sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

April 2, 2006

old and new
posted by soe 11:23 pm

In the last week, some new things have arrived here at the Burrow, and it’s not just the pile of books you read about yesterday.

You see, we’ve been feeling a little cramped here of late. And by “of late,” what I mean for the last three years.

So, we made a couple of changes.

Change #1

our old drawers

The old:

When we lived in Connecticut, I had my own full-sized bureau and Rudi used these drawers and a smaller bureau. When we moved down to D.C., we were forced to downsize and took the smallest and most portable of our furniture with us. Unfortunately, while we downsized on furniture, we still seemed to have just as much clothing as before

We shared these drawers and covered them with my sarong because the drawers were clear and I just couldn’t see how our visitors really wanted to be looking at my underwear when they first walked in the door.

But generally the clothes littered the rest of the apartment because we split this space — two measley little drawers apiece. One drawer for underwear and socks and one for everything else … Which left clothes on the sofa and the chairs and on the stool and …

So we upgraded to this:

new drawers

The new:

As you can see, we each now have three drawers apiece — and they are made of wood! Cherry to be specific.

No more unintentional underwear flashing of our guests!

We weren’t looking for a new bureau. Neither of us knew how tired we were of the plastic drawers until we saw this hiding in a corner on the showroom floor. When we walked into the furniture store, it spoke to us.

The old drawers will shift into the bedroom and will hold overflow clothing and some bed linens and will help to alleviate a little bit of the crowding in there.

The cats have declared their approval of the new change. They like tall things and this now rates as the tallest thing in the Burrow that they can sleep on. And they have each taken their turns doing just that.

But wait! There’s more!

When the flyer from the furniture store that sold us our couch arrived and offered us lots of money off their stock, we knew exactly what we wanted to look for.

Change #2

the old cat box nook

The old:

We’ve been hunting for something to fill this space for ages.

The problem with cats and small apartments is that there are cat boxes that need to fit someplace. If you put them in the bathroom, the litter tends to get damp after you shower and the whole apartment smells. And other than this nook in our living room, that was really our only option (and even that would only have solved half the problem).

So we knew we had this wasted space. And we’d been looking and looking and looking for something to work with it.

We needed something with shelves that started high enough up that the cats could still use the boxes. Like a high-boy, but affordable.

We were getting so desperate that we were contemplating building our own…

Luckily, that didn’t end up being necessary.

our new nook

The new:

This was hidden in the back room of the furniture store. It’s a pie safe, made by the cousin of the store owner.

Immediately, we knew we’d found what we were looking for.

It was grown up, but quirky grown up just like us.

I was afraid it was too wide, but Rudi, who had done the measuring several times over, was confident — and correct. Widthwise, it fits perfectly and the litter boxes nestle between its legs, which are tall enough not to make the cats feel claustrophobic.

The chest fills up about two thirds of the nook’s height and there’s plenty of room on top of it for photos and heaps of books. Rudi would like to hide my stash of yarn inside it, but I’m sure we can fit some additional stuff inside it. My stash isn’t that big…

We’re very proud of our new furniture. Thanks for bearing with us while we share our photos.

Category: dc life. There is/are 5 Comments.

Really, really nice…. Did you already have them when we talked? (I know you like surprises.) I guess the warehouse has turned into a “good thing”! Wish I’d shared it sooner! Love, M

Comment by mum 04.03.06 @ 10:52 am

I heartily approve of the wardrobe! Cherry is such a pretty wood. I think your sarong as a dresser-throw was nice in its own way, but the wood has a distinguished elegance that allows the sarong to better serve its higher calling by adorning you. Seeking quality furniture is always a challenge. So much of what is available is junk. Ikea-style furniture abounds with its tendency to immitate the cheap look you get building shelves from stolen milk crates while losing the quirky charm you get from the act of stealing them. Insultingly, the store that I found the highest quality furniture in when I was shopping for a dresser was Babies ‘R’ Us. The high production quality aside, I didn’t want a dresser with a tiered top for easier diaper changing, although if I could have found cat-diapers then Lefty might have warrented such an addition.

I don’t quite understand what all the fuss about not showing your underwear was about. If anything, I would have used that as impetus to ensure that all undergarments were conversation-piece worthy. Then again, that might limit you to a certain class of friends. It might someday be found that not everyone who is uncomfortable with underpants is unsavably boorish.

The pie safe seems a good use of that space, given the litter box requirement. Without litter boxes, book shelves would be just the thing. The style of the litter boxes does clash a bit, and you might need to upgrade them to something that goes better with the safe. Maybe put the plastic pans inside of attractive wicker from Pier One? Once you start home-improvement, it’s a cascading effect. Do you prefer lemon scent, or fresh scent Cascade?

Speaking of scents, when it comes to keeping the whole house from smelling of cat excrement, the best thing for it is to diligently clean the boxes. If you flush away the deposits, the odor goes with them. Some crazy people might suggest that you could also achieve a home devoid of the smell of cat urine by not living with cats, but these same people might also suggest such lunacy as “there’s no such thing as dragons.” If you cannot be trained or bothered to take militant care of the litter box, the next best thing is to get a David to do it for you. Quite a reasonable compromise – frees up your time for more things like reading books and knitting, and has the additional benefits of getting all of your eletrical outlets replaced with the most attractive of plates.

In any case, if the pie stand were given a fresh paint job, that would take care of it’s largest problem – its steadfast refusal to be purple – and my somewhat lukewarm approval would be upgraded to a resounding five stars.

Comment by Grey Kitten 04.03.06 @ 4:37 pm

Brilliant. Congratulations on your new additions.

(And I am not going to address the undergarment issue at all.)

Comment by ejbro 04.04.06 @ 12:13 am

I just looked at the pictures again on my home monitor (working from home today to contractor-sit the folks who are remodeling our bathrooms). My monitor here has a much nicer resolution and here, I like the pie safe much more. It would still be improved it were purple, but this is true of many things.

Comment by Grey Kitten 04.04.06 @ 1:06 pm

Mum, it hadn’t arrived when we talked about alternate use of that space, but we had bought it. But what I said was true — your idea was a good one, although I was hesitant to use it because of the numerous holes we put into the wall when we tried to hang the sconces you gave us.

ejbro, I would have fainted dead away if you had.

Grey Kitten, I’m glad the pie safe meets with more approval today. It would have been better in purple, I think, but Rudi disagrees (methinks) and we would have had to pay full price to get him to build us something custom. Half off is much nicer.

Also, diligent litter scooping is useful, but not as much if you keep your litter boxes next to your shower. Because then the crystals just soak up the moisture from your shower, leaving nothing for your cats’ use.

Comment by soe 04.04.06 @ 1:52 pm