Thursday, March 8, 2018


Living in one place for close to forty years has been an interesting experiment in housekeeping techniques, because the huge variable of moving can be ignored. The kitchen dates from a time when production and service functions were separate. Storage areas under work tops were often curtained in lieu of having cupboard doors. I like the economy of such curtains and even more like the amount of time they save. 

Over the decades, I have installed and removed several iterations. The area under the kitchen sink stores working appliances and the recycling center. I dodge into it countless times a day. Figuring out how to curtain it has always called on a contorted line of reasoning.

There was a curtain rod for a while that became inconvenient when I stowed a small washing machine in the area. A long bungee cord served instead until I realized it could harm a child. There were no curtains for a while, until I realized that stark utility had been carried too far. I put checkered napkins on a shopping list and let how to mount them take care of itself. I found a set of utility grade traditional-looking striped cotton place mats and brought them home to try as an attenuated covering to conceal the sound-proof coating of the sink and distract the eye from the various vertical metal planes of the appliances. 

A carpenter taught me the term "hammer simple". Sally Fields' flip-out scene in "Norma Rae" is the quintessential domestic example. Lately I have had neither the time nor the patience to fiddle with mechanical fastening systems, choosing instead to plaster various sticky devices here and there to mount amenities in the kitchen. There's nothing to lose, because the wood finishes are durable and forgiving.

Moving at warp speed when I got home and unloaded the roller,  I simply folded and laid out the place mats to get the spacing, pulled mounting tape out of the handy drawer, and stuck the mats in place behind the facing board under the sink. It's the best set-up yet, the cheapest, and was the fastest to design -30-

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