Friday, August 07, 2015

Before & After
While we were in Amsterdam, I became a little obsessed with sprucing up our new apartment with some finishing touches. If we had moved to Amsterdam, we would have had the most fabulously furnished apartment of all time because the kitchen supply stores and furnishing stores with a mixture of global, bohemian, and vintage pieces were breathtakingly beautiful and temptingly affordable at the same time.

 As I breathed in the abundant second hand smoke and reflected on our new Italian kitchen, it seemed too much like the one I remembered from The Cosby Show. Sorry if that reference is in really bad taste given the current situation, but so was my kitchen, unfortunately.

Remember? Too late? Too soon?

(This is the floorplan from I love the internet.
 Anyway if you really want to put your marriage to the test, here's what you do. Buy some removable -- in theory, vinyl adhesive kitchen paper and try to smooth that on wooden shelves. One of you keeps the tension in the paper, while the other one uses a plastic triangle to smooth down the constantly appearing air bubbles that threaten to ruin the whole cabinet.

We also painted the chairs and the base of the table, neither of which belong to us, and put cushions on the chiars.

Here is our kitchen before:

Here it is after:

 Please only comment if you are Ricardo Montalban or if you like it much better now.

And thanks to my friend and computer and animation guru Ian for coming up with the Ricardo Montalban clip.

Today we ran around Lucca looking for a wood and faux leather director's chair to finish off the living room. It was one billion degrees here so after a couple of disappointing stops at used furniture stores, we hit up an air-conditioned chain store that is fairly generic called Chataux d'Ax. There was a wonderful lady who worked there who reminded me of Lily Tomlin as Ernestine the phone operator.

I would never have done this if there had been other customers, but I pretended to be very interested in some chairs we really can't afford. I made it as enjoyable a work experience as I could for her. I didn't set out to trick her for the sake of air-conditioning, but my pride wouldn't let me tip toe out of there with my tail between my legs just because the prices were prohibitive. F was alarmed at first because I was so convincing. As I suspected that the woman who was helping us could understand English, there was a funny moment where I had to tell him in pig latin that -Iay wasay kingfay-- I was faking. Also I don't know pig latin. He stopped playing bad cop, long enough to breathe a sigh of relief. I made it up to the lady by paying her some sincere compliments for her listening ability, her eye, and her taste level.

Sadly, we are thrifty and so I don't think I'll get to see her again.
We bought this chair for fifty euro:

and this fabric to recover it with for eleven euro:
I'll show you once it's completed.

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