Saturday, July 08, 2006

Livable and Done Are Not the Same Thing

Where to start? The when of when we began this project seems like a forever ago, and I feel like a different person in a different world. Crazy what housebuilding can do to a girl.

We passed our final inspection, took occupancy and closed on our permanent mortgage the first week of April, 2006, almost exactly two years from the time we closed on our land, and 16 months from groundbreaking.
Financially, a HUGE relief after paying the insane penalties that went along with extending the term of our construction loan so many times, but emotionally, kind of a weird anticlimactic no mans land. Yes, we were thrilled that the house was, at least on paper, livable, but also a little delirious from the all out effort we had been putting in for so many months. Honestly, it's been hard to switch gears and I think we're both just now feeling like things are mostly back to normal. Which is not to say that we're not still working our butts off. At least now it's at our pace, on our terms, and without an hours drive each way.

We pretty much sat around or slept away all of our free time in April. It was delicious, and I'll never forget that first weekend when we DIDN'T have to get up at the crack of dawn and drive an hour to work on the house. At first it was hard to remember just how to be lazy, but I think we've got a handle on it now :) So we've been off to a slow, new start, but we're gradually crossing off all those items on our self imposed punch list.

As I've told many of our friends, a weird thing came over me once we finally got moved in. Instead of wanting to celebrate and share our progress and achievement at every stage, I turned picky and selfish and started feeling like I want everything to be perfectly the way I see it in my head before I'm willing to show it off. Realistically however, I think it's going to be YEARS before I feel like we're done, so I'm trying to get over it. And yes, eventually, I'm going to cave and plan a party.

"Livable" is a relative term to be sure. There's still plenty of work to be done, and a distinct lack of furniture which started to suck about two months ago. So far I've only been able to manage to decide on one piece, a sectional for the media room, which, if I'm lucky, will be here in three more months. Everything else is still waiting to be discovered and until then, one of us is enjoying the BO Concept chaise I got for half price at a local going out of business sale and the loser of the coin toss gets their pick of one of the four kitchen chairs. But hey, they do have upholstered seats :)

After spending two years of my life making decisions, I'm really over it. "They" say this is the part that's supposed to be fun. "They" being all those people who have "built" their own house by calling a builder, choosing a couple of fixtures and some tile and complaining that it's taking too long. My reality is that furniture shopping seems like such drudgery at this point that I really can't bring myself to do it, but the bigger the pain in my butt gets (those kitchen chairs, you know) the more motivated I become.

So in between not sitting down and lounging on nice new furniture, I've been busy pecking away at the million loose ends, and painting and rediscovering just how satisfying paint can be when it's not acres of white primer.

Here's the master bath, the one room in the house that's pretty close to completely done, with the tile job that nearly put me over the edge and took FOREVER, but that we absolutely LOVE.

My studio in Racer Pink (tinted primer plus FOUR coats of paint!) and still needing some major organizing.

The bike room, waiting to be pimped out with a lift, some cabinets, paint and beauty lighting, but with our dear friends the motorcycles happily parked:

The reading nook, aka the balcobrary:

Outside the back doors:

A year ago today:

and now: