Saturday, March 11, 2017

the waiting game

Back in December Tim and I closed on our very first home, up north in Portland, OR. Holy shit, you all - I've been looking forward to owning a house basically since I graduated college, although I knew it would be awhile before I was ready and able to make that leap. Even in nicer rentals, we've still had an overabundance of awful beige walls and annoying issues that we would love to just pay to get fixed if it were up to us. Finally, we're homeowners! But sadly, we're still living in our very cramped SF rental for a few more months.

In the months since we closed, we've been getting some work done to update the house, and I've been taking one more round of patternmaking and design classes here in SF. I know that it makes the most sense to do it this way: the house is going to be so much more our style, with new hardwood floors throughout, a fresh coat of gray-white paint, and a finished attic space for Tim to play guitar; in the meantime I'm learning draping skills, continuing the pattern drafting curriculum, and pushing myself in the design and branding aspects of clothing design.

But even though I know this is the right path for us, it's still excruciating to wait, especially since we don't have a firm move date yet. We've outgrown our place in SF in many ways, and it feels claustrophobic being cooped up here. I have to take over the unified kitchen/dining/living room area to pattern draft, cut, and sew, and often my finished garments end up smelling like whatever I cooked that night (ew). Tim works from home several days a week and is in that same room with me. Poor Tumbles has been cooped up, not getting as much playtime as as she'd like, and we're all so looking forward to having a yard to play in with her. Storage space is practically nonexistent right now, and it's getting harder and harder to keep some semblance of organization as I amass sewing supplies, coursework, and muslins, as well as juggle several WIPs for classes. And we're just ready for a change of scenery - a new city, more pronounced seasons, quality time with our friends who live in Portland, and time and space from this city that has changed so drastically since we moved here 7 years ago.

However, each of those frustrations feels so intense because there are so many amazing things on the horizon. I'll have a huge, bright kitchen with natural light and lots of storage space, with french doors looking back onto our private deck and backyard. This summer we'll be able to sit outside, watch Tumbles run around, grill and drink wine, and have friends over. I'm going to have a dedicated sewing and drafting space in a spare bedroom, with its very own closet and room for a sewing desk and a cutting table, so I'm not always hunched over on the floor. There will be space and light for full-length mirrors and a dress form, so I can more easily iterate on and photograph my projects. We'll have a small office for computer work, and a separate soundproofed space for Tim's music (the "before" is shown at the top of this post). There's a full unfinished basement for extra storage, larger than our entire apartment is right now. I am so ready to get cozy and make that house our home, after years of not really feeling comfortable where we've lived. I've always been a homebody at heart, but it's hard when the place you live doesn't feel like home. I'm so ready to lean into this next stage of life.

For now, I'm trying to live in the moment as well as I can (to varying degrees of success). I'm working through my classes despite the lack of space, enjoying simple things like cooking or eating at our favorite neighborhood spots, taking walks with Tumbles to nearby parks that we love. I keep hoping that before I know it it'll be moving day, and our lives will change so quickly in so many ways, but so far that "blink and it's here" feeling hasn't happened. In the meantime, we have occasional photo updates from our contractor to keep us excited and remind us that time is passing. Here are a few before and "in progress" comparisons showing all the changes that have happened so far!

The second floor landing, with double doors to the linen closet. The photos are at totally different angles, but you can see that we replaced the beige carpet and paint with nice new hardwood and brighter, more neutral colors, and it already looks like a different house! We are painting over all the brown wood in the house, sorry not sorry!

One of the first progress shots we got of the paint colors we picked out. I am so pleased with the bright white and slightly gray paints we chose. Previously every room was a different color, and all of them made the house feel dark and dated. These paint colors are going throughout the house, and I'm hoping to paint a few bolder accent walls over time as I get to know the space a little more.

A major change - we had a wall knocked out between the kitchen and dining room, and it changes the feel of the downstairs so much! It makes the kitchen feel like a part of the living area and will be so nice for having people over or just chatting while one of us is cooking dinner.

One last paint before/progress comparison, because I am so excited to say goodbye to the stained wood/orange/maroon combo going on in the living and dining rooms. Also - We got rid of the built-in bookcases, but only because they were low quality IKEA and felt cheap. I'd love to have real ones reinstalled someday!

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