Going Rogue: A Story of Betrayal and Componibili.

First of all——PHEW, my first giveaway ever for Ferm Living Shop took in 734 comments! Lunacy! The winner was chosen at random and a big congratulations to Nancy M. is in order! Yay, Nancy!

Now, if you didn’t win the giveaway, maybe you are sad and bitterly disappointed? Maybe I was worried you would be sad so I had a chat with Ferm Living Shop about how sad you would be? Maybe Ferm Living Shop agreed you might be sad and a 10% off promo code was offered to soften the blow of being a poor, pathetic loser? That’s right: use the code MANHATTANNEST at checkout to get 10% off your order at Ferm Living Shop through Sunday, December 9th at 9 PM! This would be a good time to go ahead and buy that Remix Blanket you wanted before—the offer doesn’t last long!

Go ahead. You have my blessing. Treat yo’self. (just use MANHATTANNEST at check-out!)

Onto other matters. I’ll admit I had a bit more of an exciting post planned for today but——True Life: It’s Exam Week and I am Pooped. Like, more than pooped. Somewhere between dead and pooped.

So last week I was emailing back and forth with a reader named Alicia about the usual (fauxdenzas, wood, anchors, sofas) and she just had to mention that she was putting up an ad on Craigslist for two 3-tier white Kartell Componibili units for the price of one new one. They were only a couple years old, great condition——did I know anybody who might want them?

Um, hello Alicia. I want them. Duhzville. Gimme those Componibilis and we can talk fauxdenzas til my jaw detaches itself from my face.

Only problem? Convincing a certain someone who might also have an opinion on the matter. And I’m not talking about Linus, because he’d never be able to understand complex concepts like wonderful mod Italian plastic storage. He can’t even understand “sit.”

God, Linus is so stupid. But his love language is cuddles and that’s all I care about, so he’s perfect.

I’d been talking up a Componibili for the bathroom pretty much as long as we’ve lived in this apartment, and Max has always been ardently against them. He “doesn’t like plastic” (?) and doesn’t like the way they look (?) and some other hogwash that I probably would have remembered if I had been listening in the first place instead of worrying about my future?

So when this talk of Craigslist posts and Componibilis was happening, Max was at work. I tried to be considerate by sending him this series of text messages, which pretty much gives you an accurate picture of what it’s like to be in a relationship with me.

It pretty much went on like that, but you get the picture.

So I’m the devil, more or less. Whatever. True Life: I’m a Control Freak.

Obviously, the problem here is that if I had waited for a response, at least one of two things would have happened: by the time I could give the green light to the seller (a.k.a. Alicia), they’d be gone,* or Max would say no and I’d have to be both selfish and blatantly disobedient and disrespectful when I went and did it anyway.**

*maybe not that likely to happen so quickly, but work with me.
**very likely to happen very quickly.

Rock, meet Hard Place.

So, much like somebody who is mentally unbalanced and likes a good deal (not me, just somebody like that person), I think I was at the seller’s apartment in less than an hour and carrying Componibilis into our apartment like 10 minutes after Max came home from work. True Life: My Boyfriend Wanted to Kill Me.

He was not pleased, but I am pleased enough for the both of us. This thing is obviously good-looking and pretty adorable and it looks good in the bathroom. More importantly, it HOLDS THINGS. The bathroom’s ONLY storage is that big medicine cabinet. Don’t get it twisted, that thing is huge, but not huge enough to maintain this much beauty. For example, the blowdryer used to sit in the cabinet. Of course, it was too big for the cabinet, so it fell out ALL THE TIME, usually on my face, usually carrying a bunch of other stuff down with it. This went on for like a year and a half, so don’t even try to tell me I don’t know struggle.

The Componibili is great because it holds toilet paper, the blowdryer, and various other excess toiletries that used to sit in a box in our kitchen. It’s nice to have all the bathroom stuff IN the bathroom. Max is getting used to it?

FYI, the bathmat is a bamboo (I think) mat from Target. Another huge point of contention in the bathroom has been getting a bathmat——Max hates bathmats and thinks they’re dirty, vile things, and I don’t understand life without them? I’d be down for a normal bathmat, but eventually we had to settle on this wood thing and…it’s fine. I don’t really understand what function it holds, but I guess it’s nice that it’s there and that I don’t have to wash it all the time? I don’t know.

The soap pump is from West Elm and I love it. It’s soapstone, so it’s nice and substantial and the pump part is actually really nice and sturdy, which I like. I wish I felt the same way about the sink and the floor, but there isn’t a whole lot I can do about either of those.

But Componibili!! I’m so glad this dream came true and that it wasn’t the end of my relationship. You really can have your cake and eat it too, you know?

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 12.7.12

    “He was not pleased, but I am pleased enough for the both of us.”

    That is going to be my stock answer from now on whenever someone asks what Evan thinks about whatever interior decor thing I have going on.

  2. 12.7.12
    Kay* said:

    I literally laughed out loud (LLOL ;-) through most of this post. What a good deal and it looks good in your bathroom. Hopefully Max will come around…I’m sure he will :-)

    And that Linus! Too cute!

  3. 12.7.12
    Ana said:

    Is that a lidded trash can on the left? I really like it. Please share source.

    • 12.7.12
      Daniel said:

      Yep, it’s the IKEA trashcan from the SÄVERN line of stuff. (this one!)

  4. 12.7.12
    Dana said:

    The deal was for TWO…you carried “Componibilis” home….where did the second one end up?

    • 12.7.12
      Daniel said:

      Oh yeah! Um…in the living room? I’m probably going to have to compromise and sell one…even though I want both…

    • 12.7.12
      Erica W. said:

      I was pretty sure that you were going to do a give-away for the second one to your faithful readers. Ahem. You know, just sayin;

  5. 12.7.12
    Alicia said:

    Love it! Looks perfect in your bathroom!!!

    Happy to oblige! Actual quote from Daniel’s email: “When could I get them, potentially? Like…would you be home in…an hour? Ish?” I am glad I didn’t have to go through craigslist, but I wish it were always like this. I was just as impatient to sell as you were to buy. And I’m glad it all worked out in the end, that your relationship is still intact. :)

  6. 12.7.12
    Milly said:

    OMG! You are such an entertaining writer. I was so eager to keep reading and it was just so funny! Thanks for including the doggies pics, they are lovely:-)

    I am so gald that I found your blog Daniel!

  7. 12.7.12
    Muoi said:

    Daniel, you bring me so much joy. This post and the one where you made Mekko’s dog bed were so funny, thank you so much!

  8. 12.7.12
    Kristin said:

    Seconding Anna on the stock answer. All these years I’ve needed a phrase like that to describe my design decisions.

  9. 12.7.12
    frances said:


  10. 12.7.12
    Chris said:

    I forgive you for not drawing my name ONLY because there was a photo of Mekko on the sidebar and it eased my pain.

  11. 12.7.12
    Alex said:

    I usually like your design decisions, but I’m afraid this time I have to side with Max: the Componibili looks awkward next to your pedestal sink. I’m sure it bring a lot of function, but it looks like a thorn in the sink’s side. (Please don’t ban me from your blog though ^_^)

    • 12.7.12
      Daniel said:

      Ha, I’m sure Max will appreciate that! Honestly, I hate that sink, so I’m not all that concerned with trying to accentuate it in any way. And obviously part of design IS adding function, and this definitely does the job in the least impactful way I can really think of. I think it’s pretty inconspicuous in real life, even though it’s obviously the center of attention in these photos.

  12. 12.7.12
    Heather said:

    1. You are hilarious. 2. I’m totally with you on both the Componibilis and the bathmat that looks like an instrument of torture to me. 3. It’s good to know I’m not the only adult who barrages their significant other with text messages like a teenage girl loaded on candy and hot gossip. :)

  13. 12.7.12
    nicolezh said:

    I have two of them also, one as nightstand and the second in the office/guestroom and I allways knew that the are perfect for the bathroom!

  14. 12.7.12
    Rachel said:

    Seriously, how could you not?

    Highly entertaining post that’s now been bookmarked for those days when I need a good laugh.

  15. 12.7.12
    Fionnuala said:

    Even after years of reading Anna of Door Sixteen’s love for these things — and Anna has turned my head about a whole lot of things — I just don’t really get these, neither the love nor the hate they’ve inspired (sorry Max). Is it a case of having to see it in real life to believe it?

  16. 12.7.12
    karina said:

    wow! I also “don’t like plastic” but I’ve wanted one of these for over 10 years! Amazing score! Your bathroom is totally from the future now…

  17. 12.7.12
    Robyn said:

    Hair dryers + pedestal sinks = death. I hang mine from a command hook. It may not be the prettiest, but I’m way too lazy to put my hair dryer away on a daily basis.

  18. 12.7.12
    Nancy said:

    Not bad for plastic. Fits in the space well and quite functional.

    Your text bombs are funny!

  19. 12.7.12
    Evan said:

    Yeah, you did the right thing. And yeah, Anna, I do read this blog.

  20. 12.7.12
    Irina said:

    I have to agree with Max. I really don’t like it. I’m all down with getting more storage space, but I would have gone with other material

  21. 12.7.12
    Louise said:

    I need a Componibili in my life now.

  22. 12.7.12
    bari said:

    If you need to offload that 2nd guy I can be there in 5mins. FOR SERIOUS!! I have an even more hideous pedestal sink in my wood paneled (!) bathroom. I can’t get behind that floor mat though. My parents had carpeted bathrooms my whole life. We’d remove and wash the carpet like a bath mat, the bottom was the same. I never thought it was weird at the time but yikes.

    • 12.7.12
      Daniel said:

      I think my mom already called the second one!!

  23. 12.7.12
    amber said:

    i too have longed for ‘Componibilis’ for many years now my heart desires the 4 tier design. so jealous you have not one but two! it defo looks great in the bathroom > enjoy > live the dream :) good design for life yo.

  24. 12.7.12
    kelly w said:

    I think it looks fantastic. Love.

  25. 12.8.12
    Jen said:

    Awww, Linus! That kind of cute totally makes up for stupid.

    Anyways, I’m not really a fan of the Componibili, but I have to support you in your quest for more bathroom storage, and I’m not sure what else you could have used in that space. We too had an issue with storage, but luckily our landlord financed a mini Ikea remodel of our bathroom. The difference in function is amazing. I mean, cue the world’s smallest violin and all that, but it really does impact your quality of life when getting ready for work each morning is an exercise in dodging falling appliances and products because nothing actually fits anywhere.

  26. 12.8.12
    Nicole said:

    What do you meeeeean

    “I wish I felt the same way about the sink and the floor, but there isn’t a whole lot I can do about either of those.”

    Must I remind you the title of this post is going rogue?! DO IT! Rip that shit out and while you are at it, add a ridiculous custom dresser-cum-sink and standing shower as we all know you are way too OCD to actually sit in a filthy bathtub.

    • 12.8.12
      Daniel said:

      As much as I’d like to…we definitely don’t have the types of landlords who would even ENTERTAIN pitching in for something like that. Everything functions fine, it’s just ugly. Obviously I’m willing to splurge for the sake of pretty to a point, but I think I have to draw the line at funding a new sink and flooring for a rental bathroom! Unless somebody wants to fund the whole thing for me, haha.

    • 12.8.12
      Daniel said:

      Oh, and my bathtub may be 90s and shallow and dumb for baths, but it is not filthy!! :)

  27. 12.8.12
    Par said:

    Ha, ha, ha, we have a black cat named Spooky (I know, not very original) who is dumb, dumb, dumb. HOWEVER, our family of four loves her very much just as you do Linus. Spooky was a shelter rescue and we often remark, “You know, if we hadn’t taken Spooky, nobody else would’ve ’cause she’s so stupid.” We chalk it up to her life prior to coming to our home, whatever unfortunate circumstances those were. Dumb, stupid, weird, those are terms of endearment at our house when referencing the cat. PS, my husband was NOT pleased with her when she first came to our home (his face too close to cat = claw marks on cheeks, nose) but they are best buddies now.

  28. 12.8.12
    Gaidig said:

    I have that bathmat, too! It does get kind of gross underneath, though. Maybe it’s a result of my failed experiment with making a bathmat out of corks, which never fully dried, and attracted erm… flora… but this successor bathmat needs a good scrub down every now and again, or it gets some of that flora too. I’m with you on not going bathmat-less, but definitely make sure it gets a chance to dry out.

  29. 12.8.12
    Q said:

    Poor Max was at work at 1AM? :(

    • 12.9.12
      julie said:

      I think he just took the screenshot at 1am

    • 12.9.12
      Daniel said:

      Max is a sex worker :(

      (Julie’s right, that’s just when I was writing the post!)

  30. 12.9.12
    Tanja said:

    “He was not pleased, but I am pleased enough for the both of us.”

    Haha, I’ve to remember that!

    I never really liked the shape of the Componibili, but I think it looks great wedged in between that tiny nook. As it is – old floor etc – it’s amazing what you’ve achieved in this room! Luv it!

  31. 12.9.12
    Tanja said:

    Ps – Seeing Linus now that he has such doting parents makes me really happy!

  32. 12.9.12
    sarah said:

    I think Max needs to start a blog “Living with Daniel”


    • 12.9.12
      Daniel said:

      I don’t let him use the internet without supervision :/

  33. 12.9.12
    Jo said:

    “Don’t even try to tell me I don’t know struggle” is now my go-to Stolen Phrase. I’ll roll it out at every opportunity and act like I came up with it, so thank you.

    On a serious note, what would you rather have, if you could have anything, than that sink and floor? Reason I ask is that, seven years ago when I was cash-poor and gutting my bathroom, that’s what I got: square tiles on the floor, pedestal sink that was small enough to allow me to enter the bathroom front-on rather than sidling in sideways. Now that I’m not *quite* as cash-poor, I’m thinking of replacing the sink and Need Ideas.

    Please give Mekko many belly-rubs and head-snorgles for me. Pibbles are the best.

    • 12.10.12
      Daniel said:

      If I were going to replace this stuff, I’d probably either get a better square sink with a simple vanity underneath (floating, preferably), or I’d just get a simple little old-school wall-mounted sink, preferably something vintage that I could have powder-coated. Then I’d probably replace the floor with either black pennyrounds or some kind of small-scale hexagon mosaic, which would give a nice nod to the age of our building (120 years!).

      Re: Mekko——consider it done!

  34. 12.10.12
    Leo said:

    I think the Componibili would look far less awkward if you swapped it with that trashcan, putting it next to the toilet.

    BONUS: your “extra toilet paper” would be way more accessible.

    • 12.10.12
      Daniel said:

      Unfortunately, that space is about half an inch too narrow for it to fit! That was the original plan. I actually like it on this side, though…I promise it doesn’t look awkward IRL. I think it’s just the pictures that are awkward…in person, in the context of the whole room, I think it’s actually very inconspicuous.

  35. 12.10.12
    Simone said:

    The sink! eek! I have one too, my bathroom has more room than yours… and less storage! Seriously, who renovates a bathroom (we are talking in a house not an apartment) with no storage!
    Its weird and I get the minimalist look, but you have no design cred the day you put in pelican tiles!

  36. 12.10.12
    Jeanie said:

    Oh, I am so glad that you are making some dough off this blog, Daniel, because you are very entertaining. We have a small bathroom, too, so I know your pain about where to put extra stuff. We do have a linen closet and a basement and an upstairs, though. (house)

    Max is a good man. You are, too.

  37. 12.10.12
    Brenda said:

    I think the placement of the bin looks great! I could sure use one of these in my bathroom.

  38. 12.10.12
    el said:

    I in fact have the same componibili unit in my bathroom – small Brooklyn bathrooms, what else fits?? Admittedly, the round shape makes it hard to fit some things in there, but since my other options are a (much smaller than yours!) medicine cabinet, a little shelf I installed over the toilet that I’m forever afraid I’ll knock something off of, and countless really ugly open storage options, I’ll live with it.

    I will say one thing: consider putting a piece of cork or something on top of the unit. I learned my lesson the hard way with a curling iron.

  39. 12.11.12
    Seneca said:

    You, my friend have great taste. And I say that because I have had it on the brain to get a white Componibili for my bath as well. My bathroom is very similar to yours (pedestal sink, distance between toilet/shower, etc.) Only diff is that my bathroom has marble floors and walls instead of tile. I no longer need to visualize in my mind how it would fit thanks to your pics. Thanks!

  40. 12.11.12
    Seville said:

    LOL you are hilarious. Glad I just found this site.

    PS. I love Componibli’s! Yay!

  41. 12.15.12
    Theresa said:

    Daniel, That shower curtain! Where did you get it? I love it.

  42. 12.16.12
    Sharon from Tinos said:

    Those are wonderful cabinets, and the second one would be great for the kitchen … a mini pantry! And a good looking one too!

  43. 12.28.12
    Angie said:

    I enjoy this sentence: “He was not pleased, but I am pleased enough for the both of us.”

  44. 12.31.12
    Jennifer said:

    So you’re the one who foiled my daily “Componibili” search on Craigslist? ARGH. Hate you. Please sell me the other one. Seriously. To use your turn of phrase: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE? No, seriously.

  45. 1.21.13

    I love the little bamboo bathmat. I hadn’t thought of using this style of bathmat in my bathroom before, but now you’ve got me thinking. Nice touch!