Do you have the habit, like me, of ogling old buildings, apartments, store fronts, etc. and imagining how you would decorate/renovate/use/beautify them? It can be pretty heart breaking at times. Especially when the four-story brick town house, aka...'my bed and breakfast', that you've walked by every day for five years, suddenly gets divvied up into condos and the inhabitants insist on keeping their precious 'chicken' art in the otherwise gorgeous bay window. (No offense chickens!) Serious heartache and broken dreams. Sniff. Sniff.
Then there are the "what if" spaces you enter again and again and wonder: What if I had the money? What if I had the time? Or in my case, what if I was really ready to live here? And by here I mean, this state, this small town? The option has always been there, but I just hadn't officially asked yet. Amazing things happen when you ask though, be it in a classroom or in conversation. Sometimes the unexpected answer is a clear, resounding YES to your wildest dream! I am very thankful for mine. It is literally the door opening to an exciting next journey called...
My new home!
Right now, this space is most commonly referred to as "the second floor" by all who pass by it on the way to dance class. I can't tell you how many times I've walked up and down these stairs up to the third floor for class, work-study, rehearsal, performances, to rock out or to teach... from the age of nine on! It's already home to me in so many ways.
My wonderful friend/mentor/ teacher Debi is making this work in progress possible for me. She owns the building and has been listening to my plans of living there for years! Of course, I was only imaging my future in the tiny one room office next door to this space. I had no idea the giant loft was even on the table!! I just figured I could sneak in on occasion for a photo or two or to dance around. I was asking for a lot less... and was quite shocked by the offer. It's the type of space your friend's Bushwick loft could be, if only there weren't eight people living in it!
Here we are, figuring out how to fit a shower in this old bathroom:
And yes, that is a urinal! Any suggestions? I'm thinking, tile the whole room and stick a shower head on the wall and call it good. No curtain or walls, just a nice open space. Kinda funky and a little sexy, no?
Built as a Masonic Temple, the building is one of the tallest and oldest places in town. The second floor was clearly built as an event space. Just look at the kitchen!
The kitchen needs appliances and some serious cleaning... but otherwise it's a dream come true! Huge sink, tons of cupboards, lot's of space and a cute fold down counter for breakfast or to pass food through for parties! Believe it or not, I think there's only one coat of paint on those cupboards. I'm wondering if I should do the work of stripping paint, or just repaint them. I do like this color green, but with the whole other room being the same color, it is a little saturated. Plus it could be lead paint, which is no god for making the foods. Oh man, check out the sink!
The photo above is the view into the kitchen from about where I was standing in the first photo of this post. You can see a bunch more cupboards, built in drawers and the counter covered in stuff. In general, there's a lot of random things in there, which I will be helping organize and clear out. Some practical things I'll keep of course, like giant wooden tables!
Anyone want to contribute or donate fabric for a curtain fund? There are 10, count them, 10 eight foot windows! And the ceilings are 13 feet!
I'll be steps away from all the Main Street haunts: the coffee shop, the food coop, the local book store, the farmers market and one of the oldest and best hardware stores in town! Not to mention Woodmans, the place for all your hunting gear and Pikes for sweaters, coveralls & Carharts!
I can't wait to get started and show before and afters! I'm looking forward to the limit-less art making vibe I'm already getting from the space. I could do some crazy big sculptures if I wanted! However, I will have to battle the flies...
I've already started crocheting a rag rug for the 'bedroom' area and the next thing I want to make is an upholstered headboard, so my bed won't look so dinky in the huge room! Also so my pillows aren't always falling on the floor. I'll need warm slippers, curtains and a serious swiffer or broom. I'm thinking about building a big bookcase that can act as a room divider and also as a wall to hang bigger art. The walls are plaster and I can't really put holes in it. Plus, I think it'll be nice to have just clean walls. I was also thinking of framing nice wall pare as a folding screen or something, or even just to lean against the wall. I have a big mirror from my Grandparents house I'll probably lean on the floor too. I'll slowly find furniture, or make it and I bet I could even have a hammock between the poles!
I feel so blessed and thankful! Especially for the lovely high school dancers who have already pledged their help to paint! I hope they will consider scraping too!
I'll keep you posted on all the developments.