Everything Old Is New Again: DiS! Retro Renovation

If you have been with DiS! for a while you know about the Command Center. You definitely know about it if you know me in real life–ha!

Regardless, as a refresher, THIS is the Command Center:

It’s what occupied all of the space in my eat-in-kitchen for 2 years. The Command Center is a giant desk that became a house for Brian’s litter and a dump for everything else that didn’t have a proper place. It was the bane of my existence.

Cleve knew this. Hence my Xmas present this year:

Totally sweet, right? Bonus points for the illustrations. But seriously you guys, he was right–what I wanted most in the world was to have my eat-in-kitchen with a dinette set.

Finally the day arrived when the Command Center was to come down. It was like when the Berlin Wall fell, but with a lot less David Hasselhoff.

And firecrackers. There were no firecrackers.


Oh, happy day! Come down, it did.

But while Cleve was completing the arduous task of disassembling the desk, I believe he became distracted. Was he thinking about his fantasy baseball lineup? A Taco Bell Doritos Locos Taco Supreme? Some young chippy who acts as though butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, but has been passed around like a joint in a drum circle?

Well, your guess is as good as mine because the panels of MDF collapsed on him and killed him instantly. But my money’s on the taco.

Death by cheap particleboard furniture is rather tragic, no?

In the aftermath, Brian and I were very distraught, and understandably so.

Or not. For someone who is typically all “WTF?” Brian didn’t even give half a fuck. He’s happy he has his own side of the bed.

But once the ruins of the Command Center (and Cleve) were removed from the apartment and a little time had passed, a wave of clarity and optimism washed over me. I could do whatever I wanted–with the apartment and everything else (or anyone else, to be perfectly frank). But the first thing I chose to do was give my kitchen a retro overhaul.

But what an ordeal that’s been! It has taken longer than I thought because the process has  been piecemeal–a little here, a little there–but it’s been worth it. My kitchen is now full of things that I love. And everything has a place and (for the most part) everything is in its place.

My retro cookbook collection has been rounded up in one place and displayed for all to see.

The cat digs it.

On one wall I hung a Coca-Cola tray I picked up from an antique store in Ellicott City.  I did some research and this particular piece is from 1956.

Also, I am trying to make a corkboard. I really thought that I drank more wine than that.

Send me corks!

And here’s another Ellicott City find. 1972! It’s my year!

The last item to go up was a plastic decorator panel from a mid-century house that was gutted up in Towson. The damn thing had been sitting against one wall or another in my apartment since the winter. But finally it went up in its place of honor in the kitchen window.

But here it is. My. New. Kitchen. Complete with dinette set that was FREE.

Can you believe it’s the same room?

I didn’t stop there. Check out my other new furniture:

Not the best photo, but you get the basic idea of it. I acquired the couch (original upholstery!) from a consignment shop in Bel Air, MD. I am in the process of trying to track down some MCM end tables and lamps to go with it.

I bought this beauty from Ryan’s Relics here in Baltimore. The clock and the Game of State Capitals were from the same estate sale where I got the orange panel. The lamp was purchased from the same store as the couch. I need to do something about the wires dangling from the back of the credenza but I’m waiting until my current cable situation is fixed.

There are still some other things I want to replace here and there but isn’t it all fabulous?

I am going to be honest, darlings. There was a brief moment there where I thought that DiS! was going to go under with all that’s been going on lately–I’m still sorry that I went AWOL for a bit there–but with my new (old) digs*, I feel like I have renewed my commitment to DiS! and I am looking forward to beef tongue and fish balls and olive puffs and lots more Jell-O.

So a toast!

To you! To me! And to dearly departed Cleve who was the one who gave me the idea for this crazy thing in the first place. And for that I will always be grateful–although at the moment I am more grateful for the plethora of closet space he left behind. And the fact that the apartment no longer smells like feet.


 *Big thanks to mum & dad (obviously), David & Stephanie (for the mod panel), Teddy (who took mercy on me and installed the panel), Donna (for the groovy dinette set) and Wendi (who helped me get the couch up the stairs and into my humble abode. Poor thing). You all have a full DiS! experience in your future. I hope you like processed food. 
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15 Responses to Everything Old Is New Again: DiS! Retro Renovation

  1. Jen L says:

    I’m so proud of you:) And maybe Brian was all WTF because he knew something that you didn’t. My cats often question my life decisions.

    I love the decor and had fun finding my sister’s birthdate on that calendar! She was born on April 14th which was apparently a Friday. Wait til I tell her. (Well, honestly, she’s not that happy to have recently turned 40 so any chance I get to remind her of it is awesome).

    Go Emily!

  2. Mel says:

    Love it! And I have tons of corks for you if you’d like!

  3. Godzilaw says:

    Your place is absolutely fabulous – much like yourself!

  4. Joyce Matthews says:

    Oh Emily, you reminded me of when my girls moved out; they’d always had the largest bedroom in the house. After I cried buckets, sitting in their now-empty room, I looked around, pulled myself together and said “This room is MINE!” So I not only know how you feel, I’m damn proud of you.

  5. veg-o-matic says:

    Oooh, can’t wait to see it up close and personal!

  6. mum says:

    i am so happy to see my new favorite gal, big ang, giving my all time favorite gal (YOU!) a toast. love, love love…

  7. Wendi says:

    Love, love, love the update dahling. Glad I could give you a hand getting the new sofa installed in its place of honor.

  8. nancycarreiro says:

    Congratulations! The place looks great, I can see that brian is in his glory. Love N.

  9. Laura says:

    Em! It’s so cool! I completely feel sympathetic to your command center situation. An ex of mine insisted on having one in what should have been our dining area. I hated it like nothing else. It was like a symbol of all the things I didn’t like in the world and slowly drove me insane. Congratulations on getting rid of it!

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