Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Part II - Renovating on a Shoestring....When All You Have are Flip-Flops

Most kids recognize the golden arches of McDonalds or perhaps Mickey Mouse's iconic giant disc ears.  Not ours.  Luca announces proudly, as we pull into the parking lot and the sign appears, "...that's the Home Depot!"  So frequent became our visits to the store - after thrift shops came up empty and our Freecycle.org dreams were repeatedly dashed - that he became familiar with the logo and the orange and white sign.  In fact, I even thought I heard him say to us one day when we were visibly concerned about the potential success of a project, "Mummy, Daddy - you can do it, they can help".  OK, maybe I hallucinated that, but it's no wonder, considering we lived and breathed with renovation on the brain for weeks.

Once we moved on to question #2 "How can I re-purpose what is already here so that it is not hopelessly ugly and/or useless?", we knew we could not do it alone.  For example, would any sane person attack - on his own - turning this..

into something- anything at all- that makes any kind of design sense?  Of course not, I hear you say. And I wholeheartedly agree.  A team of warriors was required for this: warriors in the form of coats of thick white primer paint, a working circular saw (second- hand and ready for a fight), fine grade sand-paper, clean white mitre-cut trim and the gift of Gavin's eye equipped for any spacial relations task you throw at it.  After one or two strategic planning sessions and a few trips to Luca's favorite DIY depot, this ugly green, so-called entertainment centre turned into this:

 I'll give you a minute to scroll back up to the "Before" shot.

Yup - that green monstrosity did, in fact, turn into this.  This is recycling of the finest, fanciest order.  However, I am remiss if I don't let you know that afore-mentioned list of tools needed for this - and other projects- is incomplete and simultaneously draw your attention to the (almost empty) bottle of tequila on the top shelf of the finished product.

While I'm at this "before/after" thing, I'll show you the couch of horrors below that was replaced by the sunny orange delight above.

OK, indulge me: one more and I'll stop:

Dig the groovy border at the ceiling.  Its grapes and flowers!

In the middle of the kitchen is that drafting table I talked about in a previous post.  Not bad right? And in true makeover fashion, in the same way that the "Before" shots show the subject standing with terrible posture, no makeup on and frowning, in our "before" shot,  we have strewn clothes and messiness-making objects about the floor randomly to heighten the sense of despair and disarray.....

Renovating changes you at the very core.  Seemingly overnight, my aversion to decorative pillows (especially on beds where there are several layers of them to be peeled away when access for actual sleeping is needed)  has changed into an affinity for fluffing and placing them just so. Sigh..

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