Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Hubby and I know how lucky we are to even be doing a renovation in these tough economic times, but what really makes us feel like we've hit the jackpot is the help we are getting from friends and family. As I sit here typing this, our contractor Brett is going around measuring our windows so he can put the numbers into his CAD program and come up with accurate drawings of our house. Brett is a prize beyond measure, an honest man and a contractor that you can trust. We met him through my Dad (he's used Brett on several of his business projects) and pretty much from day one I knew that we had someone working with us that cared about the project, cared about our happiness, and was passionate about getting the job done right.

With a project as big as this one, hubby and I knew we were going to have to the help of a professional designer. We are basically redoing our ENTIRE house (more on that tomorrow), and the thought of having to pick out every little thing from the mouldings to the light fixtures to the paint just scares me to death. That's why I feel very lucky to have the help of my friend Karen. She's a professional interior designer who specializes mostly in retail spaces and restaurant kitchens. About 9 years ago, she and her husband bought an old house in this very neighborhood and lovingly restored it to it's Victorian/Craftsman splendor. In a way, they inspired us to take the risk on buying an older home.

Now, Karen is an extremely busy person. She works full time, is the mother of a toddler, and she helps her husband out with his film career, so I knew that her free time is at a premium. It was with great trepidation that I called and asked her to work with us on this project, and I almost peed my pants when she said yes (although she would never know it because I was totally trying to play it cool). I KNOW that Karen will help us strike that delicate balance between preserving the history and integrity of the house while enjoying all the modern conveniences and luxuries. She has such a gentle, reassuring presence and a wonderful sense of taste that I know we can trust her implicitly. Karen is almost as excited about this project as we are (maybe a little bit more so because she doesn't have to pack up everything she owns and move) and she is definitely a budget conscious "eye on the prize" kinda gal. We are so very, very lucky to have her in our lives, not just as our designer, but also as our friend and neighbor.

I know that even under the best of circumstances, the renovation is going to be a long, laborious and stressful process. I feel so much better knowing that I get to work with great people like Brett and Karen. Together, we are really gonna make this house shine!

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