Recently, we mildly renovated a 50 year old home: replacing floors, updating paint, and changing light fixtures (cue Joanna Gaines, please). Our aim was to shift the feel of the space, moving from echoes of the sweet 88 year-old woman who had lived there, to something that felt more like us.
The transformation was remarkable as the orangey-red shag carpets were lifted to reveal the concrete slab, the glaring yellow paint muted, and all of the fluted pendants and chandeliers came down. At that point an odd thing happened. Once we cleared away the noise of what felt like home to a stranger, and got down to the basics of the house, we could see and feel for the first time, what the home had to offer.
We started to materialize the potential we thought existed in the space. And then, layer by layer, we saw our vision for the home become a reality. In the end, we really only did those three simple things: floors, paint, lights. But the difference it made visually and mentally to connect to the home was so much more complex and revealing.
I’m so glad we took the time to make it our own. Now, when my designer friend sits with us over a steamy bowl of lemony soup, and says she feels like she’s sitting in a design magazine, not only are we guffawing over her compliment (we’re not designers), we know how much a little elbow grease and faith to make the space our own can really do.