April 29, 2015

We’re entering the 3rd week of this project. A much smaller project than the kitchen but good enough to give us a real taste of what that is going to be like. We’ve been doing well taking turns to leave the house on errands, work appointments, gym and look forward to Sunday when we can go places together. We have been told it might take another 3 weeks. If you were to walk through the site, you would not imagine that in 3 weeks you will see a finished outcome.

So what is involved? You may be sitting around and thinking you might like to update a couple of bathrooms and while you’re at it maybe re-do the lighting, change the air cons, polish the floors and after chatting with a friend, a ‘temporary kitchen’ set up sounds like a mighty good idea too. Think of the luxury of having a mini kitchen instead of being without a kitchen completely for 6 months! Creative gears start to turn.

So what will happen? Your daughter’s room, which is the bigger of the two rooms will be divided into two spaces,  a not so temporary mini kitchen/pantry in the area that was her dressing space and the rest of the room shrunk into a cozy space for crafting and exercise, an unlikely combination for sure, but will result in a hardworking space. Then the existing craft room, gets turned into a brand new room for your daughter. Details of which are kept under wraps until the said daughter sees it for herself . (Expect pics in July) There is a space in between, known as the ‘upstairs den’ and next to it a corridor that leads to the two rooms and our room.

I loathe to post less than lovely images on my blog but just so you might get a feel of the process I am suspending that, but, I will start with some pretty images.

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This serene space is the downstairs den where we park ourselves during renovation hours which is 9am-6pm, six days a week. The downstairs den is part of a self contained ‘apartment’ within the home. An apartment which consists of two bedrooms, (one used as an office.) The apartment is connected to the main kitchen.

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What you see here is the entrance to our room. This is what it was 3 weeks ago.

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Inside, everything remains calm. The treadmill is a temporary visitor. Once in a while, when we are both home, I sneak upstairs to work out or just to find peace within the dust free walls. It took us 6 months to create this perfect resting space. (Perfect for us, of course.)

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This is what it looks like right outside that door at the end of the work day. The door directly ahead leads to the new mini kitchen …

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Which looked like this last week,

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through the new doorway is the craft / exercise room.

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and to the left of the pantry, a totally gutted bathroom.

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and, Sarah’s room.

What you don’t see in the photos is how it is all coordinated, the wiremen, adding or relocating power points or light fitting points. The air con people, installing concealed pipes and wiring. Plaster ceiling boys on scaffolding, necks bent, covered in white for endless days, until the very last light of day has gone. We have very high standards and you won’t see a flat ceiling in a room that we update. You don’t see the plumbers and you don’t see the mason guys. Each one meeting our standards, some reaching beyond. Carpenters are in their workshops working on cabinetry. Painters & floor polishers standing by. And even as we are picking out fabric and lights, there is an army of tiles and toilet sets and tubs of paint lining up on the front patio, waiting for their turn to be set into the big picture. What you don’t see is the noise and the dust. Most of these are end of the day images. The team leave no piles of debris or rubble, everything is taken out as they work and our garden is untouched.

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Nerves have been frazzled by countless visits to town, in search of hobs and cooker hoods and air extractors. Stress levels rise and fall dealing with designers and site managers. It is exhilarating and at the same time exhausting. I know people who live in a place as it is for decades. Home improvement is surely not for the faint hearted. (Laugh)

But it is for us. And I’d bet a fine sum that we’d do it again.

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