It’s March. The beginning of a lovely cool autumn, when leaves change colour and collect in crunchy piles on the ground. When ugg boots emerge once more from the back of the wardrobe and we hunt out the change of season clothes from under the house. The same delightful routine we’ve followed for the past few years. Reassuring and comforting.
Except this time it’s different.
Amid the delightful change of weather this year is a layer of other change. After years of thinking, deliberating, avoiding, procrastinating, and writing it off altogether, we’ve finally settled on a plan. Like it or not, it’s underway.
Yes, friends, we’re renovating.
On the path to becoming grown ups, we started looking for a plot to call our own several years ago. Having been forced to move from two rental properties as their owners sought to renovate, we jumped into the market, spent to our limit and settled in to the mortgage that joins most families at some point in time. Our new financial friend.
We were excited. What’s not to love about an estate which includes not just a house, but three outside buildings as well?! Lucky us. We bought a home not just with the warmest (read: hottest) sunroom on earth, but also with an external laundry/ toilet (complete with a non-closing door), a studio (with a nicely sloping floor) and decrepit, non-watertight carport. Charm, rustic style.
On the flipside, we also bought glorious art deco ceilings, sizeable rooms, large front windows for the sunlight to stream in, and lawn to envy. There were two of us, it was ours and we celebrated with French champagne in an empty home when the keys hit our hands.
Time passed and we practised painting in the outside laundry, reasoning that as novice renovators, it would be worth trialling our skills before launching into inside decorating. (A distinct benefit of out buildings.) We learned a few good things. So we took it indoors and painted the hallway. Somewhere in the process of painting the hallway a small person decided to join the crew so all the decorating turned to painting a bedroom, moving some furniture and locating the requisite newborn bits and pieces. By the end of the following two years, we had added a light shade to the hallway. And a second baby to the home.
Needless to say, renovation, stopped.
So, here we are. It’s another two years down the track, we spent 18 months visiting house inspections to see if moving on is actually what the doctor ordered, but it seems the renovating plan is where we’re headed once more. We’re taking another plunge, joining frazzled renovators the world over and learning new skills all the while. It’s a brave new world.
Mark Frost once noted that: “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body. But rather, to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming…. Wow! What a ride.”
For us, there may be skidding, wearing out and frustrating exhaustion. But hopefully there will also be order, happiness and centred calm. Whatever the ride, it’s a journey worth enjoying.
So, join us on the ride. And please, (please!) share your own tips and tricks. We’d love to hear them.