THEN: As I walk through the front door, I am greeted by the closed up musty smell of house. This house has no life, no spark, no joy. Directly in front of me is a closet. After turning left, I am in a sunken family room. There is a dirty, opaque bay window facing the street and another window on the right side wall, toward the rear of the house. Dirty beige carpeting lays on the floor, looking as though a thousand feet have trampled it. There is no color to this room, it is dull, beige, dirty, and cold. On the left side wall, in the middle is an old brick fireplace. It is entirely out of place in this space. To the left of the fireplace is only enough space to slide a folding chair before you reach the back of the closet I saw as I walked in. To the right is a wide wall covered in old, dingy, drywall. In the back left corner is three stairs leading up to what could be considered the main level of the house, where a kitchen, two bedrooms and a bathroom are laid out.
NOW: As I walk through the front door, I am greeted by the smell of exposed wood. Wood that is trying to breathe after being held hostage behind drywall. The closet that used to be there is gone. Instead I can look through the studs directly into the family room. The wall where the fireplace sits is gone. Now I can look through those studs to the different levels of the house. The bottom half shows the basement, the top half shows what was 2 bedrooms and a bath. Toward the back of the house those stairs still exist to enter the kitchen/hallway area, but just like the rest of the room, the only thing still visible are the studs. What is interesting about this back wall is that there are two of them. The previous owners did not attach the walls to either side of the studs. Instead they left the existing 1930 wall, and built a new kitchen wall 1 foot or so off of that when they added on. It will eventually be fixed. The fireplace is still there, but the carpet has been removed. I can hear my feet walking across the plywood floor and feel peace as I imagine what could be….
SOON: As I walk through the front door, I will be greeted by color and warmth. The floor will be made from bamboo with a tiger stripe type pattern through it. The closet that once stood in front of me is gone, along with the fireplace. Instead a wood burning stove will sit in the back right corner. Drywall will be new and fresh but a railing will run the entire length of the left wall and the back wall, broken only by two sets of stairs. One set will lead up to the kitchen, the other will lead up to what will become the living room/dining room (those bedrooms are no more). Earth tones will highlight different wall pieces. A deep red for the partial walls (before you get to the railings) and a lighter neutral tone for the larger walls. The ceiling is gone, replaced with a vaulted one that stretches from one wall, over the railing to the other end of the living room. The ceiling ties the two sections of house together. Exposed wood beams add to the warmth of the room. Everyone is welcome here, everyone has a voice here, everyone can be seen here. This room will hold many birthdays, holidays, parties, and gatherings. This room will give peace, harmony, and shelter. This room will feel happiness, anger, joy, sadness, acceptance, and, above all, love.
Now I just have to get from NOW to SOON—someday.