Renovation inspiration

IMG_5468"Renovation inspiration" is going to be a new occasional feature on this blog. It will be a place where we can all dream about creating ideal spaces in our homes. I need this feature to help keep me positive about the renovation that is underway on our new (old) house. This is what it looks like inside today.

IMG_5512 IMG_5515We are two weeks in and already countless skips of rubbish and rubble have been removed from the street out the front. At first that was incredibly positive. It felt like progress and I could imagine my family living happily ever after in our little cottage.

Then the inevitable happened. Scope-creep.

Like, the floor boards and the joists supporting them turned out to be in such bad condition they had to be pulled up and replaced. Shazam! A hefty five-figure increase to the already-stretched budget, and another several weeks added to the whole process.

Then the little things started coming up in conversation. Little things like this.

Building manager: A lot of the old locks need to be replaced.

Us: OK, let's get a locksmith in to replace all the locks so the house is secure.

Building manager: No problem. That will be another several thousand dollars.

Ditto the conversation we had about modernising all the electrical outlets and light switches. Oh and the "we hadn't expected that" unusual plumbing in the upstairs loo ("unusual" is a euphemism for "expensive" in renovations, I'm learning). And a whole bunch of other 'little' jobs that are sending this project through the financial and time-line roof.

I know these are important to the finished product and, while we were thinking big (kitchens, bathrooms, floorboards), we should also have been considering light switches and locks. Being newbies to renovating, we didn't get our heads into the nitty gritty until the process was underway. But I can't help thinking that our building company on the other hand is not new to the process and possibly would have anticipated that these sorts of issues generally come up. Yet they said nothing. And so I can't help feeling a little bit... managed.

Be that as it may. Part of me knew that scope-creep would happen, in one form or another. It happens in every renovation story I have ever heard. It happened to my parents when our family owner-built our home while I was a teenager. That doesn't stop it being stressful right now, but it does help me hold onto perspective.

And the good part is still dreaming about the home we are going to create, albeit at a greater financial, emotional and time cost than originally budgeted. So I'm going to start this feature called "renovation inspiration" and we can all dream together.

Very few of us have the cash or time or opportunities to make everything just the way we want it. But let's think together about the little things we can do to our homes to help us feel that little bit happier to be in them. It could be something as simple as cleaning up, or bringing in a fresh vase of flowers. Or hanging a new picture on the wall.

I'll start next week, and I'll start with kitchens. What is in your dream kitchen? Let's get thinking and inspire one another.

ps. Take a look at this amazing gold-and-green Victorian velvet wallpaper uncovered in our front room. I think it is all kinds of spectacularly, hideously wonderful.

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