Arkay's Profile

Display Name: Arkay
Member Since: 9/22/08

Latest Comments...

We've done 4 kitchen renovs in 10 years. 2 were rental units (we're landlords) which we did with Ikea ourselves. Pros: Hanging rail system is great, really decent results for cheap. Cons: Assembling one Ikea product is a pain; assembling 2 dozen is many more hours (and annoyance) on a project, and it definitely cuts into the cost advantage. After 5 years of hard use, they look pretty beat up - particle bd showing through chipped corners, not holding up well around sink with dampness, melamine delaminating. Planning to replace doors & drawer fronts.

Our first home kitchen renov we considered Ikea, but didn't like the particle bd and the selection of doors. We ordered lower mid-line plywd/veneer cabinets from Lowes or Home Depot, and were very pleased. (We have old houses and our style is ethno-eclectic, so the contemp look of Ikea wasn't a selling point.) Cost wasn't that much more when you consider cabinet assembly, and the added flexiblity with cabinet size really helped in our small rowhouse kitchen. We did Corian counters and after 7 years wished we'd spent a little more on stone - they scratched badly (though we're slobs).

Our most recent was after a move to a bigger house (with kids) so we went higher end.


IKEA Kitchen Cabinets: Pros, Cons
& Real Life Owner Reviews
Reader Intelligence Report

10/12/13 09:48 AM

Well, you could go against type and paint it pink, or some other "unmilitary" color - the way eastern Europeans painted Soviet tanks left as WWII monuments pink after the fall of communism (Google "pink tank"). If you're a good painter, you could do a camouflage pattern with unusual colors. You could probably find camouflage wallpaper online, if you wanted to go that route. In any case, I'd cut a piece of 3/4" plywood a little smaller than the bottom and screw it to the bottom, and attach legs to the plywood to get it up off the ground.

(BTW, pink has been used by the military - "Mountbatten Pink" was used on some camouflaged warships of the Royal Navy in the Atlantic in WWII.)


Military Desk Refurbishing Ideas? Good Questions
2/7/13 07:58 AM

We had a real crap floor in our 150 YO rowhouse basement, and orange interlocking foam tiles made it much warmer and more comfy. I had a workshop down there and the foam was great to stand on (concrete will kill your feet & back). And the bright color made the space seem bigger, and you could see little things you dropped.


Family-Friendly Basement Flooring
1/31/13 07:57 PM

beautiful. we sprayed our rowhouse basement joints etc. white and the ceiling felt two feet higher. SO glad we didn't do a drop ceiling!


Lofty Expectations Turned Into Loft-Like Basement Renovation and Home Office DeskTops - The Best of Home Office Desks
1/31/13 07:46 PM

Good sex.

(Yes, I'm a guy.)

No TV/media a half hour before turning in. Sitting by the wood stove (yeah, we're lucky). Doing the shoulder-stand asana. No coffee in the afternoon. No beer past dinner (hello bladder). Remembering favorite locales/events from traveling, or early childhood.


Tell Us: What Helps You Fall Asleep?
1/31/13 07:41 PM

We did our Philly rowhouse BM Bone White with Decorator White trim right before we put it on the market. Looked great with our wide pine plank floors (warm colored original wood), and made the space look big and elegant (which it is not, exactly). I prefer bright warm colors, but it really liked it. And the house sold in 6 weeks in a tough market!


Which White Paint Should I Choose? Good Questions
10/20/12 08:38 AM

We did a cutout in the basement door for the cats the mimicked a Moorish style door in the Alahambra - one of my faves - and all our visitors comment on it.


The Built-In Litter Box
10/20/12 08:21 AM

"Get the F@&$ Out of Dodge" by Public Enemy.


Music for Moving: Playlists to Pack By Moving Week: Sponsored by Penske Truck Rental
8/5/12 10:37 AM

Pull out your camera and take a bunch of pictures. Shoot details of the place you are - the grain of the wood on the steps, the texture of leaves through the screen on the porch, a glass of wine next to a candle. Shooting usually gives me all sorts of ideas - it's a form of visual thinking. And I end up with a bunch of new pictures ....


Staying Productive During An
Offline Weekend

8/3/12 05:01 PM

I always travel with a picture of my family on me. It's a universal, great for connecting with people. Helps with the homesickness too. Also a favorite book (currently: Calvino's "Invisible Cities;" my first time abroad it was "On the Road")....


What to Bring or Acquire Immediately When Moving Abroad Setting Up Home
8/3/12 09:52 AM

Tip: pre-print big white labels LVRM, BDRM, etc. and stick 2 on opposite sides of the box - because boxes inevitably get stacked label-in. You can scribble more detail under the label if you want.

And then: HIRE MOVERS! Or look forward to the day when you can - best $ I've ever spent.


How To Get Your Friends To Help You Move Moving Week: Sponsored by Penske Truck Rental
8/3/12 09:43 AM

@Magpiec: Not to get too personal, but what role does your husband take in all this? Regarding inlaws, my wife & I have a rule: you manage your family, and I manage mine. There is NO WAY I would allow my family to impose upon us in this way - I would never tolerate that sort of disrespect towards my wife, our relationship, and our home! I know she feels the same way.


How To Be the Guest That Gets
Invited Back

8/2/12 10:22 AM

6 is Otomi embroidery, made into a coverlet. The Otomi are one of many indigenous peoples in Mexico, living in the vicinity of Puebla. The artistry of groups like the Otomi are huge part of the visual richness of Mexican culture.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otomi_people


Cantina by the Sea Dream Escape
7/28/12 09:26 AM

Better to use a thin slat of wood betw hammerhead & wall, like a paint stirrer


Save Your Walls! Use A Rubber Band DIY Life
7/26/12 10:43 AM

Wow - our 1910 Philly foursquare has the exact same columned pass-through - though it's painted. What's the wood on yours?


Do All Six of These Windows Need Same Treatment? Good Questions
7/25/12 04:17 PM

Duane, I read your comment as a little snarky too. For whatever reason, this is the apartment she has - she didn't ask us what we thought of her planning/parenting decisions. That said, I'm not going to slap you....

When our twins came along, we got rid of the coffee table and replaced it with an ottoman. With stain/crayon/vomit resistant fabric. Good luck!


Child-Friendly Furniture Suggestions for Sharing New Apartment with Son? Good Questions
7/17/12 12:19 PM

After college, I spent a year and a half traveling and working abroad, and basically living out of a backpack. I accumulated more stuff when I stayed somewhere for a while, but I gave it away or left it behind when I moved on. It became a form of mental discipline - "do I need to carry this on my back for the next year?" It was weird, and liberating. I traded stuff for mobility, comfort for experience.

Living in a "tiny house" would require a similar sort of discipline (though I understand these folks don't live here full-time). A form of meditative practice, really - living within a very intentional frame. Do I really need this? It's a really important reflection to have, in our consumerist society - even if you only do it for a moment, while reading a blog (in my own cluttered, oversized old house... ah, youth!).


Christopher & Merete's Truly Tiny
Home on the Range House Tour

7/17/12 08:46 AM

The mental health benefits of a nice little campfire with friends or by yourself FAR outweigh any possible negative health effects. I was just out in Idaho on a rafting trip, and the pine we were burning was sweet as incense.... (We used a fire pan for safety/environmental reasons - a good idea in Big Sur too.)

Of course, a fire bowl is for outdoor use only. A good wood stove properly installed with a proper seal will have no negative health effects on a normal healthy person (could be some issues for someone with asthma or other sensitivity). Hauling and splitting the wood is good exercise. And the pleasure of sitting by a fire...


Rustic Cabin in Big Sur Dream Escape
7/14/12 11:05 AM

Consider bringing binoculars. Took an Alaska cruise and beyond whale-watching, I really enjoyed sitting on deck scanning the shortline, passing boats, etc. Have a little Pentax Papillio, which has a camera-style thread mount so you can screw it onto a monopod to steady it. Great product!

Also, I snuck a bottle of scotch on the boat wrapped in a sweater in my suitcase - saved me much $$$ in room service for a nightly nightcap!


Getting Ready for the High Seas:
Packing for a Cruise Vacation

7/10/12 03:29 PM

A damaged flag is destroyed by burning it privately, not as part of a public spectacle. Public burning is a different matter - though protected by the 1st Amendment as political speech.


O Say Can You See: Etiquette for Displaying the American Flag
7/8/12 11:52 AM