Sunday, February 27, 2011

I attempted fabulosity this weekend. Utter and glorious destruction ensued.

So while everyone else was getting buffed, waxed, botoxed, primped, vajazzled, curled and spanxed or getting drunk and sharpening their snark skills in preparation for the Oscars I was getting dirty at the Ranch.  It was DEMO WEEKEND!!!!!!  

First I had to pack everything away...
Nighty night dishes.

I'm kidding.  I started off giving things homes but the majority of my boxes looked like this:
Note to self: if you buy turmeric you actually have to USE it.

So here are the before pictures.  I'm completely desensitized to it but you are not so have a shot of whiskey nearby just in case you need to disinfect your eyes Civil War style.

Yeah.  I live here.  I'm obviously the least high-maintenance Madame on the planet.   I know what you're thinking - why the fuck did you not just throw some paint on those walls until you could actually do the entire remodel???  Well this remodel was always only just a few months away.  I ripped off the soffit (uncovering vomitous "paint job" near the ceiling) when I moved in because I was going to do the kitchen RIGHT AWAY!!  But shit happens and money magically disappears until I'm totally ready to do that in the fall, I swear! before more shit would happen and then all of a sudden it's years later and I can't live like this anymore.

Also, someone needs to get me to a photography class STAT!
At one time the cabinets were a natural pine paneling that they painted death-to-your-baby lead white in 1764.  The red counter and backsplash are a continuous bloody laminate slash through the room.  This kitchen really is designed to kill.  If you think about it (don't do it for too long or you will start convulsing) matching the backsplash and countertop is a pretty slick thing to do.  And the laminate has a pretty cool linen-y pattern similar to things I still see today.  

But OMIGAWD I WANT THIS KITCHEN TO DIE!!!  And that metal trim is just a filth trap.  Buh bye now.

I swear the fridge is smiling.

So here she is in her final glory.  And by "glory" I mean heartbreaking sadness obviously.

If you're wondering, no I didn't have a bronzer orgasmisplosion.  This is the glue used to attach the laminate to the walls.  I like to use it as a Rorschach test for new guests.  What do you see new friend?  If you said a hippo/rhino-like animal on the bottom right that has a white unicorn horn and a rainbow coming out of its ass then you can stay.  If not I think you need to go see a therapist.  Or drink more.

So four of my sauciest friends came over to partake in the fun.  We laughed, we cried and we tore shit up.  Actually they did a lot of the tearing, I did a lot of cringing at loud noises and taking pictures.  But I totally hit a few things with a hammer and carried heavy things out to the dump pile.  This is essential to the process.

Ok are you ready? 
Boom.  Done.  Squee.  Turns out that all of the cabinets were hung with only a few nails randomly hammered in near the top because that's totally the proper way to install cabinets to ensure they last forever.  Well, they lasted 50 years but I think they were held together with that paint and probably piss and vinegar.  Or maybe it was the satanic curse and bacon grease...  who can know these things.  Just a few dudes and a hefty pull and they practically jumped off the walls.  They don't want to be in this kitchen any more than I want them there either.  

I was so excited after these came down I had to change my pants.

So close!  The lower cabinets basically walked out on their own.  We did uncover a few surprises in the dead space in the corners like a petrified biscuit, a marble and some unidentified brown things. Sadly, no porn this time.  

This house... is clean.

Well, we did have to stand in a circle holding hands and chant the lyrics to Lady Gaga songs while burning sage over a Diptyque candle but sometimes we just like to do that anyway.

I was worried about the floor underneath that beautiful yellowed linoleum would be a mess of pentagramic proportions but all turned out well.

In fact, the original flooring was a groovy rainbow confetti pattern.  Suddenly, the pine cabinets and red laminate seem a lot more fun.  

Underneath that was a rather interesting layer of oak flooring in varying widths.  I panicked for a bit because I'd already ordered my tile gawddamit and you don't cover up oak.  Eventually we figured out that this wasn't supposed to be a finished surface because it didn't match the rest of the hardwood in the house and there was a giant seam running down the middle of the room like a giant buttcrack.  I guess this is just how shit was built a million years ago.  I gave up a long time ago trying to figure out these old timey people.

So now I'm left with a backyard full of this:
I kinda forgot about actually disposing of all the nastiness that we pulled out of the kitchen but I'm hoping the White Witch Candice Olsen will help magically transport this stuff to the dump.

In the meantime neighborhood kids can play on this...
Blessed be.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Design Cliche: B&W rugs are the confusing cleavage of decor.

We're in another cycle of black and white and grey this Spring which I'm rather excited about.  
DAY Collection via Solid Frog
It's always classy and comes back every few years just like a new Britney Spears album.  

The bad thing is that with its return comes the dreaded black and white striped rug.
via Solid Frog
Christ y'all.  There is no one in this hemisphere cheaper than this Madame but I draw the line at putting optical illusions on my floor just because it's at Ikea.   And I've put some seriously questionable shit in my house because it was on sale.  I'm looking at you Urban Outfitters pillows...
via decor8
It's almost like there's nothing else in the room because even though I try to look around all my eyes can see is that seizure-inducing pattern on the floor.  I think there might even be some kind of horrible cancer-causing chalkboard on that dining room wall but who the hell knows because OMIGAWD MY EYES!!!!  Lesson: just because it matches doesn't mean it works.

 Emily Henderson
It doesn't even make any design sense to completely detract from every other piece of boring shit in your room.   Oh, maybe that is the point...  The striped rug is like inappropriate (and eye stabbing) cleavage.  Just like if your conversation is boring and you have a hard time talking in complete sentences because golly, reading and forming your own conclusions is hard then you put on a push-up bra and a deep V and shut up.   When your other furniture sucks and you can't figure out how to decorate anything just put the most graphically bold rug you can find on the floor to distract your guests.   But it's a trap...  Obviously you want me to look at it but manners say I should respect the entire package.  Hey, my eyes and attempt at artfully arranged bookshelves are up HERE assholes!

via Material Girls
Sure you might have spent a jazillion dollars on the rest of the furniture but nobody can tell because your floor tits are hanging out.  Show some respect and put those things away.  Tsk, tsk, tsk...

via Head Over Heels
Sure it makes for a purty 2D image but if I was in the space all I would be thinking is "Don't look at the floor, don't look at the floor, don't look at the floor, look at the art, look at the art, don't look at the floor"  but eventually I'd find my eyes transfixed by the in-your-faceness of the rug.  The more you try to look away and ignore it the harder it will become.  Moley-y, mole-y, mole-y...   I don't know how you dudes do it. 

via Plush Palate
This might be the equivalent of having killer cleavage AND being an articulate conversationalist but those girls don't exist so I'm going to ignore this room for the purposes of this post.

via Head Over Heels.  I swear I read other blogs other than hers...
Zig zag induced epileptic seizure in 3... 2... 1...

If you're going to go for the most contrasting thing you can possibly think of it's best to stick with something small and tasteful like these:

Jonathan Adler via Whorange

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hello, lovah. Madame Sunday buys some cabinets.

Now that I've figured out how to pay for this kitchen remodel in a way that would make Suze Orman squee her manties (but made my financial advisor slightly cranky after I told him) we can talk about all the pretty pretty things.  First up: choosing cabinets!  

I'm not getting this.
I had already spent plenty of time stalking Ikea kitchens (and rolling around in their cinnamon rolls) but they took one look at my floorplan and said 'auf wiedersehen' - that's the language they speak in Ikea right?  Maybe 'auf wiedersehen-torp' sounds better.  I don't know but I needed more help than their blue-shirted minions were willing to offer.  Home Depot and Lowe's were happy to help - kinda.  I asked them to give me a rough plan to estimate pricing they gave me generic row upon row of McMansion style mind-numbing cabinets.  So you DON'T want corbels and 8" tall crown molding and cathedral arches? Thanks but no thanks Mr. Orange Vest.  Draw it like I told you.  I could have struggled and got what I wanted eventually and had resigned myself to doing that.  Until a small little blog by the name of ModernSauce - maybe you've heard of it? - introduced me to the wonderful world of webtastic salvation.  Enter my Southern neighbor, blog buddy and twitter friend - Nick (@cupboards) from Cupboards in Sylacauga, Alabama.  

Hello lovah.  Much credit goes to my blog daddy and matchmaker Paul Anater (@Paul_Anater) of Kitchen and Residential Design who got me started on this process and brought Nick and I together.  We've been holding hands (snarking) and skipping (sarcastic snarking) for months now.  Paul, I'll be sending you a mini muffin basket soon as a thank you.  But first I had to bring Nick to the dark side.  

Ahhhh... that's better.  Nick, lemme introduce you to the kitchen.  Piece of shit, Nick.  Nick, piece of shit.  He would be designing this space only through emails, late night sexting, our Southern telepathic powers and a few phone calls.  Oh Nick, did I forget to mention that my kitchen is a five-sided room?  Oopsy...  ahahahaha*nervous laugh*ahahahaha........

Here's the pentagon of cooking fabulosity.  Or pentagram as I lovingly refer to it.  

Seriously, it's rough in there.
The devil's playground pentagon shape is actually pretty functional because it creates the perfect working triangle between the stove, sink and fridge.  Thank gawd these people did something right!  It's a decent size space too - anywhere from 150-375 sq feet.  I can't really tell because the room has FIVE FUCKING SIDES and I need Stephen Hawking to figure that shit out.  Standing at the counter looking out those two huge windows is like standing at the prow of a ship and it makes you want to scream "I'm the Madame of the world" Titanic style.  But right now it's so ghetto the way those nasty walls wrap around you that it feels like you're getting a hug from a smelly homeless man.  I told you not to stay and talk - just throw the leftovers in the fridge and get out!!!!

So I sent Nick some measurements and pictures and he told me to stop sending such filth to his inbox.  I told him that really was my kitchen and reminded him that we had signed the contract in blood and glitter in the center of the pentragram and those bonds are only broken by death or a special ceremony by the White Witch herself, Candice Olsen.

I also sent him a really precise and helpful list of 'wants' like:

"Nick, I want my kitchen to look exactly like this but NOT like this.  Got it?  Good."

And "I hate bending over - design accordingly" and "deep drawers make Madame squee but make sure they're sturdy enough for the monthly swinger parties" and "I want the thingy that pulls out and rotates *waves hands in air which he can't see either* for all my cooking stuffs" and then released him into the wild.  I didn't even have to micromanage because Nick is like the Alabama kitchen designer lovechild of Ty Pennington and Tabatha from Tabatha's Salon Makeover and he gets. this. shit. done.  Then, magically, one day I get a jazzy plan in my inbox.  It's beautiful.  Boom.  Done.  

Honestly, the whole process was really easy and Nick was really accomodating to all my drunk and neurotic demands.  I really didn't even have to make a lot of changes - just a few nudges here and there that we talked about together over a box of wine.   Maybe that was just me...  Not being in the space does present a few challenges and I did have to do a little homework once.  
Yes that's my wall.  Just deal with it.
DON'T LAUGH!!!!!  I totally taped off his plan on my floor so I could get a feel for it.  Part of it looked great on paper but it was too invasive in the actual space.  So I taped off where I felt comfortable a foot or so back.  Then I sent him that picture.  He thought I was both batshit crazy and exceptionally helfpul.  Ain't the internets grand?!

We'll go deeper into the process of working with a designer and a showroom later when Nick gets to visit the Sauce in his own words one day, but without a doubt I was able to afford a better product than I could have at a big box store.  I'm totally going ham, upgrade from bologna.  In your stupid orange FACE Home Depot!  That ham product is Kraftmaid's Huntington door in Dove White by the way.

Kraftmaid - your site sucks for nice pictures.  Get on this.
I wanted a simple modern-ish look.  A slab front is too severe for my house and any other details with a vintage mocha caramel gooey glaze are too fussy.  Shaker it is.

So here are the final orgasm-inducing renderings for the space: 

When you first enter the space...

not my range hood but use your imagination.
Look at all those glass cabinets!!!  My gay husband has already called dibs on arranging the contents of them.  Bless him.  Nick and I juggled this wall a little... There was a matching two-door glass cabinet on the right of the hood but I thought the empty corner would have bad chi or something.  Possibly harbor ghosts... I don't know.  He engineered more cabinets to fit the corner and I love it more than Charlemagne's fluffbutt.  I'm kidding.  I could love nothing more than that.  The uppers aren't symmetrical but the angled base cabinet on the left balances the wall nicely.  That cabinet also helps open up all the dumbass angles at the entrance to the space.  I would give my left glitter testicle to see this in person right now.

Is that a farmhouse sink??!!  I'll never tell!  (until I do the post about the sink...)

I was scared of the entire wall of cabinets at first but then I realized it was really damn smart.  I wouldn't have thought of that and I'm pretty sure Home Depot wouldn't have either.  I don't know who I have to sleep with at the Sears Appliance Outlet to get a counter-depth fridge but I will.  Or just invite them to the monthly swingers parties and then they're on their own.

As of right now my cabinets are at the Kraftmaid factory at the North Pole getting their final coat of fabulosity sprayed on and they'll be at my house in almost a month.  

Nick, our baby will be coming home soon and then we'll get to be a real family forever and ever and ever and ever.........

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

This makes me exceedingly cranky.

OK this picture actually makes me exceedingly happy but it represents exactly what's going on this week.  Here I am looking all fabulous in my big fake hair and dramatic pose trying to design a kitchen and pick out some awesome tile but their fucking 'lot color variations' and shit is all up in my face looking all creepy and trying to eat me up or something.   I mean, dubya tee Fuck, real life problems of global proportions??!!!  I have important things to do like blogging and tossing my big fake hair around.  Priorities y'all.    

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I choo-choo-choose you... to accept my decapitated head.

Despite what most people might think I don't hate Valentime's Day.  How could I hate a fake holiday where people are forced to show their undying love for me??  Glittery fake devotion is what I live for.  Except for all the pank.  

But I'll take blood red of course.

Be still my soon-to-be-lifeless heart.
Combining my love for gratuitous gore and repressed Victorian sweetness and you get Jessica Harrison's porcelain dolls.  

Butterflies in your tummy?  Awww... cute.  But THIS is what real love feels like!!!!  It's lot closer to Braveheart getting drawn and quartered than flutterings and angels.

Skulls are so unnecessary, really, but a smile is an absolute requirement if you're a nice girl.

Sadly, the most thoughtful Valentime's gift I ever received was from my gay best friend in high school who SWORE he didn't want to be just friends but that he was actually in love with me.  A real love that included braiding my hair, trying to touch my boobs but completely avoiding my vagina.  I tried to convince him it was actually dick he was in love with but it took him another four years to figure that out.  I'm like the Horse Whisperer of gay dudes if they every bothered to listen to me rather than going on and on about how pretty my eye makeup is.  I need you to focus, guys.

I think one time a (straight) dude asked me "Bet you thought I was going to get you something today?" followed by 10 seconds of awkward silence.................  Oh high school BFF, I think I've made a horrible mistake!  Please come back and braid my hair!!  I'll let you touch my boobs all you want!!

If dangling eyeballs isn't your thing (you might be a pussy) or maybe you just don't want to dust another tchotchke you can always get a fantastic Killhouettes print by John Fair.
'Lady Butterwick's Trophy Husband' which will soon be hanging above my fireplace.
This might be the only kind of sport I like. 

And possibly the way I like this holiday the best.  Maybe I could dip all this stuff in chocolate to take it to the next level.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A brief visual interlude. (dirty bit)

Sometimes I forget that there are rooms that make up a home other than a kitchen with all its damn garbage disposals and grout colors and other boring shit that I'm totally consumed with right now.  The designy part of my brain needs to have a weekend at a sweat lodge where I'm cleansed and then dance in a drum circle.   I need dirty and gritty and found-in-the-garbage-dump and vintage bohemia and hippies.


Ok maybe grown-up hippies live here but I'll take it.  I bet they still don't spend hours calculating the correct amount of lumens necessary for their kitchens.  

Note to self: do not climb those stairs after a box of wine.

Hippies sure know how to carve the shit out of some mountains to make a bathtub.

You thought antlers and taxidermied birds were edgy?  How about a motherfuckin ALLIGATOR?

I don't care what you say I'm putting a jar of feathers in the kitchen!

SHIT!  I totally forgot about window treatments!  Well, neighbors will just have to watch the renovation happen and then bask in the afterglow.  I don't have the brain capacity to care about window shades right now. (dirty bit)

I bet if you are in this space and you start talking about the CFM range for vent hoods a hippie will fly through a window and punch you in the lady balls.  

Yeah those are painted mattresses as art.  I bet you couldn't make that look good. 

Oh wait - we're getting to the badlands.  My eyes feel dusty just looking at this...

all images via inside inside
Damn, hippies.  You win.  I'll get back to my boring things. (dirty bit)