mntwmyn's Profile

Display Name: mntwmyn
Member Since: 12/31/08

Latest Comments...

White on white looks a bit to stark I think. Low budget, get the multi-pack of black porcelain knobs at Lowes. Classic shape and material without busting the bank.


In Search of New Drawer and Cabinet Knobs Kitchen Diary: Emily in Los Angeles
6/11/14 12:44 PM

We have an 1800 sq fott 2 story rough stucco house in Richmond, VA. We had it painted last fall. The painters did a fair amount of soffit repair where rot had set in, some masonry work, rebuilding a couple of windows, installing new storm windows, and caulking (33 tubes!). We were painting it a fresh coat of white. The foundation was painted a charcoal grey over a brick red.

It took a 3 man crew every it of two weeks. Total: $4000. Best money ever spent!


How Much Did it Cost to Paint Your House Exterior? Reader Intelligence Request
6/5/14 01:51 PM

I've sat in an original in a gallery and absolutely despised it. I have always hated the look (not fond of the entomological style in the house) and sitting it in curves you too much and they are impossible to get out of. I've never understood why you would pay through the nose for an ugly, uncomfortable sofa. But I'm a troglodyte anyways.


The Togo Sofa and 3 Cheaper Alternatives
2/6/14 07:07 PM

I spent the morning cleaning the downstairs and reorganizing the desk. I'm heading upstairs to clean the master bedroom and bring down my outbox stuff. While I'm not completely up to date with The Cure, what I have accomplished has made a massive difference in my life and the way my house operates and I love it!!


The Last Lap: Gather Some Goodies The January Cure Assignment #21
1/30/14 12:54 PM

I have fallen off the Cure bandwagon, I'm afraid. My big project derailed me, but overall, I think the process has been one that has made a substantial difference in my house, which is really the point, isn't it? I reclaimed my basement and now have a functional art studio again for the first time in five years! And, I've made art, two pieces with several more in the works. That is huge progress. I still need to clean out my out box and deep clean my bedroom, but I'm going to continue to muddle through and do all the tasks until I get them complete. The whole process has been a cathartic one. And, I think it's going to make me more mindful of the way we live in general.


Final Stretch: The 60 Minute Quick Clean The January Cure Assignment #20
1/29/14 05:57 PM

I hate Atlantic farmed salmon. It's disgusting and I won't eat it. Cold water Pacific wild-caught salmon is a whole different kettle of fish, so to speak! That I love. Little bit of brown sugar, cumin, coriander, and salt & pepper. Broil until desired doneness. Delish!


I Hate Salmon! What Are Some Recipes That Disguise Its Taste? Good Questions
1/22/14 03:45 PM

So, I've fallen way behind in my cure. Not because I've been slacking or anything like that. We've had snow and had two days (maybe three) off of school (I teach) and I've been dedicating my time to cleaning up/organizing/painting the basement. The good news, I've got a clean, organized, functional space now (yeah me!). The bad news, I'm now working on the kitchen cabinets. But, I had to get the basement organized before I could get to the cabinets. Now, I'm moving some stuff down to the basement into the area I'm calling my dry pantry. Really it's just a shelving unit that can hold the juicer, seasonal dishes, canned goods, and paper products. So, Even though I'm behind, I'm really making headway in the organization and set up of functioning systems in this house.


Declutter & Organize: Bathroom Cabinets Cleanout The January Cure: Assignment # 15
1/22/14 12:17 PM

So, I've fallen way behind, but I haven't really. Some of the tasks I had already done (set up a landing strip). Others I needed to put off to get to my big project, which is actually a huge project, cleaning out, unpacking, and organizing my basement, work shop, art space. We started the basement last weekend and made a huge dent. Of course, like many projects, one thing turned into several. Some of the walls needed scraping and re-dry locking, so that has added time. We got the old coal room cleared, shelves set up, and all the mosaic supplies unpacked and organized and a light in there. I cleared out a corner and realized that that wall needed to be repainted with dry-lock, so I started that project last night. While I was working with the art supplies, my partner was working on creating our dry pantry down there. She cleared off the shelving unit of old cleaning products and junk, dry-locked that area, and reinstalled the shelving unit.

This weekend, I'll continue dry-locking the corner I started last night and unpacking, sorting, trashing, and organizing the rest of the art supplies in such a manner that I will actually be able to USE them once again. Once that is done, I'll be able to go upstairs and start working on cleaning up and cleaning out the kitchen cabinets. Rarely used appliances, seasonal dishes, and other such things will go into plastic bags and go down in the basement, freeing up space in the kitchen. So, I'm hoping to get all that done this weekend, at least the basement part. So, I'm officially extending my January Cure to the January/February Cure with a goal of getting it all done by my partner's birthday, Feb. 25th. And that's when we will be able to have guests again!

Despite the massive amount of work, I think it's really going to pay off in how efficiently my house functions. Having a logical place for everything and systems to maintain your space makes your house run so much more smoothly. My ultimate goal this year is to whip this house into maximum efficient shape! Ultimately it is to make my life run more smoothly and efficiently.


The Halfway Point!: Project Progress The January Cure: Assignment #11
1/17/14 10:25 AM

Day after Christmas. I put it up very early, right after Thanksgiving. And in the Asian world, you have to have your house as clean as you can get it before New Years (no sweeping New Year's day, you'll sweep out the good luck!) to welcome the new year. So, I spend the week before New Year's cleaning and that includes taking down the tree and putting away all the decorations.


Weigh In: When Do You Take Down the
Christmas Tree?

1/16/14 09:35 AM

Here's my issue with this weekend (and my justification for deviating from the cure - just rearranging the schedule a bit to work for me): My kitchen is pretty clean, but disorganized. I have wanted to do this for a while, but in order for me to organize it, I needed to set up a dry pantry in the basement (you're starting to see where this is going, aren't you?). In order to do that, I needed to unpack and organize my art supplies and tackle the basement in general. So, that's what we have tackled this weekend. It's not really done yet, but it's getting better. I've cleaned out the old coal room, filled it with shelves and have made a great deal of headway going through the art supplies and tossing tons of old, moldy paper, useless junk, and organizing tools. All mosaic supplies have found a home and are accessible. I've created a mountain of moldy cardboard and trash. We started yesterday morning by going and purchasing a new shelving unit for paints. I'm almost done cleaning out a corner where that shelf needs to go. I'll have to dry-lock the brick behind it first. This is going to put a crimp in my cure timeline, but it will make a HUGE difference in our ability to enjoy and organize our home. And I will finally have time a place to work on art projects again! That I'm super excited about!


Weekend Chores: Flowers, Kitchen Organizing & Cleaning, Make a Meal January Cure: Assignment # 7
1/12/14 02:01 PM

We are going to tackle our nightmare of a basement and get some practical storage and tool organization going on down there. We've been renovating for the past four years and we just called major renos done (yippee!!). When we moved in, we just shoved stuff here and there and we didn't really organize it. I have a massive amount of art supplies that need to be taken out of the boxes and moved and sorted and organized so that I can use it and make stuff again. We also would like to create a dry pantry down there for extra paper goods and odd appliances that we use, just not frequently. We need to weatherize the basement windows and secure them better than what they have now. That will go a long way towards warming up this place I think, and make working down there more pleasant. My daughter is going to be at a class all day on Saturday and so we think we can get a huge chunk of it done then.


You Can Do It: Pick a Project to Cross Off Your List January Cure: Assignment # 5
1/8/14 07:23 PM

I got most of the floors done. They weren't bad as I've been dusting and mopping them every other day or so for the past couple of weeks (two dogs and a wet, muddy mess in the back yard). The only two I didn't get done were the master bedroom and the guest bedroom that is serving as the "outbox" right now. I do need to do the master bedroom though.

Not sure about this task though as it's something I do constantly. There are three areas that need some attention. Our master bedroom, the sun room and the guest room. I've spent lots of time looking at them and deciding what to do. I've got a plan for the sun room, but it's going to be a bit costly and we are trying to be very budget minded right now. Our master bedroom needs to be organized and systems established to make sure clothes get put away and that everything has a place. And the guest bedroom which we just finished but haven't organized needs that organization. But, I can't really tackle that room until the cure is done. I might go upstairs and do the floors in our bedroom and contemplate the bookshelves…..

And, I figured out a way to do flowers on a budget. Our local grocery store didn't have anything great for a reasonable price when I did my shopping on Saturday. I did manage to find a bunch of greenery (mostly various types of eucalyptus) that was meant as filler for rose bouquets. I had an old block of wet oasis and a silver trophy bowl. I ended up putting together a very nice, long lasting, greenery arrangement that also smells nice!

It was a real treat too. We've been doing major renovations on this place for four years and I haven't been buying cut flowers during that time. It was like saying "hey, reno is done, now we can enjoy!"


10 Mindful Minutes: Get a Fresh Perspective January Cure: Assignment #3
1/6/14 07:29 PM

Okay, I'm joining for the first time this year. We've been doing a whole house renovation of a 100 year old train wreck for the past 4 years. Now that all the major work (for now) is done, I can start working on just living in it. And to do that, I need to get all the systems set up and functioning. I'm a huge believer in having functional systems that become self perpetuating and that's what makes a house function well. My list is long and not doable (or affordable) only in the month of January. I think we are going to focus on the kitchen and basement this go around. Making the list will give me a guideline for the rest of the year however.


The First Step: Create a Project List The January Cure: Assignment #1
1/2/14 05:02 PM

I like (but not love) the look, but I hate, hate, hate the layout. So incredibly inefficient. If you are a cook, you can see all the additionally walking you would do between the sink, fridge, and stove. It's pretty but not practical. Marble is beautiful and can be kept up if you love it. I like the look because it looks classic to me, a bit old and a bit new. But, it's not my ideal kitchen.


What's So Special About This Kitchen?
10/16/13 08:39 PM

Having had black, white, and stainless, I'll pick white every time. Stainless and black became all the rage a while ago when appliances became status symbols. I recently installed a dishwasher in 6 feet of counterspace. I chose white so that the dishwasher blended with the cabinets and didn't provide a visual stop. I hate stainless and black because they are so hard to get and keep clean. White is so much easier. Black always look smeery and stainless never looks clean to me. When I gut the kitchen, I'll put in all white...


White Kitchen Appliances are Trending White Hot
7/24/13 06:58 AM

I am piecemealing a kitchen together in a 100 year old house, doing a bit here and a bit there as needed and as I go along. This house needed a massive amount of work and there just wasn't enough money in the budget to do the kitchen in the way I wanted to, so I went with laminate. It was inexpensive, looks pretty decent, and it's durable. We just replaced the sink, sink cabs and added a dishwasher with two small countertops. Until I can afford to do a total overhaul and get my refurbished O'Keefe and Merritt stove and soapstone counters, it will be laminate. My kitchen functions beautifully, even if it isn't showstoppingly gorgeous. I do use it daily and laminate is hardwearing and easy to keep clean.


Rethinking Laminate Eco-Friendly Countertop Design from Wilsonart
7/11/13 11:00 AM

Our house is totally imperfect and that's what I love about it. When we bought it it was a complete dump. Harvest gold everywhere, gross shag carpet everywhere, paneling everywhere. It was hideous. We started demo the minute we got the keys and have entertained even when there was nothing but exposed studs. Sure, it was crappy delivery pizza and cold beer, but it was fun. I've never waited until it was perfect to entertain. I figure, my friends are coming for my company (and cooking!) not my house. While I do want it to look pretty, I am more concerned that it is warm and welcoming. I want my house to be the one where everyone hangs out. It's come a long way, but it still has a long way to go. We've made some amazing memories here and are looking forward to making many more. It's much larger than our last house (double the size) but considered modest by today's mcmansion standards (just shy of 1800 sq feet). Friends are often concerned about coasters and worrying about damaging something. My response is that there is nothing precious in the house but the beings that live there.


Can't Buy Happiness: 5 Simple Ways to Turn Any House Into a Home You Love
7/3/13 03:34 PM

I've had them at the local heath food salad bar, but would love to be able to buy them as I have fallen hard for them too. Amazing on salads.


Hello, Hemp Seeds! 5 Great Recipes to Get You Started
6/25/13 12:12 PM

Needs the top cushion. I can't say I love the redo. A bit too RH for my taste, but the lines of this settee is lovely.


Before & After: Craigslist Setee Gets a Fresh New Look Home
6/24/13 12:26 PM

RVA and Billy Bread! Rock on. Good to see my town getting some love! Great house and great job.


Chris & Julie's Sunny Dixie Abode House Tour
6/15/13 10:41 AM