May 20, 2010

This isn’t a post about food or about gardens. It’s really just about life.

Maybe you’ve noticed. I like a very controlled, organized life and home. We’re about to start a major renovation. These two statements don’t always co-exist happily, but I’m determined to get through the next two to three months with a smile on my face. Oh, who am I kidding? I’m hoping to get through the next two months without sobbing. Daily.
Fortunately, this renovation will not include my twin sanctuaries of kitchen and garden. Sure, my little sitting space in the kitchen will have a minor bit of disruption, but not three months’ worth.

So, because I’m getting used to sharing my life here, it’s time to show you the before. I’m planning to complain a lot. Oh, let me restate that. I’m planning to SHARE a lot of this experience here, if only to reduce the sobs.

This all started out about 8 years ago, when we thought to search for our retirement home. I’ve chronicled some of that experience here.

“We’ll have nice furniture and a cool house when we find The House.” was the refrain. As soon as we decided to stay here, we each chimed in with what had to happen. Dennis was all about the trim and the doors. For me, it was all about the furnishings. I wanted a grown up look.

We hired one of my best friends to do the interior design work. Julie Goos has great vision and a talented eye, there’s no doubt about that. She’s also adept at finding the middle between my taste and Dennis’, always in an inspired way.
She blew us away immediately by suggesting some big changes to the doorways and openings on the first floor. They’ll be lifted to the ceiling in this renovation, trim removed, so the eye will travel from room to room.

We said “We have no style. We need a style. It’s a mishmash.” Julie has now defined our style as clean, green, natural and American. It’s true, we admire recycled or safely harvested woods, and items crafted by individuals are much more interesting than those manufactured. The pieces she’s found already just blow me away. Julie is a curator and we’re her fortunate clients.

In the meantime, we’re trying to clear out closets and bookcases, making piles for donations, Craig’s List, and so on. It’s confronting, trying to fit our entire life on the tiny second floor. The workers can have the first floor. It’ll be alright. I’ll have to open the garage door to get to the laundry room, but I can cope with this, right?

We hope to start in the next few days. And to finish on time and within budget. Uh huh.

4 Responses to “Making Room for the New”

  1. Kathi D

    Oh honey, you may just want to come out here and stay with me for the next couple of months. I'm still trying to fit both our homes into one, but at least there are no walls being moved or anything. You can sit up on our big deck in the swing, reading and looking out at the valley. And I'll sit with you! Yay!

  2. Kathi D

    P.S. Your home looks pretty great already, by the way, and I know it will be stunning when it's finished. We love hand-crafted furniture too. When combining our households, I realized again that the pieces we spent the most on have turned out to be (almost) reasonably priced in the end, because we keep them forever and love them. Meanwhile, the impulse buys have come and gone. So now I am trying to pare down to having only the things I love and need (or really really want) in our house. Oh, it's hard for somebody like me who wants to own every craft tool and supply ever made.

  3. MrsWheelbarrow

    Oh Kathi – don't be inviting me unless you mean it. It's going to be messy around here and that swing sounds ideal. (and I seem to want to have every single thing in Sur La Table.)

  4. Winnie

    Good luck Cathy…at least it's not the kitchen. I went through that when we moved here 3 years ago…it took a whole summer and it almost drove me insane. Was worth it though- you'll be so happy when it's all done!


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