SAYING GOODBYE TO AN OLD FRIEND
Just a little over a week ago we said good-bye to an old friend and it wasn't an easy thing to do. For the last few months, we have spent late nights and weekends cleaning out the home that we raised our family, and had lived for nearly 30 years. *This explains my absence from my blog and other social media platforms recently.
The house was originally built in 1949. I'm sure at the time that it was nice but when we purchased it, it was an absolute fixer-upper. Besides being dated and worn out, the floor plan was awful, the bathrooms & kitchen were disgusting, the roof was a mess, the horse fencing was falling down, the asphalt driveway had holes that exposed the dirt below. The plaster on the sides of the pool was so rough that it was dangerous. The little landscaping that was there was either growing out of control, or dead....and that's just the beginning! Truly!
As the new owners, we set to work to get it to a point that it was tolerable to live in. We tore out the old draperies that covered the windows like dark shrouds. We ripped out the dirty, stained carpets in the bathrooms - and yes, you heard me right, there was carpets in the bathrooms - shag carpet!
From there we cleaned, and scrubbed, and painted....and tried to figure out how we could change the house so it better met the needs of our growing family. The house had potential but we knew it was going to take a lot to discover it.
During those early years I asked a couple of contractors for their advice but I struck out each time. What I didn't understand was that I was asking the wrong people. Though they were all expert builders, they weren't designers. What I needed was someone who's expertise was interior architecture and spatial planning.
Long story made short, it was during this time that I was introduced to interior design and learned that the university near me had programs for both a BA and BFA in interior design. Another long story made even shorter, I applied and got accepted, and as they say, the rest is history.
As frustrating and time consuming being the owners of a fixer-upper was, I owe a lot to our old friend! Without it I would have never pursued interior design. It was in the walls of this old home that I pulled many all-nighters while trying to get through design school.
It was there that I got to design and then see it come to life. It was there where I got to see first hand, and in real time what I was learning in my construction management classes.
It was there that I learned to work as part of a team with contractors and sub-contractors. It was there where l learned to be a good spatial problem solver. It was there that I learned the business of design.
And so for this Simply Sundays post I pay tribute to my old friend and all that it taught me. My success and love of design is deeply rooted in those experiences. So goodbye, my friend, we can say for sure, that we left you better than when we found you!
I wish I had it in me to share the journey behind each of the photos - there is story after story about how things used to be, and what we did to improve it. Somewhere in a storage unit there are boxes of family photos that show how it looked in the beginning and everything in-between. The transformation really was incredible!
ORIGINAL BLUE RPINT FOUND BETWEEN THE STUDS DURING CONSTRUCTION - IT NOW HANGS IN MY NEW STUDIO