When we started our renovation journey, we only set out to give ourselves a new bathroom in the form of an ensuite. It was quickly apparent that more needed to be done to our home, due to it's age, such as completely rewiring our home. I really tried to take everything in it's stride, not stressing too much or worrying about how long things took, how much dust was over EVERYTHING or how messy our house was (even messier than usual). Where things started to fall apart for me was how quickly my home was pulled apart and then the money ran out. We didn't have the finances to continue renovating or even finish what we started. To me, it was just WAY too overwhelming. I couldn't face the thought of living in a house with very few walls, and an unfinished ensuite. This is when the despair and sadness started to creep in. I lost hope.
The guilt I carried around was HUGE. I began to look at others and what they had, and the guilt grew even bigger. How could I have done this to my children. I felt so terrible that they had to live in this way. I really didn't know what to do.
Then family stepped in. With a thankful heart, we accepted some help from family to be able to finish more of the ensuite, which was beyond wonderful. Throughout the process of getting to this place however, I started to see my belongings in a different light. Because our house was getting smaller and smaller, I was no longer looking at my furniture or belongings with pride, but I was looking for what I could sell, give away, remove from the house etc, as there just wasn't room anymore for very much at all. Everything started to have a $$ value to me rather than a happy memory or sentimental attachment.
I soon realised that I had lost something very precious to me, and something that I guess fulfilled me in a creative way, and that was my love of decorating. No longer could I hang pretty things on my walls, gather furniture in a way that I loved, or have a little collection of pieces that make me happy each time I walked past. I know it probably seems shallow but for me, I had lost a part of me. I gave up. I didn't see a way out and I got to the place where I didn't see things being any different in the future.
Then I dawned on me. I didn't have a place for me. I was working sitting on my bed or the couch. I didn't have a table to put my computer, or somewhere to sit and work/design/gather thoughts etc. My bedroom was a storage place for boxes, so wasn't a suitable place to work either. Then my friend Emma made a simple comment to me - if something isn't working, change it. It was exactly what I needed to hear.
Rather than moping and being discouraged, I got to thinking. How could I find a little place for me in our home. After a few chats with hubby and a little rethinking, I came up with a little plan. I then saw THIS blog post on Kelly Rae Roberts blog, and the ideas started to flow. I had to wait a few weeks for hubby to be free to help me shift some furniture around, but I was prepared to wait. This was JUST what I needed.
Across the back of our house is an enclosed verandah, and since renovating it had been used as a storage place for furniture as well as housing our linen in a big bookcase. This is what it looked like a few years ago.
Up until recently this little area was filled with lots of pieces of furniture and our laundry basket (since we no longer have a laundry). I decided that we could find spaces for some of the furniture in other areas of our home (and sell some) and we could shift the linen bookcase around to another wall. Late one night, hubby and I got to work and began shifting the furniture around and brought a spare table in from the back garage.
The following morning I gathered together a few pieces that weren't boxed up and put together a little work corner just for me. To say I was excited was an understatement. The internal shift I felt was immediate. I was SO excited to have a little space just for me, where I could sit and work. That whole day I sat at my desk, watching my kids play outside while the sun was shining not only through my window but in my heart as well.
As you can see below, we moved the linen bookcase around to the back of what is now Jasper's room and we have since added a bookcase (that houses books) to the right of it as well. The back of these two pieces of furniture form the wall for the end of Jasper's room until such time as we can add the plasterboard to both sides of the wall.
We currently don't have any power in over half of our house, and have extension cords running every which way. I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to use my space at night however hubby brought home a little industrial light, in one of my favourite colours, and it hangs from a hook above my table and the cord runs across the ceiling to the kitchen. It works perfectly and that's all that matters right now.
I know this space is going to change and evolve over time and I'm OK with that. I am just so happy to have somewhere to display things that I love, to sit and work, and just be me. Somewhere where I can express myself, just a little, in our home.
This little change really did set the wheels in motion and I finally started to see a little clearer how I could make our home work for us, as it is now, without completing any further renovations. To have hope again really did change me. To have a further understanding of myself was a good thing too. I realised that decorating and having a 'place' to be me, really is important to my happiness and well being. I am sure my family are happy to see the changes in me too.
Thank you ALL so much for your kind, encouraging and supportive words. I will forever be grateful for you all. I am glad I didn't walk away, and I once again look forward to sharing all of these snippets of my life with you. xx Janelle