When we bought our condo 2 years ago, we were kinda looking for places that we could put our personal touch on. Thinking he'd enjoy having a house as a project, my husband was eager to have weekends full of construction where he could put many of his abilities to use. Thus, our condo.
Certainly a project.
An old man had lived here and had lived here since the place had been built: mid-80s. There was floor to ceiling wallpaper. There were floor to ceiling mirrors in the living room, wallpaper on the blinds, the outlets, and even on the ceilings in the bathrooms. There was terrible carpet, outdated tile, and old, decrepit cabinets.
We set to work. And we worked and worked, and no project went easily (pulled down some wallpaper in the master bedroom, for example, and the whole wall came with it), but within the first six months, we had finished both bathrooms and both bedrooms. But then we lagged; slowly, the office was finished and we started to de-construct the other rooms, and then let many months fall in between projects; then the new year, and suddenly we were on fire again. So in January we set out to finish this place. We started in the kitchen. Above (top picture), is the kitchen as it was a year ago: old cabinets, crappy laminate counters, old tile floor, poor layout.
It all came out. As you can see from the pic (second pic) with my husband working on the plumbing: that gaping hole was where the sink used to be.
For many months, we washed dishes in the bathroom and ate primarily take out and pizza, but slowly it came together, and when the tile was installed last week, the kitchen project was finally completed. We do still plan on replacing the appliances (we'd like stainless steel), but that will be several months from now when some of these construction costs have been paid off.
What was left for improvement was the living room/dining room. All those walls with black splotches? Those used to be all mirror, baby. (We briefly considered the idea of abandoning the idea of a "home" and just turning this place into a discotheque.) We tore out the old carpet, which was grody, chipped up the old tile in the entryway, tore out the old half wall and my husband built a new one with shelves, and yesterday -- on his holiday -- my husband installed the flooring.
We still have trim to do, and there are certainly some touch ups that need to be finished, but otherwise? This completes the 2 year endeavor to remodel.
I can't believe it. This project has spanned not just 2 years; it has been an era: In that time, we got married, got Scooter, I ran a marathon, I got a full time teaching position, we traveled, we bowled, and we drank a lot of beer, so now that it's finished? I honestly feel like a huge chapter is coming to a close. Now we will finally be able to live in this entire space: We will be able to have friends over to watch a movie and those friends won't have to sit on the bed to watch the TV!
Granted, I will now care if someone spills a full glass of red wine on the floor, but I guess that's how adults live.
Once we finish the last details, get some furniture in here, and get a chance to pop the cork on a bottle of champagne, I'll feel settled. I suppose my husband will be lost without the constant feeling that a project is looming, but our credit cards will get a breather and I hope it's the end of arguments over what kind of knobs to get for the closet doors (remodeling is not easy on a marriage). So finally, this place will feel like "home."