June 15, 2010

Hold Fast Your Dream!

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:26 pm by dotcomdecorator


I love my home–it’s spacious, yet warm and inviting; it is in a suburban location with a rural feel; and most of all, it is where I am surrounded by my favorite people and things. However, I have a confession to make…I have found another house I want in the worst way! Not my infatuation for this other house , but rather a conversation I had about the house is the main topic of this post. More specifically, how this particular sort of conversation can be a buzz-kill for a design or renovation project!

First, a little background…I have a sketch book into which I place pictures of homes, locations, decor, landscaping, and amenities I would incorporate into a “dream house”. I visit this book often , and its pages are bulging with the many items that make up my wish list. When I “found” this house almost two years ago, it was love at first sight! Not one single day goes by that I don’t think of it.  It is a very old, very large, and very unique home and it has every amenity–or space/potential to incorporate those amenities–which I identified in my sketch book. It is  neglected, overgrown, in dire need of TLC–my TLC–but I see the potential, in fact, I see the finished product in my mind! I have a passion for this home. Actually, that passion may border on obsession, but I’m not hurting anyone, so does that matter?

My friends know of the house and my desire to own it and my dreams for “her” revival. Most of those friends understand and appreciate my vision and ability to look at such a home as a worthwhile opportunity, even though they would never entertain such a daunting challenge. They understand my appreciation of her hundred-plus years and the quality craftsmanship that has allowed her to stand all these years; they understand my heartfelt connection to this home. They support and encourage me to make this dream a reality. Then I have other friends-logical, pragmatic friends.

Those friends are curious and somewhat supportive–in that patronizing way–but don’t truly believe it is a viable project, or one that I will ever realize–especially after they see the house! I was with one of those friends yesterday. In her support of my dream, she went out of her way to drive by the house with me, and even suggested (prior to driving by) that we buy it together (no thank you, its my dream!).  As we drove by, I pointed out various features and enthusiastically explained the changes I would make.  She flatly looked at me and said, “It’s hard to understand what you are talking about…I can’t really see the house with all the ivy growing on it and all the big trees and bushes in the way!”

I hear similar comments often. Most of my clients cannot “see” what I propose, unless I present them with fabric swatches, room layouts, paint colors, furniture selections, and the like. Therefore, I took her comment in stride. It was the next comment that stopped me short…

My friend commented, “I think this is just a distraction for you, not a house you actually want.” And for the past twenty-four hours I have considered that! Is she right…is this just some daydream, a fantasy project that keeps my creative juices flowing, or is there a true desire to make a huge financial, emotional, and physical investment for a home like no other?  With my youngest nearly out of college and this an ideal time to downsize, am I crazy for considering a home five times the size of my existing home…for two people? I took on the General Contractor duties for a previous custom-designed, custom-built home I simply had to have, and have worked with many contractors and homeowners–I know the headaches that go into renovating; I also know the great joy in seeing a project come to life.  Am I bored in my current location, with my belongings, or style of home? Do all my friends think I’m just dreaming? Do they think I’m incapable of such a project? Is this desire madness, or is the madness in letting someone else’s comment send me into a tailspin?

After hours of non-stop questioning, I cleared my mind and asked myself, ” What is it that truly draws me to the house and causes me to want to renovate it and live in it?”  The simple answer is that the structure is unique, in a desireable location, affords the ability to utilize a hundred-year-old structure and manipulate the interior and exterior to exude a true French Country style, would be the mother of all renovation projects, and when done, provide an amazing space for family and friends! In addition, it would allow me to realize my vision, test my abilities, forge new relationships, and create a legacy. So, my dear friend, after much consideration, I emphatically state, “No, this is not just a distraction! It is a true desire and one that I will continue to pursue.” Sometimes I (we) need a reminder why we are pursuing certain goals.

For any of my readers who have a dream  project in your heart, be certain that not everyone will understand, support, or even grasp your desire. What is most important is that you understand your desire, that you believe in your vision, and that you realize the importance to your life! Whether you are redecorating a room or tackling a major renovation, stop and consider the “why” behind your desire. The physical transformation of a space is only one part of the equation…the emotion you feel upon completion is what will make it meaningful. Knowing your emotional desires and expectations, before you jump in with both feet, will help you reap the joy and satisfaction in your project!

And like me, if your desired project is still out of reach, don’t stop dreaming…clarify your vision, share your vision, and be open for opportunities to make it become a reality…hold fast to your dream!

Viva Con Gioia!

The DotComDecorator

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