#10–Design & Renovate Home

Design & Renovate Home –2010 NOV 01

My most favourite creative acts involve skills that transform a dull, unloved house into a bright, new, inviting home.  Being blind as a bat since very young, I learned to use colour to differentiate objects, so now I seem to have a special eye for harmonious colour schemes [hee hee, pun intended].
My parents still live in the house we moved to when I was just 4 yrs old — they raised 6 children there — & it’s filled with examples of their do-it-yourself [DIY] projects.  We learned sewing [& cooking but I left that for my other 2 sisters, although I do like to make a little jam sometimes], gardening, painting, drywalling, wood construction, concrete-making, plumbing, tiling, . . . practically everything that needs to be done to a house during 50 years of heavy use.
It was so great this past summer when both my brother from Toronto & I were staying at the house while visiting for Mom & Dad’s birthdays [yup, on the same day but 3 yrs apart] & a window needed replacing.  This time, we shooed Dad away & replaced the broken window ourselves [well, mostly my professional glazier brother–I was the ‘helper’].  Of course Dad hovered around us, worrying we’d need help [we are both in our 50s now Dad!].  Everyone was quite pleased when he inspected our job & pronounced it very well done.  Well, of course — we had a great teacher.
Throughout my marriage & raising of my sons, we renovated 3 homes.  The first one was almost new construction needing mainly decorating on the main floor — but the basement was 1400 sq ft waiting my imagination.  I designed 2 bedrooms for the oldest boys with a great dressing room [with sink] between them.  There was also plenty of room for a full bathroom, a workshop, & a huge playroom for the kids.
Our next 2 homes were much older & needed more structural work.  Now, my skills really came in handy — cleaning old chrome; painting prettier colours on walls; replacing old & ugly flooring; searching out auctions & clearance tables for great deals.  Have I ever told you about my cooler-with-red-clay-tiles deal for 50¢?  It was the perfect amount needed to tile around the wood stove — the grout [at around $5] cost way more!
For many years, I have lived in apartments or RVs & have not been able to do much more than hang pictures.  On 2010 OCT 01, I moved into a great, old mobile home in a great rural neighbourhood, with a great landlord who’s fine with me painting & decorating.  Now, I am bursting with creative projects around here — with many more to come!
Dawne Design 

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