|\\ Don, our painter, doing a better job of painting straight lines than I would //|
I guess first it should be announced ... we bought a house*! In San Francisco!
*(And when I say house, you should know I mean small three bedroom apartment in a three unit building, and that sometimes when describing it I say "bedrooms" with air quotes because I know people with closets that are bigger than what we are calling a unit of living space).
Regardless, I love it, and I am so excited to move in and make it our very own home.
Luckily, the place is pretty move-in ready. I may not love some of the tiles in the bathrooms or the kitchen cabinets, but they aren't falling apart so I'm not complaining. Basically, we just had to re-do a small section of the wood floors and repaint to get it ready for living in. And, after evaluating the amount of work that was to be done, we opted to pay skilled contractors to do it all for us.
I think for Derek (the engineer/craftyman who is always working on something) and I (the person who worked for ReadyMade Magazine and owned the URL diy-or-die.com for years), the idea of not actually participating in the renovations in our new home has felt a little like a personal failure. Especially after the internet seems to be full of dramatic BEFORE/AFTER shots of people that toiled away on a project and by the sweat of their brow ended up in a beautiful, personalized space that cost a fraction of what the rest of us suckers pay someone else to do.
The reality of the situation is that at 7.5 months pregnant, I can't be around all the crazy chemicals involved with stripping wood or painting, and an aching back isn't the best thing for hanging wallpaper. And, let's be honest - if we really had to wait for just the weekends/evenings to work on things inside the house, our son would probably be 2 years old by the time everything was actually ready for moving in.
The stakes also feel a little higher in a place that costs as many hundreds of thousands of dollars as this apartment does. It isn't like taking a risk on sanding down an old table that you bought for $5 at the thrift store...it's wanting to make sure that someone removes the potential lead paint in the right way and fixes the cracks in the plaster that's been around since 1908. Suddenly, any ambition to do it myself is taken over by the desire to just make sure it is done well and done right.
I suspect that after we move in, there will still be plenty of possible DIY projects that will spring up. For now I can just enjoy the fact that we have 40 feet of wallpaper hanging straight in our hallway that I never said one swear word over.