Do We Really Need a Kegerator?

August 27, 2012

From Janelle:

The argument meter has been reading pretty low since our first few scuffles but as we finalize our appliance purchases, one recurring theme keeps humming along.

Lewis is a practical guy and he can pretty much fix anything.   We THINK that we’ve settled on Perlick, a commercial brand known for beer coolers or as they’re known in our house, kegerators.  The new bar will house a mini refrigerator, ice maker and beer refrigerator and of course, they all need to be the same brand to maintain a cohesive look.  Lewis, however, doesn’t see the need to pay retail price for a kegerator as one can just as easily buy an old used icebox, drill a hole in the top and plop in a dispensing system.  It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last I’ve asked this question, is he nuts?

Lewis is in good shape but suds are the cause of most “beer bellies” and keeping the brew freshly circulated requires volume.  This is seldom an issue as guests frequent our home but sometimes the keg merely needs to be finished off and calories slide down fast. Since he doesn’t want to spend $$ the question needs to be posed, do we really need a kegerator?

From Lewis:

Are you kidding?  No house should be without one!  If the kegerator is going to be put in a cabinet I don’t see any reason to spend so much money for something that does not need to match the rest of the appliances. My inexpensive kegerator has brought me much joy and happiness and keeps my beer icy cold. If a time comes when it stops working there is no problem just replacing it but since it seems that it will have a stainless finish rather than be covered with cabinetry I guess I really have no choice but to spend more cash!!!

Janelle looks at a beer refrigerator as a complicated piece of equipment that requires extensive engineering and design when it is nothing but a small refrigerator with a couple taps drilled through the top.  You can buy the parts and make one out of any old fridge.

From Janelle:

He can make or fix anything but it doesn’t necessarily look pretty!

If anyone has a comment or experience with an appliance line, I’d love to hear from you.   Sodas and glass Perrier bottles have exploded in our U-line so we are researching different brands.

Our current kegerator is tapless and a mircrowave shelf

Perlick’s 3-tap Beer Dispenser

The matching refrigerator and kegerator are beautiful!

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We Have Windows!

August 19, 2012

From Janelle:

After 6 months of measuring, narrowing down brands for the best fit for our style, visiting showrooms, measuring, comparing prices and quality online, measuring, copious amounts of emails between us, the designer, the contractor and “The Door Girls” as the contractor calls them, and a final measurement with all parties in attendance, we placed an order for Fleetwood windows and sliding door system.  After waiting for two months for them to arrive, another month for the project to start, and then two more months while the project progressed and we lived with boards covering our openings, the windows are IN!  I’ve lost track; how many months is that?  I think nine.  I could have had a baby by now!

They do look beautiful…..

 From Lewis:

OK so the screens look ok.  I’m sure the “Close the damn screen, there is a bug in the house” argument will last forever but it is still cheaper and easier than having a baby!

 From Janelle:

Oh, right.  We argued whether to “have or have not” screens.  I won that battle.  I freak if there is a fly in the house; they are disgusting.  Even Lewis has admitted that the screens are barely visible.  Let’s hope no one walks through the slider screen!

Sliding door opening

Living room window opening

Living room window opening

Sliding door system. You can’t even see the screen!

The front windows and door are next.


How Do You Make Guacamole Without a Kitchen?

August 13, 2012

From Janelle:

My Gal Pal Val (as Lewis calls her) and her boyfriend Zan treated us to dinner the other night.  She has lived in her condo for a couple years but this was the first time that Lewis had been to her place.  This was a Big Deal.  Homemade rich and chunky guacamole, crisp veggies with dip, brown sugar crusted salmon, lemon chicken AND steak and enjoyable company made for an exceptional evening.

Zan is an avid gardener and a parting gift was four gorgeous large avocados which we quickly transformed into guacamole.    When Val learned of our creation she asked me, “How do you make guacamole without a kitchen?”  Easy!

1 bowl from the mini cupboard in our bedroom
3 generous sized Zan avocados
1 home grown Meyer lemon from our overflowing baby tree
Salt, pepper and chili powder from the mini pantry, also in our bedroom
Knife, cutting board and large spoon from above mentioned cupboard
Tortilla chips someone left here the other day

Voila!  Guacamole without a kitchen!

From Lewis:

I didn’t even use a cutting board!! Diced it up in the skin and stirred it until it became creamy.

From Janelle:

Ingenuity is one of Lewis’ many talents.  That and anything to get out of doing dishes!

What is your kitchenless specialty?


Design Until We Drop

August 6, 2012

I’ve been planning a major project for 15 years, studying design magazines and accumulating a binder stuffed full of ideas.  We worked with an architect to transition a 1930’s bungalow into what would have been a beautiful house and everything we could have imagined in that space.  After much soul searching we decided that since our ultimate goal was to move to a nearby neighborhood, it made more sense to bite the bullet and make the move.

We purchased an 80’s ugly house with lots of natural light and good bones and planned to remodel soon.  Ten years later our project has begun.

Dana Jones of The Kitchen Consultant patiently created at least five designs until we finally arrived at the perfect one.  The kitchen and the “Cocktail Room” (formerly the dining room) spaces will swap, the kitchen will move towards the front of the house and the bar to the back with a 16’ counter connecting the two.  Every detail has been planned from where to put the trash cans and recycle bins so that guests can find them to planning where each knife, pan and spice jar will be stored.

After all these years of development, I still pour through magazines and watch designing shows for tidbits of new ideas.  Lewis (most of the time) uncomplainingly watches portions that I’ve saved for him or listens while I explain how the spread in the publication would fit into our design.  We will both be very relieved when it is done.

From Lewis:

Some girls have their dream wedding book that they take much time to put together.  Janelle has amassed about forty pounds of design magazines and numerous clips that are stashed under her side of the bed and the magazines still keep coming!!!  Sometimes I think that she has so many ideas she can’t keep track of them.  The Tivo is almost full of decorating shows that I must view over and over.  Most of the stuff doesn’t fit into the context of what we are doing but every now and then something just might work.

From Janelle

I had to get creative for space when we moved to our upstairs “apartment” which why they’re now under the bed (no need to have junk under the bed).  We have several ideas in our plans that Lewis garnished from watching the design shows, the most significant being a “shadow box” in an odd little “balcony” at the top of our stairs.  I never would have thought of that!

Kitchen Sketch

Our odd “Romeo and Juliet” balcony that Lewis figured out how to make fabulous!

Balcony Shadowbox idea from our Tivo playlist


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