Friday, March 30, 2012

Time, Tenants, and Transformation

My "Woodland Cottage" April 2006

Wow, as I type the date "April 2006" it's hard to believe that it was almost 6 years ago that I bought my first home on my own as a newly single woman. It was a scary but wonderful experience, and there were a lot of great God-stories in how it all came about. I was blessed by the Lord with a lovely little home to start my new life...


It was a nice, safe place at the end of a cul-de-sac, next door to my parent's home (long cool story). And although it was not a perfect house, it was perfect for me...

But, because the previous owners went to great effort to completely redo the house with new everything from flooring to paint to roof and then some, I had no need to do anything to move in...no painting, nothing. It was all done - easy-peasy, which was really what I needed at that time in my life...

(Entry 2006)

It was just a clean, blank slate...


(Master BR 2006)

...sunny and nice...

(Kitchen 2006)

...to which I added a handful of new purchases...


(Livingroom 2006)

...and threw in a few favorites from my "old" life...

(Dining Room 2006)


But as I stand here, in these same rooms today, 6 years later, I am amazed at the changes...in the home, and in me...

I realize that I had to go on a journey of discovery to find....me. I had a clean house that was someone else's neutral vision, filled mostly by old things from my old me. It was fine, nice, and functional, but it had no life or personality. And where it had a touch of whimsy or glimmer of fun or color, it was whispered as if in a prayer...


...waiting by faith to be given full voice....once I knew how to find it...

After I began to heal and then got remarried to my sweet John who helped me to begin to feel free to be me, I began to discover more of my "style". But because the house was still perfectly new and pristine, I did not paint any of the rooms with new colors, I just added touches here and there through thrifted accessories and a bit of hand painting like the mini transformation of the guest bath in 2007...

(Guest Bath 2006)

 (Guest Bath 2007)


I was just beginning to get to know the new me and try my decorating wings...

But when we moved John's paid-for mobile home after my layoff in 2009, we leased the house to a good friend who was a Godsend of a tenant - 60, single, fastidious, perfectionist. He took great care of our house and was planning to buy it, which at the time seemed like the best answer for our situation. But his life went in another direction and he moved out of state and that left us with few options - either sell or lease again. We tried to sell, but got nowhere - the market was soft, and we were running out of time, money, and answers. But then, just when it seemed like nothing was ever going to happen, we got a call from our Realtor that a couple was interested in leasing the house - what a relief... They were a young couple with no children and one small dog - sounded OK...

OK, fast forward to today, one year later from leasing to them, and they are finally out of the house - and boy were we wrong about them sounding OK! One dog became 2 plus a cat, apparently none of which were house trained...yuk!! These kids and their animals absolutely trashed the house (and the yard too), particularly the carpets in all the bedrooms and some of the laminate in the livingroom - it was so sad to see. They did manage to "clean" but it is a far cry from the pristine fresh home from 6 years ago, or even from the somewhat lived in but very clean home from just one year ago...

But, a rather wonderful thing is happening as a result of this unpleasant development - I am forced to redo the paint and flooring in each bedroom and the paint in all the other rooms, which means I am ready to actually add color to my previous neutral environment. If everything was still clean and pristine, I might not have taken the time and effort and expense to paint and put laminate instead of carpet in the bedrooms, which is what I was really wanting to do...

So, that is what we are doing now - re-cleaning, re-painting, ripping up what's left of the carpet, and re-flooring. It's what we will be doing for a couple of weeks or so at least. But it is good, therapeutic work. And I can honestly say I am glad to be forced to do this. I love picking out paint, I love it that I will have fresh pretty color on every wall. I love it that it will be a better reflection of the new more colorful me... (oh and thanks sweet hubby for encouraging me to express myself in the house however I want, florals and colors and girly cottage touches and all!!)

I'll share the before and after photos as we continue to progress - it's sure to be quite a transformation....


6 comments:

  1. I loved this post. It's so sweet of your husband to be so encouraging and loving. When I met my husband the same thing happened. Good men are hard to find. It's real love to encourage the other to just be themselves...

    I am so sorry to hear that those tenants trashed your beloved home and I'm excited to see all the new results. Have fun and enjoy! We prepare a temporary home here on Earth and God prepares an eternal one. :)

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  2. What a lot of work it is to clean up after a bad tenant. I am glad that you are able to reclaim it and move forward.

    It is hard to find yourself, isn't it, when you have been living within the confines of someone else's life story? It takes years to really know who we are and what we truly want...and I find that even that changes from time to time.

    I can't wait to see the transformation of color and florals and fun new things! xo Diana

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  3. REALLY looking forward to the transformation! Have FUN finding/being YOU in the house decorating.
    Warmly,
    deb

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  4. Becky, I am so excited for you! I love your Pinterest style board (it reminds me of me!). I can certainly see God's hand in your life the past few years! Relax and enjoy the redo!

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  6. Oops, I messed up!
    Hi Becky! OH, thank you for following my blog! I just discovered you on Pinterest and am following your boards! :) You are so very talented and I'm thrilled for your redo! :)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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