Monday, January 31, 2011

How to Remodel a House - Without Getting a Divorce - Part 1

My husband was 20 when we got married.  Our first house was a "fixer-upper" starter home.  He didn't care what color the walls were - as long as they didn't have wallpaper on them, he didn't care if the kitchen cabinets matched or not, he didn't care if we had curtains or not.

We are now remodeling another house.  I had this house decorated/redone within 5 minutes of finding it. I have spent many years cutting out pictures, searching out products, and creating my lovely vision.  Now I find out he cares.  He.cares.a.lot.  He cares about everything.

We are currently working on the bathroom (because with a working bathroom we can recruit more volunteers to help!).  My dream is all white, very spa-like, with a walk-in shower, and a jetted tub.  Yesterday my husband (or the person who is impersonating him) was looking through one of my decorating books and found "his" dream bathroom.  Yes, white and spa-like. Good, we agree, right?  Nope!  He wants little octagonal floor tiles; I want big, oversized, stone-looking tiles. He wants tile on the walls, I don't.  

Giving up on the tile, we start to talk about the layout (because until you can get the plumbing in, the tile doesn't matter).  We both agree on the walk-in shower.  He want's it to have a curved wall with 7' columns on the ends.   With this design, we can have a room with a shower.  Nothing else will fit.  No problem, he's found me a claw foot, slipper tub that's small enough to fit.  Jets?  Nooo, it doesn't have jets, but you know most people who get jetted tubs never use them.  I.will.  I want a tub and a shower.  No problem, he says, we'll move the door.  (When I want to move a door, it's impossible.)  However, this time, if we move this door it will affect the way the hall looks, since it will be moved to a corner where another, angled, wall is.  No problem, we'll build a shelf over the door to create a larger angled wall - but just over the door.  The door will still fit in the corner.  While this is a good idea and would look really good in a contemporary house, ours is 1800's, slightly Victorian.  After several days hours of 'discussion', we decide to move on to the living room ceiling. 

I guess eventually we will have to get back to the bathroom, but by then I'm sure there will be tons of other issues in the remaining rooms that we are avoiding discussing too.  

But we'll still be married.

Friday, January 28, 2011

How to Remodel a House - Without Getting a Divorce - Preface

We set out a few (6) years ago to remodel a house.  It didn't progress too fast.  We are still in the "getting started" phase.

Our house is an old, two-room schoolhouse that was sold and converted into a private home in the 1940's - and hasn't been touched again, until now.  It has a lot of charm, a tiny bit of modern conveniences - like electricity and plumbing - and it needs a lot of love.  When we started, each room was filled with "stuff" - books, clothes, magazines, dishes, you name it.  Each room also has one electrical outlet. Yes, one.  We have replaced the electric service and cleaned out/cleaned up the house.  

Anyway, things seem to be (finally) moving forward - we now have a septic system!- and work is commencing.  I hope.  I have five years of decorating magazines, accumulated treasures, and plans so I'm ready.  My dear husband, who has heard all of the ideas, but has no interest in the magazines, (and must never know where I have all my treasures stashed!!) now suddenly has ideas of his own. Granted, some of them are based in ideas I've shared, but some are just so outrageous they must be his alone.  

We are both artist at heart, but we don't like the same styles.  We will have disagreements on what to do, how to do it, what to keep, and what to change.  But in the end we both want the same turn this old, empty house, into our beautiful home.  Stay tuned.