A NEW ADDRESS: CONFRONTING THE BARE BONES

It’s a wonderful world. You can’t go backwards. You’re always moving forward. It’s the wonderful part about life. And that’s terrific.
Harvey Fierstein

Well, I guess it’s a good thing we can’t go backwards, because when I saw my new flat standing bare I wanted to run back to my old home as fast as I could.
Curtains and furniture conceal a host of sins, and – when I viewed the flat prior to signing the offer to purchase – I was only looking at the bones of the place. I felt the olde world ambience of the building and fell for it, without stopping to look up at the ceilings and to notice the lurking grime and peeling paint.
I was appalled by the wall-to-wall carpeting, but delighted that the original parquet flooring underneath was in good condition. My first appointment as the legal owner was with a flooring contractor to lift and cart away the offensive carpets.

limore begins

I was horrified to find that the carpets had been glued down and that I had to fork out for another contractor to come and remove the glue.

gluey floors

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The bathrooms are a nightmare and – although I am taking a cleaning team in tomorrow to give them a good dose of elbow grease – I can’t wait for the makeover I plan to give them in the coming weeks.

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How anybody could bear to take a shower while looking at this beats me:

bathroom mold_edited
The kitchen was the biggest shock, while plaster fell onto my head from the roof; two cockroaches skittered over my foot. All surfaces are sticky to the touch and the cupboard doors don’t close properly because of built up dirt. I have a week to sort this out, with the help of a very capable handyman.

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The balcony I envision to be my tranquil haven at sundown currently looks like this:

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After being completely overwhelmed by the scope of work that lies ahead, I took a few deep breaths and began making lists. I’ll conquer this and make a nice home for myself. I have the stamina and – above all – I have the time: one day at a time.
Keep watching this space.

As much horror as we have always created, we are a species that keeps moving forward, seeing new sights in new ways, and enjoying the journey.
Martha Beck

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62 thoughts on “A NEW ADDRESS: CONFRONTING THE BARE BONES

  1. I know you can and you will, and it will be beautiful when you are done. When my husband was alive we renovated so many old homes and the transformation is amazing. Much is possible with determination, hard work and some dollars of course. May God bless your project and I look forward to seeing the results.

  2. Just go at it one day at a time. Lots of work there. I see the bathroom also has a toilet. With those coloured tiles you’ll never be constipated. That colour is enough to give anyone the sh*ts. And that’s a plus! Removing the carpet is already a great improvement!

  3. I also have do doubt that you will transform your new home into a show place…as the old Fifth Dimension song goes…”here inside my paper cup, everything is looking up”…take good care my friend.

  4. Eventually your home is going to be transformed and you will stand back and say to yourself * I did this * and you will feel a glowing pride . I know you are going to transform this hellhole into something magical . Good luck my dear friend. xx

  5. I’m sure your new home has loads of potential and you can turn it into the home you envisage it to be. The balcony will look lovely when you hang some planters with brackets from the railing.

    • I still have to read the building rules, Pussycat, none of the other flats have anything hanging from their balconies, so maybe it’s not allowed. Watch this space 🙂

  6. Does it have two bathrooms? It will be lovely once you are done with it. Looking forward to pics of progress update 😉

  7. Cin, you have no idea how much I respect you for wanting, and being able to, take on a job like this. I would be flummoxed! This type of chaos would render me … paralyzed. Thankfully you have a host of helpful suggestions, ways and means, surrounding you. I’m going to be learning lots while I cheer you on from afar.

  8. if anyone can make a heaven out of that shambles, Cin, it will be you – i’ve no doubt about it and look forward to seeing the result.
    & i’ve already fallen in love with your balcony, the shape of it… and the view is spectacular.

  9. In 6 months we will look at these pictures and ooooh and aaaaaah in awe of your greatness. Go forth and do magic dear friend – one day at a time.

  10. Love your attitude. So positive it’s inspirational. It is going to be beautiful. And it’s yours! Soon it will be home! Look forward to you sharing with us xx

  11. I cannot wait for the “after” photo’s! So awesome that you can see the ‘now’ and have vision for something that is yet to come. If you can see it you can have it.

  12. Oh, girl! That’s the spirit.

    I love the glass paneled doors and the window in the dining room. I am certain that you’ll transform the place into a slice of nice and oasis of calm.

  13. OMG how did those people live there?
    It sounds as though you’re totally on top of things ie you’ve already pulled up the carpet – that was essential. The next thing is cleaning the kitchen. A spotless kitchen is a given for you.
    Don’t forget to eat balanced meals during this stressful time 😀

  14. It definitely looks better without that swirling pink carpet. You certainly have a major project going on and so this will be a very busy week! Great that you have the help of an excellent handy man. I’ll enjoy watching how you transform this apartment into a beautiful home xx

  15. HI Cin, keep these pics and take many many more, you will have such a giggle when you are happily settled in your beautiful home 😉

  16. A daunting but oh so exciting project Cindy. What better way to make this house your home than by creating the space you want from scratch.
    Looking forward to seeing how your home becomes your own.
    Happy renovating.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  17. Oh, I have been to this experience, Cindy, and feel for you. Courage.

    But as I looked at your pictures I can still see what you fell in love with. Your flat is like a lovely city stockbroker who has become a down-and-out: it’s still there underneath, but meanwhile you have to live with the bag-man clothes and the wino fumes until he’s ready to be smartened up. One can’t hurry these things, as you say.

    After the cleaning team has gone: do you have a steam cleaner? In my darkest house-moving moments mine provided me with reassurance and chased away even daily mildew and mould. Magic things.

  18. Just in case you get overwhelmed (which would happen to me), work to lists and prioritise. I’m looking forward to seeing just how creative you really can be! ♥♥♥

  19. With all that needed to be done, I’m impressed with how quickly you worked things out – judging by your Facebook updates. I had the same experience in one house we had – found parquet floors under horrid rug and no understanding why anyone would cover the beautiful wood – and with outdoor carpeting no less. Behind one wall there was a fireplace with a white and gray marble mantel and a beveled glass mirror. The only thing I can think of is that somehow the previous owners thought they were modernizing.

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