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Sunday, March 11, 2012


Over the past year, and especially in the past three months, Jon and I have agonized over details.  Door placement, pendant light hanging, appliance arranging, color selection.  And when I say agonized, I mean argued, negotiated, made and remade decisions.

Since we relied so heavily on scrap and salvaged materials in this projects, sometimes decisions made themselves based on what was on hand.  For instance,  I fantasized about installing a tin ceiling in the downstairs commercial space.  But when a friend offered us a load of rusted corrugated metal panels he had sitting in his backyard, the tin ceiling (and its $1000 price tag) dissolved before my eyes.  But the corrugated metal turned out amazing well, especially when paired with the scrap redwood walls.

Joey digging through our scrap wood piles to create magnificence.  
Some items we researched and purchased brand new.  I read an article about The Nest, a programmable thermostat that "learns" your lifestyle and energy use patterns and anticipates when and how you will use heat and cooling in your building.  We had to get on a waiting list to purchase The Nest, but him was worth the wait.
I named him Hal, for obvious reasons
Remember what I said about obsession?  The central light feature for the commercial space had multiple iterations.  
#2 Was more promising

#1 Just didn't work
#3 The final product.  This we like.

The process has been exhausting, but ultimately more rewarding than disappointing.  Whether we are  working with what we have in the basement, stalking materials at the scrap yard, or buying extremely specific items on the world wide web, the result is a space that represents us.  

When I look at the light fixture or the ceiling, I see the compromises Jon made to make me happy.  I see the laptop spreadsheets and the diagrams drawn on bar napkins.  I see OSB floors I worked all night to finish, even though I wasn't crazy about the idea to begin with.  I see a building I never would have purchased, a thousand decisions I never could have made, and ideas I never would have had if it wasn't for my partner.  The devil has surely been in the details during this process, but the joy has been in there, too.

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