Friday, February 21, 2014

New bookshelf (shelving unit?) and a microwave!

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I made a bookshelf!  Well, it's not for books.  A shelving unit?  English doesn't appear to have a good word for this...

Anyway!  Since I can no longer use printing at school (I went on leave from graduate school to focus on healing from bereavement and learning how to enjoy life again), my printer has come out of storage and has been sitting on my living room table for a couple months.  It takes up tons of space.  Solution: I used to have a little table in the kitchen (same place as the new bookshelf) that I would use for extra counter space - I replaced it with this shelf that I built!


On top of being able to house my printer, knife block, fruit/onions bowl, cloth napkins, and kitchen "rags" (I don't use paper towels but some terrycloth washcloths that I made), it also holds a microwave.  

I haven't owned a microwave in over 2.5 years, since moving into this apartment with DeForest.  I was nudged into getting one by Matt - he has been graciously helping me with dishes (I still find them especially emotionally exhausting to do, as it is both one of my most disliked chores and the chore that was explicitly DeForest's), and he really wanted one to cut down on dishes.  The microwave was $20 from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  I love the ReStore - they have all sorts of furniture and building materials for really cheap.  Apparently they also have used appliances!

So far, the microwave has been working great.  It's also quite drastic how much it cuts down on the dishes, since I used pots and pans to heat up leftovers on a regular basis.  Something I didn't expect, though, when coming home with the microwave: it was another hard reminder that DeForest is gone.  The decision to not have a microwave was one we made together - he very much wanted to have more counter space, and since he was the dishwasher, it was mostly his decision.  Ultimately, I know that it's very minor, and if I had really wanted a microwave, it wouldn't have been an issue.  Still, it was a bit of a knife to the heart again for a while.  It's been here for about a week now, and I'm getting used to it slowly.  All the little changes...  I keep running into them.

Here's a picture of most of my kitchen, with the new shelves in it.


Fruit bowl and cloth napkins and rags!


The bookshelf was made from several 10' pine boards from Lowe's.  It's three boards deep - it's essentially three separate bookcases that I then nailed together with boards that span all three underneath the bottom and top shelves (pictures not taken of this detail).

Cost: $30 for the wood; ~$10 for the stain and screws.  So about $40 for a custom shelving unit that fits my needs exactly.  :)  Not bad!  The staining job isn't perfect (some areas are darker than others, especially near corners, and I didn't bother correcting it), but overall, I think it looks pretty great.

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