Thursday, January 2, 2014

Holy remodel, Batman!

So mom, poodle and I took a drive up to Morrisville today to have one last meeting with the seller of the house I just bought.  (As an aside, let me just say this house-buying experience was one step shy of a nightmare, and it never would have come together without some serious help from my mom.)  The roads were mildly crappy because we are mid-winter storm.  In fact, as I was reveling in the fact that our cross-country drive ended before this storm hit, I remembered that my moving truck is still in Minnesota and has to work its way through blizzard conditions to get here.  Awesome.

Anyway, back to my story.  Cecil and Brigitta are an older couple who have lived in this house for a zillion years.  Almost.  I think they bought it in the mid-1970s.  It started its life as a 10' x 40' single-wide trailer.  Sweet.  Over the years Cecil added on to this happy home in every possible direction, and then in 1994 his son added a two-story house stuck on one end.  That's the part I will be living in.  The other side, which we affectionately refer to as "the trailer," is going to be my art studio.  Plus there is a claw foot tub in the trailer bathroom.  Oh yeah, baby.  I've always wanted a claw foot tub.

But once again, I digress.  I had been to see this property three times since May.  Mom went with me twice, my sister Ann went once, and my sister Kathy went twice.  It was pretty hard to get a good look at the place because Cecil and Brigitta have a lot of stuff.  Wait, let me rephrase that.  Cecil and Brigitta have a LOT.  OF.  STUFF.  There were tenants in the two-story house, so it was hard to get a good idea of the space over there, too.  Needless to say, I was pretty excited to see it empty.  But Cecil.  Oh the poor guy, I thought he was going to cry.  They have had their property for sale for I don't know how long - at least three years, but Cecil is so proud of all the work he has done, and I know it was hard for him to leave.  I told him they are welcome to come back and visit whenever they would like, although they are moving to Tennessee so they may not take me up on my offer.

So we get to Morrisville all excited to see the empty house.  Wow.  Right this minute I'm watching a rehab show on HGTV and the host just said, "I'm always curious to see what the people leave behind when they move out."  That, plus a sick feeling in my stomach, sums up how I was feeling in the car.  I guess in all honesty I have to admit I wasn't "excited" so much as terrified.  Yeah, terrified.  I knew it was a project house going in to it, but it's actually a PROJECT house.  And strangely, the interior didn't look bigger when it was empty.  I'm trying not to fall back into my old habit of becoming overwhelmed by the big picture to the point of paralysis.  This house is definitely going to require taking things one step at a time, and reveling in each small victory.  And I intend to have many, many small victories.

I'd love to show you some pictures from the first couple of times I saw the house, but I don't think it's fair to show someone else's stuff.  So here is my future art studio as we saw it today:

This is part of the living room in the trailer.  And here is poodle having her lunch in the dining room:

It's funny because this property has everything on my "yes" list but it also has everything on my "no" list.  For instance, I have been painting at my kitchen counter for the past 6+ years and I've been dreaming about having a bigger space that didn't interfere with my kitchen.  Now, because I'm so smart, my art studio will have it's own kitchen!  HA!

Okay, the rest of these pictures are from the two-story house where I will be living:

Now, do not be misled.  These pictures make the space look MUCH better than it does in real life.  But I love the walnut floors, and the old beam across the ceiling.  And windows.  I will have sunlight.  I can have plants for the first time in years!  The kitchen needs some serious work; I might need to live with it as is for a while before I figure out what to do in there (besides ripping off that tile backsplash).  First things first, though: tomorrow I am buying paint for the downstairs rooms and we go back to the house on Saturday to camp out for the weekend and paint.  Stay tuned for the progress - there will be a lot of it.

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