Archive for January, 2010

WTFriday: Outdoor Unimprovements

  • January 29th, 2010 (by Kit S.)
  • In: Dislike, The Bad
  • 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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There are times when I can expound upon the virtues, the drawbacks, or the utter insanity of home improvement projects. And then there are times when words absolutely fail me.

For example, when a homeowner goes to the effort of sawing a piece of PVC pipe in half to use as a homemade gutter.


Really? I just don’t even know… I mean…. what do you say about this?

Hey look, it also serves as a handy storage place for spare PVC parts!

The effort involved in doing this the wrong way is absolutely astounding.

But you have to give this homeowner credit for trying to spruce up their back yard with a little outdoor lighting. That’s a selling point if I’ve ever seen one. (Look about half-way up the tree.)

Wow. Okay. Now I need to go sit in the corner for an hour and ponder the meaning of life and homeownership.

Right after the garage and basement –places where power tools live, of course– the kitchen is the most utilized space of my house. I cook there, I eat there, and every once in a while I stumble in from a hard day at work and lay splayed out on that hardwood floor hoping one of my cats will grow opposable thumbs and bring me a big glass of wine.

And wow, I’m now officially the crazy cat lady.

Not only have both of those little furry demons failed to grow the proper appendages to keep me buried under a case of Shiraz, but the first decade of the twenty-first century has come and gone without anyone inventing a forklift that folds out of the wall to hoist me off the ground, cook me dinner, and tuck me into bed. I am thoroughly disappointed.

To make up for it though, there have been a few kitchen innovations in the last couple of years that boggle the mind. In good ways and… well, they can’t all be winners.

The Good

In-line Cooktops

Please don’t make me explain to you in graphic detail the number of times I have singed all of the hair off my arms reaching to the back burner of my stove. Its a little bit shocking that it took this long for the lightbulb to click on over someone’s head. Bing! Let’s put them all in a line! Good idea guys, my arm-hair thanks you.

This one is from Kuppersbusch.

Delta Touch2O

I spent 3 seconds wondering why they’d even make a faucet you had to touch to turn on when those nifty little faucet sensors have been in public restrooms for years. And then I remembered how often I have to flap my hands around as if I’m putting on a deranged puppet show to make the water turn on, and this actually started to look like a really awesome idea. Good one, Delta Faucets.

The Questionable

Induction Cooking

Call me old-fashioned, but I like to see a nice flame under my pot when I’m cooking. (Perhaps I should refer myself to the reason I liked the in-line cooktops again.) However, these save a decent amount of energy and might keep little fingers from getting burned. They jury is still out for me.

Cooking by Fire


On the whole other end of the spectrum, I suppose, is the CookCook by Ruegg. So instead of singing off a few arm hairs I can be sans-eyebrows for the next, oh, ten to fifteen years. I’ve gotta admit, I kind of love this thing, but practically speaking lighting a full-on fire every time I want to boil some water? Eh… maybe not so much.

There’s No Possible Way I Could Cook There

Call me a design-plebeian if you will, but I’m all about kitchens where things like my sink stay put.


The circular kitchen from Compact Concepts is all the rage, apparently. I look at this and see one big lazy-susan, where the box of cereal I need is always wedged into the back corner, necessitating a hands-and-knees approach where I wrap my upper body into a pretzel and do Lamaze breathing for six minutes to reach a measly box of cornflakes. Awesome idea if my kitchen provisions consisted of 4 bowls and 37 limes, otherwise I’ll take miles of granite to work on, thankyouverymuch.


A winner of the Electrolux design competition. God forbid you leave a plate on the counter in this thing. You need 1600 square feet to swing it around in but you only get two cabinets. The upshot is, if my boyfriend pisses me of, I can just swing the fridge around and give him a body-slam the likes of which Wile E. Coyote has never seen before.

People, enough with your space-saving designs. Get me one of those winches with a built-in straw hooked up to my favorite keg of beer, then you’ll be on to something.

Recent Comments

  • Kid's stuff:Bedroom furniture for dreamers

    Hey Woodrow,

    You've put together a great post here. Hardwearing and long-lasting bedroom furniture is so important when you have young children, and choosing pieces which can handle the rough-and-tumble that comes with having little ones is key!

    Best wishes, Alex.

  • Awesomely Oddball Lawn and Garden Accessories

    I plan to do this. What was your process in painting the bottom...outside portion of the tub?

  • Poor staging can crush your home sale

    Woodrow, you have once again 'nailed' the essence of the issue of staging your home for sale with easy to understand pics and words. These are definitely rules to live by, oh wise one! I know I"m soaking up the knowledge you share--- now excuse me while I wring myself out. Can't wait for the next issue.

  • To everyone, a room of one's own

    We've recently bought a house which needs A LOT of work and I'm trying to convince my other half to let me build a "room of my own" for the house, one where I can put my games console and beer fridge. She's not gone for it yet though. The most I've managed to get is an office I can work out of ... not quite the same ... LoL.

    Mine would certainly be like the car boot room in the first image :)


  • Home designs you haven’t seen before

    I wonder how far the folks in the Rock House are able to drive in their car? Maybe down to their boat? It's so true that home is where you are at the moment.