Perhaps the reason I enjoy them is because I want to believe that there is hope for our old place!
But what really surprises me - more than the grand reveal - is how civil everyone is to one another. Spouses are making decisions about the home they are going to share together and they manage to blend two different wishlists without arguing.
I wish I knew their secret.
We are about to begin our third round of renovations in this house and, frankly, I'm kind of dreading it. I think we've learnt to better listen to each other over the years but there are still so many areas that are fraught with danger and have the potential to bring us down.
We haven't fully finished Round One of our renovations (still have to put bathroom doors on the bathroom cabinet but that might happen this round) or Round Two (the rangehood we chose for the kitchen was designed for homes with far lower ceilings and no satisfactory solution has been found as of yet) but Round Three should be the least disruptive of all (at least in theory). There is no kitchen or bathroom to be decommissioned for weeks or months (or years as was the case with the bathroom that housed our shower) but we will be trying to keep one step ahead of the builder as we vacate rooms before he begins work on them (since we can't see a way to vacate all at once every room he will be working on) and possibly living in a house in disarray for a very long time.
I can see huge lessons in patience and understanding coming my way. And communication. Because even though most of the renovation involves simply re-lining ceilings and walls, repairing windows, adding skirting boards, building some wardrobes and cupboards, and adding panelling here and there, there will still be decisions to be made. So far we have managed to somewhat agree on what we want our new front door to look like and DH will get his wish to turn two bedrooms back into one and I have my wish that our main living room with fireplace will be the last room to be touched (I'm thinking of my own comfort here since I've already done one renovation in winter without a fireplace and am not willing to go there again) but there will still be decisions along the way that could easily tip us from civil to uncivil.
Of course, having a house that is neither villa nor bungalow (apparently it's a "transitional villa") and therefore available information on what consititutes its style is very much lacking, and which, over the years, has lost a proportion of its original features (have I mentioned that there is beautiful timber panelling hiding behind some walls?) due to chopping and changing and a shameful period in New Zealand's renovation history where "old" (as in beautiful native timber and stained glass windows) was thrown out in favour of "new", it's difficult to even know what "should" be in our house and what suits and what doesn't. Throw into that mix two different individuals with sometimes distinctly different and incompatible views ... and well, you see the problem.
I very much want to see my house finished (finally - we've only been here twenty-two years) but I am quite nervous about living through these next months (or year since our builder will have to do our work around other commitments). Moving out of rooms, finding space to store belongings, while headaches in and of themselves, has nothing on the fact that our track record with renovation decisions is often not indicative of our greatest moments as a couple.
Tips on suriving would be very much appreciated.