Behold the Built-ins

While we wait for kitchen cabinets, the project has progressed into the surrounding now rather small-seeming area. Built-in bookcases demarcate the dining and living rooms, and a bench along the east wall will afford our friends a seated view into the new kitchen (the panels along the bench are cabinet doors for the lower part of the bookcases).

Being newcomers to this sort of renovation, our wonderment is almost childlike. I have moved enough in my life and have lived enough in forgettable enough places that I don’t have much of a strong attachment to the physical structure where I live (years ago, I was instantly charmed to learn that Camus lived a good part of his adult life in hotels). But seeing the eradication of such familiar, basic and fundamental spaces and their phoenixlike replacement by something altogether new has reordered my domicilic sensibilities. Platitudes revert to insights – you don’t own an old house, you just take care of it for the next person – and my naiveté about the emotional impact of the transformation stands revealed.

Thanks to our architect, one of the built-ins has wine “cubbies” along its sides – house-warming ideas, anyone?

The new pantry:

See how narrow and empty the house looks:

I like the ghostly “art installation” feel of this; it kind of makes me want to leave the space unfinished.

Next up – refinished floors!


  1. Lovely! I just had built in bookshelves put into my bedroom, and so I recognize the “childlike wonderment” you feel.

  2. the only downfall i see here is no foreseeable california travel.

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About Me

Born in Baltimore and raised in Cincinnati, I have lived on both coasts and driven back and forth across the country a number of times. I now have the "midlife opportunity" to do so on two wheels.