Ode to a Roommate, Part II: Kitchen Before & After

Hello again!

Ronnie & I have been busy apartment hunting and getting ready for a big stoop sale the last few weeks, so today I am finally writing down more about this thorn in my side - 392 12th Street.  As the moving process gets underway, my emotions are up and down.  I decided to take home videos over the next few weeks to further document the apartment before we leave, but maybe thats an after thought.  My memories and reflections are bittersweet - when I think back on the good and bad times here, I am really ready to rip this band-aid off. 

Since my little sister Rachel joined the StellaBella team, I have been dreaming of cooking in my new kitchen.  When we were growing up, the kitchen was where she thrived.  I would rather be left to setting the table and making sure the candles were lit!  But with a new apartment this summer, I am certain that I will cook more, be more adventurous, and make a fresh brewed pot of coffee every morning!  (Don't we think a new environment will just change everything?)   I have been over this kitchen from the beginning and it never inspired me much, so I do hope this is the case.

The apartment came as it was; we didn't get a fresh coat of paint or upgraded appliances in between tenants - I'm sure I made this point in previous posts, but we put alot of our own free labor into making 392 a place to feel comfortable.  The kitchen cabinets were the most horrendous wood grain and had to go.  The cheap, fun solution was the UO classic, chalk board paint.  Of course we loved having the cabinets tagged by our friends as they came through and it has remained a conversation piece, but I'm ready for a grown-up apartment! 

If I had a picture of this kitchen from before we moved in, then you could see a real difference.  The cheap paint started to peel off after awhile, and fluorescent lighting never helps a bad situation look any better. 


Here it is today, an improvement.  This is the same paint used in the living room and fireplace/mantel, Hot Stone.  It really tied the 2 rooms together, and making this wall darker than the others created a contrast and focal point in a long, narrow room. 


So here is where the roommate story comes in.  One of my more positive experience roommies was Courtney, a professional model and aspiring Sommelier.  We actually had a separate wine cooler in the kitchen that had to be maintained at a proper drinking temperature.  She was a great co-habitator, always brought home samples from Marc By Marc Jacobs and varieties of expensive whites and reds on a regular basis, not to mention she was a friendly and clean person.  Her room was behind the kitchen on the first floor, which has a private bathroom.  All of her furniture was "Shabby Chic" whitewashed, so she decided her dramatic contrasting wall color would be Ralph Lauren's Embassy Purple - I call it, Deep Eggplant.   The room really looked great with her white accents, but hard as hell to cover with a primer for the next occupant! 

She (of course) had a left-over paint can that I discovered after she had moved to the Lower East Side, under the sink in her bathroom... JACKPOT! Now, this was not enough paint for an entire wall, but enough to get creative while covering big holes and mistakes in the kitchen's sheet rock. And when your a stifled artist working in an office 9-5, you find inspired projects in the funniest places!

If I may interject a little Usher here, and make a Confession: At an earlier point in 392 history during a heated argument, I removed from my foot and threw a pump across the room aiming for a roommate's head. I missed, but the heel ended up going directly into the wall. If I were to explain the situation, you'd understand my need to wield something sharp in his direction, but I digress. Violence is never the answer kids!


I loosely outlined the shelves and magnetic knife strip, painting the area inside on the long wall opposite the sink and curving the edges.  I also mimicked the Hot Stone colored circles I had added earlier to cover imperfections, by adding eggplant colored circles also.


This is the entry to the kitchen from the living room - I added the eggplant circles randomly to this wall after adding some turpentine to the paint to stretch it even further.  I'm pretty sure the walls will be torn down when we move out and the landlord renovates, so no one after will have to put up with my champagne bubbly inspired circles!   But here they are in all their glory - Circles.  Circles painted on a wall to cover holes.  This is how we do cheap and quick fix-its in Brooklyn! 

Signing off & packing boxes -

La vita è bella,

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