house with a black and white staircase treatment (treads and banister black, wainscotting, risers, and posts all white, and a black/white marble foyer floor). Also, when artwork, family pics, a coat-tree in use, a runner on the stairs, etc. are in place adding color, this may not be a big deal.

Word of warning on the white risers with a teen and cats in the house--they get dirty easily. I suggest you consider some sort of coating to clean them easily.

Mike & Sandie's Foyer: Renovation Diary
7/24/14 02:05 PM

A lot of people say, "work with what you have before you make changes." I think that if you've spent a lot of time in different kitchens and have strong preferences, that need not occur. I've lived in a dozen different homes, so cooked long-term in a dozen kitchens, and by the time we were in escrow for our current (and we hope, last) home, I knew what I did and didn't like. There was no way I was going to live with a yucky kitchen and then live through renovation; it was much better to design and remodel before we moved in, starting with the kitchen of *my* dreams.

Before & After: Jennifer's Sleek Shades of Gray The Big Reveal
7/24/14 12:21 PM

Really nice. Congratulations.

Before & After: Megan's Always-Evolving Kitchen The Big Reveal
7/23/14 01:56 PM

I love that this combines function with a homey (NOT homely!) feel.

Before & After: Anne's Nod to Mid-Century Kitchen Overhaul The Big Reveal
7/23/14 01:54 PM

Great job of DIY remodeling on a budget!

Before & After: Adrienne's $5,000 Fixer-Upper Kitchen The Big Reveal
7/23/14 01:51 PM

Love the green with the black and white.

Before & After: Rhoda's IKEA Kitchen With Custom Details The Big Reveal
7/23/14 01:47 PM

Pinterest also helps, whether it's just vicarious enjoyment or "visitation rights" for something you are saving up for.

How To Cut Down on Impulse Purchases, Save Money, and Buy Things You Really Like
7/23/14 12:03 AM

15 years ago, catalogs were great for satisfying the craving--I would look through them about sixty times, circle things I'd want, but ultimately, I didn't buy very much.

In a store, I try to follow my sister's lead: She discovered that when she finds something she wants, if she carries it around in her hands (not a cart) for ten minutes, she'll usually decide she doesn't need to have it. If she still wants it, and it's in the budget, she'll buy it.

How To Cut Down on Impulse Purchases, Save Money, and Buy Things You Really Like
7/23/14 12:02 AM

My sister buys a lipstick. She gets that same fun feeling: choosing, pretty packaging, new thing, and also--$12 or less!

How To Cut Down on Impulse Purchases, Save Money, and Buy Things You Really Like
7/22/14 11:59 PM

The bathroom is gorgeous, easily my favorite room in the house. The deck is wonderful, and all that light!

Of course, the graceful living room lamp is a flea-market find. Italy, no less. Anyone know of something similar that's widely available?

Jocelyn Scrapes Back Her Loft House Tour
7/22/14 11:55 PM

I like to let the rolling pin dry out a little bit to make it easy to brush off the dough. Also, if the dough had a noticeable odor, I use a little bit of a baking soda paste to scrub the pin, and rinse it in hot water, before drying it right away.

How To Clean a Wood Rolling Pin Cleaning Lessons from The Kitchn
7/22/14 04:09 PM

I have a container of citrus/ginger water. All I do is squeeze 1/2 lemon or lime into a jug of filtered water, grate ginger into the water, add slices of the remaining half of the fruit very thinly (this is prettier and makes the seeds pop out as you slice) and refrigerate. It is deliciously refreshing.

How I Make Tap Water More Appealing (Really!) Kitchen Diaries: Kate in New York City
7/22/14 04:06 PM

Even though the particular design styles are not my own taste, they obviously work well together; even more importantly, the renovation creates a functional kitchen. ("Functional" is the most important praise a kitchen gets from me. When we were house-hunting, the agent always paid attention to what I said about the kitchen, and the judgment was always about how functional it was.)

Before & After: Vanessa's Mini Chef's Kitchen The Big Reveal
7/22/14 11:04 AM

(1) A good but not fancy fridge--perhaps one with a bottom freezer for energy efficiency. I have had fancy, side-door fridges and non-fancy, single-door fridges. I prefer the single door, and fortunately they are cheaper.
(2) A great range. If electric is necessary, and there's any chance you can find one, get an induction--great to cook on!
(3) A venting hood! I would think that was required by code and maybe you can get that paid separately from your budget.
(4) A sink and good quality plumbing. That's something we love IKEA for--a range of styles for these at very affordable prices, and good quality.

A VERY cheap solution for the countertops would be what we did: two thicknesses of plywood, stained (or painted) and finished. Cost for materials is something like $60--the wood for the whole kitchen won't be $30. Installation is a breeze! It is a wonderful surface to work on, is customizable, easy to sand out any serious nicks or chemical stains, and you can use pieces to create a backsplash as well.

What Can I Do with $2000 to Update This Kitchen? Good Questions
7/22/14 10:50 AM

I had a horrid $3 builder's grade fake brass 3-arm "chandelier" hanging from a double-high ceiling. My best friend had flown out to help me move, and the two of us stared at that thing, and decided something must be done....so we yarn-bombed it. It took a couple of hours to do, and when I left, it took nearly as long to undo, and it didn't look incredibly better, but it looked enough better to be worth it, especially because whenever I looked up, I thought of my crazy friend and her crazy friend standing on a table winding yarn.

DIY Ways to Mask Awful Rental Lighting
7/21/14 06:54 PM

Figure out a configuration in your kitchen that allows you to do six things:
(1) Scrape (2) Soak (3) Scrub--cleanest to dirtiest (4) Sanitize (5) Rinse (6) Dry

Make sure you have good lighting near the sink to clean things well. I HATE finding some little patch

Use the time while things are roasting/baking/simmering to get the cooking/baking dishes done and put away.

Use gloves. Love the prev. commenter's suggestion of using hand lotion. Wear an apron--no fun getting your shirt wet.

I love to use baking soda for smelly dishes. I make a paste w. water and use my gloved fingers to rub it all over the pot/pan/bowl, let it sit, scrub with it, and dump it on the sink to re-use for scrubbing the sink. It is a cheap, low-muscle, no-scratch cleaner/deodorizer.

I scrape directly into the garbage (often use a spent paper towel or napkin) then put everything into sudsy water bowl or the biggest pan/pot I used early on to soak. (For example, when baking, the mixing bowl usually does its duty early, so I squirt soap into it and put spoons etc. in as a finish with them.)

Depending on the other dishes' sizes, I can usually use the biggest pot/pan for scrubbing everything. If not, I prepare the sink with soapy water and wash, cleanest to dirtiest, so there is less residue passed from the early to late dishes.

In one side of my sink (or a container in a bigger sink) I dip dishes in hot disinfecting solution (about 2 tsps. bleach in water, you can look up the formula per gallon and calculate how much water you are using) then rinse. This is how I keep from worrying that my dishes didn't get hot long enough to kill the germs.

Dish drying is worth thinking about carefully. I've recently moved to a microfiber mat instead of a rack--love the ease and lack of puddles. I have two for more meals. I dry in batches so there are no precarious stacks and I remove everything from the drying area before I begin cooking so there's nothing in the way for the new dishes. Keep several absorbent, fine dishcloths, because once one is soaked, it's no good trying to dry with it. Dry small to large to utilize the time with one dishrag.

Take time to rinse/wipe down the sink! I use the spent baking soda from dishes on my porcelain sink and the drain as well, and it always looks clean and shiny.

How Can I Make Hand-Washing Dishes Faster & More Fun? Good Questions
7/21/14 12:43 PM

Bonus for drought-conscious Westerners: You can water the plants at the same time! :-)

Can You Really Use a Pillowcase to Dry Lettuce? Putting Tips to The Test in The Kitchn
7/18/14 09:42 AM

Which high altitude baking cookbook? I'm still working with one my dad bought my mom in the 60s!

Before & After: Chris' Timeless Not Trendy Remodel The Big Reveal
7/16/14 07:41 PM

We are in the process of designing a side patio with an horno, which is a beehive-shaped wood oven that the Moors used and the Spanish adopted and brought to the new world and that was then adopted by the Southwest Native Americans. Traditionally it is used to bake bread (I make a lot of bread); nowadays, people are using it for many southwest slow-cook foods like carne adovada and of course for pizza. Here's a picture!


5 Backyard Pizza Ovens Making Us Super Jealous Right Now
7/16/14 09:33 AM

Wood is not inherently better than other things for cabinets and old cabinets are not inherently more functional than new ones. Furthermore, getting them out of her kitchen doesn't mean they were trashed, it means they are not at that address, or not in that form. We replaced all of the old melamine cabinets and bought all-IKEA; the cabinets (and old lighting) were taken to a nearby reservation and used in a community center that was being built. We gave away some cedar paneling and we used the rest to make a barn door. We removed a front door and screen door which are now elsewhere on the property. As to the IKEA materials--before you scoff, research. They are far more durable and functional than almost anything available (you can get very high-end wood or metal cabinets with hardware equivalent to IKEA).

Kitchen Before & After: An IKEA Kitchen Renovation for $8,700 Kitchen Remodel
7/12/14 10:33 AM