Thursday, June 2, 2016

PUTTING THE SOFA BEFORE THE HOUSE

It feels like weeks since I last posted a blog entry.  Hmm, that's because IT HAS been weeks, as work has been out of control busy AND I've been helping a dear friend hunt for a new home. As I began the house hunt with her, I asked permission to document the entire process, from first hunt to closing to bashing down walls and putting it all back together. Because I refuse to have her pay me (and I'll be doing the design of the new place and spearheading the renovations), she agreed to let me be raw, honest, and upfront about the entire process. So, here we go...ready? The house hunt played out like a cheesy reality show; we narrowed the search down to three homes, two of which were her dream style of classic country farmhouses. One was totally finished (she insisted on having a project) and one was way too far gone for her budget. The third, a long shot, was a boring, personality-free ranch house set on a beautiful piece of property with carpeted bathrooms, wall to wall blue carpet, wallpaper in every room and an eighties kitchen. While her passion (and dream) was to own and old farmhouse in rural Connecticut, she went with the drab ranch because it presented an interesting challenge, both for her and for me; to update every square inch of it while maintaining the integrity of the environment around it. In other words, she won't be knocking it down and building something new, she won't try to make it look like something it isn't, she's just going to make it COOL. While I suggested she live in it for at least six months before bashing down walls, she's insisting we start projects as soon as possible. I did what I've for clients for years, I came up with a detailed list of projects (including things found in the inspection, like a leaky fireplace, radon in the basement, etc. that need addressing immediately). I then came up with a realistic calendar of projects and when we might need to bring in professionals to help. OH YEAH, did I mention WE ARE DOING THIS OURSELVES? Yes, that's just how good of a friend I am! This should be interesting!  After we left the closing she wanted to head off and shop for sofas and other furniture. I quickly reminded her that we didn't know where that sofa was going YET and better to hold off until we started construction. Reluctantly, she agreed to hold off on any major purchases until we dove into the project. Wish us luck and check back for updates, tips and our trips along the way!