CE&C Renovation Experiment: One – Nesting I: New House Intertia

Two years ago I divorced my house.

It was a repugnant, messy and extremely malodourous affair. It started with the lack of a back flow prevention valve, one broom-bludgeoned Rattus Norvegicus (album) on the basement stairs, a tail stuck in the toilet bowl hole (luckily I never saw what was on the other side), then enough warfarin to kill a micro-nation. This was followed by dozens of dead sewer rats rotting under the basement floor right beside the furnace air intake  in the middle of an excruciatingly cold winter… $50,000 contractor woes and months of sweat equity later, I decided that there was nothing enchanting about an old house.

Never again will I be seduced and then held hostage by “original architectural detailing” or buying the “lowest priced” house in a great neighbourhood. Despite the fact that the crotchety centenarian had now been gutted from top to bottom and had that chic look of casual refinement, I knew that the old strumpet had it out for me and had other ghastly tricks up her sleeve.

So I placed a For Sale by Owner sign on the front lawn, much to the chagrin of the local neighbourhood real estate “specialists”, and waited for the next victim to be seduced, at market price, by her malevolent old-fashioned charms.

Finding a new house was easy. I had a list of very specific and non-negotiable must-haves including: 1) the location had to be in a newly developed area in the inner city close enough to work that I could walk, no matter the weather; 2) enough outdoor space to plant my kitchen garden (I love gardening and am a gourmet, so fresh herbs in season are a must); 3) a high end gas stove; 4) a fireplace; 5) light wood floors; 6) a chef’s kitchen where six people could comfortably work, three bedrooms, and at least two bathrooms; 7) south facing with lots of windows; 8) open concept living and dinging room able to accommodate 50 people easily (I am blessed with a plethora of wonderful family and friends); 9) a good view from the front windows that would never be blocked by a new condo tower; and, 10) a back flow prevention valve.

Hestia, the Greek goddess of the hearth and fireside, and, Bes, the ancient Egyptian protector of households, must have heard my prayers and united in an act of charity and granted me residential sanctuary. I found my new abode in a heartbeat. It had been waiting for me throughout that long, smelly, rodent-infested winter.

Flash forward two years… when I moved into my new home I had the handsome movers place things any which way. While I have very clear decorating tastes, I was simply too tired to feather my nest.

Then inertia set in. This was further compounded by a series of life events in which decorating took a back seat.

When I woke up this morning, the first non-biological function thought that raced through my brain was: it’s time to decorate my home.

“Make your home and comfortable and attractive as possible and then get on with living. There is more to life than decorating.”

  • Albert Hadley

[Next post in this Experiment: Nesting II – Selecting a Style]


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