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A Not-So-Extreme Home Makeover

Posted by on March 31, 2010

The cutting board in its designated space.

Chris is a very handy guy and he really likes home improvement projects, dreaming up elaborate home improvement projects, and even just roaming the aisles of Home Depot, Lowe’s or any home improvement store.  I learned, however, after the purchase of our first house (the one without wheels), that home renovation projects take a lot of time, patience, money, patience, humor, and patience.  They are great fun in the beginning but finishing them seems to take forever, at least in our home.  In our four years of home ownership, we had several renovation projects that went on and on and on and on.

  1. Our one and only bathroom took nearly six months to be fully operable.  (I went almost one month without a toilet.  Don’t ask for details. You don’t want to know.)
  2. Our gorgeous brick patio that we put in took around six months as well (we had to break for winter since we didn’t finish the project in the fall.)  And, actually, I think I’m the one who finally went out the following spring and finished cutting and laying the brick.   Anyone need a brick patio? I’m your gal!
  3. We never did fully finish our shed — but it was one good looking unfinished shed!
  4. I am proud to say that we finished tiling our kitchen floor in a somewhat reasonable time…selling a home is a good motivator.

The "thingymabobs"

While the projects took forever, they were well worth the blood, sweat, and tears.  And, yes, there was blood.  It seems, however, that for the four years that we were homeowners, we always had a project waiting for us.  I consider that normal for home ownership.

I say all this because living in a newer Airstream means that there is not a lot of home improvement work to be done.  I enjoy this. But I think Chris gets antsy for a home improvement project every now and then.  Thankfully, since there are no major renovations to be done, any small projects he takes on are just that:  small.  They take little time but do make a difference and seem to satisfy his urge to use power tools.

As I mentioned in a previous post, in December, he put in a new and improved speaker system and added shelving to our closet, two small but wonderful additions.  The project he’s most proud of, however, is our cutting board.  That’s right…a cutting board.  Are you ready to find out more about this? Then say those magic words with me: “Bus Driver! Move that bus!” [Begin screams and tears now.]

The new holes in our cutting board fit perfectly on the "thingymabobs"

Our cutting board, as in many RVs/trailers, covers our sink.  While this is a great space saving tool, we found that if you left the sink covered for too long, a very nasty smell would develop and be released upon removal of the cutting board. Despite my disinfecting the sink often, sometimes smell happens.  It could be from the gray tank.  Or, I confess, that sometimes I am guilty of leaving dirty dishes in the sink and then covering them up for a few hours (out of sight, out of mind!).  Whatever the case may be, there was sometimes a smell that would knock you flat on your back.

But, that wasn’t the only issue.  The cutting board didn’t sit very stable on the stove top cover.  And, if I wanted access to my sink (to rinse vegetables or meat) and then transfer those items to the cutting board, sometimes it got a bit cumbersome with the cutting board sliding around.  I know it’s hard to envision…but trust me on this one.

The cutting board in its new designated spot.

All were minor issues that I could easily work around but Chris saw this as an opportunity to use a drill.  So he did.  On the stove top cover, there are two little thingymabobs (technical term) that stick up about 1/2 inch.  Chris took our cutting board and drilled two small holes so that the cutting board fits nicely onto the stove top cover.  This keeps it stable during both use and travel and allows our sink to get some fresh air so the funky smell doesn’t invade our tiny space.

Again, it’s a small project but one that he is quite proud of and one that has been helpful.  So, we just wanted to share our idea in case anyone else has the case of the funky sink smell or lack of space when preparing a meal.

We’ve now moved on to trying to decide on a sleeping space for the baby. We need a space where the dogs cannot access.  I have visions of waking up and finding that my dogs have crawled into the Moses basket.  Not good.  We have some ideas that won’t require any home improvement tools, but I see Chris getting antsy again…so you never know.  Most folks recommend putting a crib where the table is, but I rather like our table and that is Chris’ work space.  There is a spot under the TV where no one sits that seems to be tempting Chris. We’ll see…

7 Responses to A Not-So-Extreme Home Makeover

  1. Mom

    Ah yes, I do remember the Alexandria projects – fun memories!!! And, I was a witness to the creation of the affixed cutting board!! Can’t wait for the continuation of the baby bed project!! Also can’t wait to see you in a couple of days!

  2. Ali Workentin


    Popped over from FOTR after commenting on your post there. What a neat idea for the cutting board. I have very, very little counter space so use my cutting board for that. I bought a little plastic one from Walmart. I am going to tell my hubby, Ron, about what your hubby did. Ron also likes to tinker and plan and build things.

  3. Lani

    Hi Ali! Thanks for the comment and for checking out the blog. I love living in our Airstream but the limited counter space is a hassle sometimes. Chris’ idea definitely gave us a little more space so I can cut and prepare my veggies and meat AND use the sink at the same time. It’s the little things…. :-) Safe travels!

  4. Bama5150

    excellent. The wife and I are new to RVing, havent completed a full year yet and we don’t full time, but rv modifications have become one of my favorite things to do. I have made more modifications on it than trips in it. Keep the posts coming, including future mods.

  5. Lani

    Thanks! Yep…while we love our trailer just the way we purchased it, the modifications make it more our home…tailored to our needs, no matter how simple those needs are. We enjoy seeing what others do with their RVs and have picked up some good ideas from folks we’ve met on the road. It’s so much fun! Thanks for the comment!

  6. marlene

    Great idea Lani. We have been storing ours under the couch cushion! hehe.

  7. Lani

    That works, too! :-)

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