Monday, April 4, 2011

Everything but the kitchen sink... Part Uno.

We're about 90% done with the kitchen and this last 15% is nothing but the details.  Mies van der Rohe said God is in the details but I don't think he was talking about math or garbage disposals or undercabinet lighting because this shit is so zzzzzzz........  


Where am I??!!  Oh yeah.  Talking about unimportant things that if not done right become really really important but are really really boring to me because it's not about gorgeous tile and pretty things and I can't make Nick do this for me because I'm out of money to pay for his time and he won't accept cookies and "special" skyping sessions as payment I'm too anal retentive to give up all control.  But we're in the home stretch and I just need to adjust my newly found lady balls and start kicking ass and taking names.

But since we're so close I'm also not going to give you any more pictures because mwahahahaha!!  The next two posts are all the things that aren't sinks and countertops and cabinets and tile but are completely occupying my brain and making a Madame pretty cranky.  It's enough to drive someone deeper into the sauce. 

I don't know shit about lighting.  Back in ye olde design school I had an award-winning lighting professor (there are awards for that shit?) that was a bit washed up and all I remember is staring at her facelift scars a lot when she actually showed up to class and wondering if she had a drinking problem.  Needless to say I don't know how to calculate lumens or candelas or what the difference is between them but I DO know that you should have layers of light.  I'm sure I didn't learn that in school either.  So the main light will be recessed lights as we've already seen.

I always thought recessed lights were a necessary evil but they are growing on me.  Especially when they are in such a purty formation.  I bought the cheap ass baffles at Home Depot because it all looks the same to me.  Y'all can edumicate in the comments if you're so inclined but I ain't buying $50 trim parts (which I'm sure look better) so you might be wasting your keystrokes.

The next layer is decorative accent lighting.  I think.  I'm making all this up as I go along...  I wanted two pendants over the windows - simple, sleek and non-invasive.  A few years ago when I was just having dirty fantasies about the kitchen remodel  I even drew what I wanted:

Should they be 'globes (chrome)' or 'chrome (globes)'...???  What about just 'globes with chrome' or 'chrome globes'...??  Lighting is hard.

I'm design psychic so when I found the ubiquitous-yet-reasonably-priced globe at West Elm I was sold!

Granted, now my kitchen will look like the checkout counter at a West Elm store but once you sketch something you're locked in forever. 

Then there's task lighting:  
Why do you make it so hard for me??????
This seems easy until I realized that having hardwired, dimmable and linkable undercabinet lighting might as well be the Holy Grail for how easy it is to find at a local Home Depot.  I should know - I went to three stores and still bought the wrong ones.  It's okay though because the electrician installed them wrong so we're even.  Now I'm waiting on the "correct" ones to be delivered to complete my trifecta of lighting awesomeness.  Everything is on a dimmer of course because I can't julienne without the appropriate ambiance.  I'm kidding.  I don't julienne I slap and chop of course.

I want simple slightly contemporary stuff.  Nothing crazy so should be easy right?!  Wrong.  Having taste that cannot be satisfied at a local big box store but a wallet that MUST be satisfied there is proving problematic.  Pretty much your only "contemporary" option is this:
Euro trash bar.
I think anyone who buys these handles needs to have one shoved up their ass sideways and then see how they feel about it.  I think a tiny round bar - no matter how long it is - is actually NOT comfortable to open a door with but maybe it's just my delicate angel hands are sensitive to such things.  They are also sensitive to poor design because that little overhang on each end makes me want to stab the designer with it.  Since it's so short it wouldn't be fatal but that's okay - I want them to suffer just like I do every time I look at those handles.  Or I could just beat them with it since it looks like a security guard's nightstick.  If I'm going to have hardware that looks like a weapon it's going to be nunchucks because motherfuckin DUH!  Or possibly like the knife-on-a-chain thing from Ninja Assassin although that might be hurtier on my hands than the Euro trash bar...

Since nunchuck hardware wasn't happening I really wanted something like this:

Pointy fabulosity.
Ahhhh....  So much better.  You might argue that a tiny square bar isn't much more hand-friendly that a tiny round one but I might also stab you with the end of the euro bar above.  But then I would agree with you because you're probably right.  Also, these don't exist at a price I can afford and the IKE-RA ones are made of aluminum and Nick said that was not ideal.

Something with a Swedish name. 
So I ended up with this.  It is from IKE-RA too but all in stainless steel so hopefully that will cancel out the, ya know, questionable IKE-RA craftsmanship a little. I like its square-y shape but it has a more ergonomic and comfortable curve on the inside where your hand rests.  Also, it's dirt cheap and easily available without ordering countless samples from the internet.  I like that.  It's a little clunky and I wish that this and the handle above it would get married and have a baby (because having hardware babies out of wedlock is wrong) but apparently the laws of the universe don't work like I want them to.  Newton's fourth law should be something about the force of a Madame's fabulosity should be equal to the amount of decorgasm-inducing swag received in return.  Oh - maybe it is and that's why I got this hardware...   

Moving on!!

I'll finish up this list of funness next time.  And that tingle you feel deep down?  Yeah, that's the squee that's building up for when you see the final reveal because the ModSauce kitchen is about to ignite your design loins on fiyah!!!  


  1. Getting there...hang in there! You're on the home stretch now!

  2. Agree with you 100% on the Tubular Stainless Pulls. Been sooooo overdone. These handles are my new favourites. Nice visual weight to them, and the curved underside makes them a comfortable handle to use.

    I've always said the last 10% of the reno is the most difficult to complete. Looks like you've got it covered. Almost there!

  3. Oh I love those handles too! The ones I got are like the poor inbred Swedish cousins to them. A madame can dream...

    You're right - this last 10% is causing the most headaches! I want to beat it with a stupid Euro trash bar.

  4. What is it with professors who teach lighting!?

    Lighting for me was a small part of a broad study of building systems. The subject was handled very much like a "topic" For Dummies book. I recall the instructor was a freshly credentialed "Doctor of Environmental Psychology" (that title's so fuzzy it makes me sneeze). The most useful thing's I got from that class was a good laugh and my MEEB handbook (lots of solid physics in there).

    I wonder how odd it is that I remember that class vividly even after all this time?…whatever, I digress.

    My attempt at working out the form of your MS fabulosity theorem: MSf=log(Ds)

    I'm all ablaze with anticipation for your reveal MS :)


  5. Hilarious! Can I offer two points of caution?

    1. My halogen undercabinet lighting caught fire one evening - thankfully I was home. It was the bulb burning the housing. Go xenon, regardless of cost.

    2. I wrote a post ( about similar hardware. The flat edges look cool but you are forever cleaning if you use your kitchen. They are dust catchers and will offer a nice bruise when you catch your ass on one.

    Great post!

  6. Izzy - freaks right?! Doctor of Environmental Psychology sounds like a degree I'd like to have though because it's so broad and fuzzy I could do ANYTHING with it and still sound important. I think you just say 'gestalt' a lot and you'll be fine... ; )

    A MS theorem of fabulosity??!! SQUEEE!! Math is hard but it's certainly sexy! I don't know anything you just typed but I like it!

    Keep ablaze - reveal next week! Maybe...

    Decor Girl - Welcome to the Sauce and thanks for your comment! Advice always useful!

    1. Yikes! Glad to hear everything is okay! I was concerned about xenon because I don't think you can dim it - can you? Am I being a diva because I want dimmable under cabinet lights?!

    2.I totally agree about being wary of dust catchers! I think these will be (slightly) better because the side surfaces aren't as flat as the ones in your post but I'll definitely be on the lookout! I hate dusting. And ass bruises. Sigh...


  7. For the physicists who read your blog (so they don't call me out for not stating the proof first):

    MS fabulosity increases logarithmically with decorgasm inducing swag.

    I spent a whole five minutes on it :)

  8. You'd be surprised who reads this little blog! I am sometimes - ha!

    Five minutes sounds like a pretty lengthy amount of time for a make believe theorem so I am ever grateful for your efforts. When I open the ModernSauce store I'll put that on a coffee mug! Or a mug for tea... ; )

  9. Madame, I love your enthusiam for hardware and lighting. May I suggest LED undercabinet lighting? I recommend them to all of my customers. They cost a bit more initially, but you should never have to change the bulds and they don't get hot.

    Now on a completely different topic, I am soooo excited about the GE trip in June! I think it is going to be a blast! I am so glad that you and I are both going, this should be a whole lot of fun!

    Brenda Lynn

  10. Thanks Brenda! LED seemed expensive to me and I wasn't sure if it was dimmable... is it? I'll check it out!

    Can't wait to get cookin in June either!

  11. Why is aluminum hardware not ideal? In a conditioned space, the hardware and the screw used to attach it will remain dry; so, galvanic action--and, hence, corrosion--won't be an issue.

  12. It's not corrosion that might be an issue but just the material itself. It's lighter and less sturdy than the stainless steel - you could definitely feel the difference when you held them in your hand. It's not like I'll be doing dangerous stunts using the handles but you know how crazy Charlemagne can get...

  13. Kitchen countertops but also about installing it in the correct manner. The staff in these stores is very friendly which makes it a pleasure for you to approach them for help.