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House Bits

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I found an apartment.
It needs work.
Here's some bits that look nice.
 At the top of the stairs (up to code, clearly), I have a little piano nook.

And I finally got my Nelson lamp hung up! The ceiling medallion was a bit of an impulse buy, but I think it looks nice (aside from not matching the ceiling).
The ceiling and walls are plaster and textured to hell, but it's a nice place so far.
More pictures to come as soon as I clean...

How to Clean a Nelson Bubble Lamp

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It took me a bit of googling, but I found a handy post (on Flickr, of all places)

To save you a bit of trouble here's how to clean a Nelson bubble lamp:

Step 1: obtain a dirty nelson lamp. I got mine from KSL (the Utah version of Craigslist, minus the personals section). An older couple was selling a set of three they bought back in the 70's. Regrettably, I only got one of them. It hasn't yellowed much, but it has a stubborn coating of who knows what on the top side of it.

Step 2: reference hermanmiller.com

Step 3: ignore completely because soap and water just isn't cutting it (actually, it says don't use bleach/ammonia, and I would recommend following that guidance)

Step 4: get some "phosphate-free TSP" (which is confusing, because TSP literally stands for "tri-sodium phosphate", so who knows what's in this). The guide I found recommends using this along with a magic eraser, although I found that didn't help a massive amount compared to a …

My First Open House, or The Basement From Hell

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I went to an open house.
I'm in no way ready to put an offer in on a house, but it was a cute one I saw on the MLS, and I thought, why not? I'll get to see a neighborhood I could live in, get experience looking at homes, see features I like, blah blah.

Within five minutes of the scheduled start time (I was there ten early, because of who I am as a person), there were no less than two couples, one with a child, and four other people meandering through this house.
The Salt Lake market is absolutely insane. (This house listed at $229,000.)
I really liked it though. Most of the issues I had were easily fixable with paint (that red door...), although I definitely don't like the weird yellow siding on the front (idk what that's called).


Black trim? I. Am. A. Fan. Paired with the white walls, it was super clean looking and was kind of a statement. I probably would do the top trim white, and then the bottom black, but I wouldn't be rushing to change it as soon as I moved i…

Craigslist Finds

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Hoooooo boy.

Around these parts we have something called KSL. It's about as good. I guess. People here tend to think of craigslist as "sketchy" and "un-mormonly" and tbh... they're probably right.
Unfortunately, the people around here tend to know what's what, and price things accordingly. I have yet to get a super-fantastic deal, but I've had a few nice grabs here and there (notably, a lamp for $8 that appears in one of my favorite documentaries).
I tend to search for "Eames", "mid century", "mid century modern" (believe it or not, there's a pretty big difference between the two, and it's usually not pretty). Occasionally, an "IKEA" search will happen, but most of the time, those things are about the same cost, or cheaper, to just get from IKEA.

It's definitely good to check both places, but more often than not, Craigslist is a barren wasteland.

Not today.
Solid wood, no major dings, beautiful des…

Kitchen Materials

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So I had started this post before I learned that the plot was unusable..
But. In the likely event that I need to renovate at least some part of the house, I've started looking at different materials that I like.
The priority for all of this is still budget first, appearance… also first.
The Kitchen
VCT flooring is common for commercial use, but when done right I think it makes a nice kitchen/laundry room floor. Black is great, like Daniel from Manhattan Nest did in his kitchen (click the link to see his before and after. It's awesome). I wouldn't mind a gray color either. Maybe not white (since I want white cabinets).
Speaking of cabinets. The IKEA VOXTORP doors look pretty awesome (online, anyway). An integrated handle/lack of any hardware makes it look modern. Sleek. Simple. Kind of pricey.
(Update: I went and saw them in real life, and wasn't super impressed. They felt like cheap plastic. But there was only one tiny cabinet with this style, and it was kinda dirty. S…

Plot Update

The city emailed me back about the little plot for sale:

"This does not seem to be a legally created lot. What this means is that the lot was subdivided without the City’s approval, creating a substandard lot which does not meet zoning standards. Thus, a building cannot be constructed on this lot."

Well, there goes that idea. (I'm not crying… these aren't tears…)

Next step: find a house under budget that isn't an awful nightmare.

House Hunting

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There are few things that are as exciting and frustrating as looking for a place to live.
On one hand, I want to throw things (mostly because of budget, but also because some people have no taste and ruin everything they touch. And also because of budget). On the other hand, finding an amazing house that could be mine is a heart pounding, thrilling experience. Until someone else buys it, then I go back to hand #1. But seriously, why do people ruin good houses? (See earlier aside: people have no taste.)
A potential option could be building my very own house(!) I found a lot for sale, and even though it's tiny, it seems like it could be feasible. That being said, it has been on the market for over 300 days, which is a bit of a red flag. Also, I have no idea what the process is to turn a floor plan into a Real Life building. Lucky for me, my uncle is a building contractor.
I found this floor plan and absolutely dig it. A giant wall of windows, a nice open living room and kitchen area…