Post renovation euphoria

Meet our new bundle of joy, Terra Cotta Terrazo!
The renovated living room has the color palate of an Upper West Side home, according to owner-author Margaretha Heidel, who recently relocated to East Grand Rapids from the New York City metropolitan area. Photo by David Sparks.

I’ve decided that renovating is a lot like having a kid. More the childbirth part. You go through all this pain and agony, then you have the kid and are so excited about it you forget all you just went through. There is really nothing else in life that tops it. You go around showing off your child to all who will want to meet him, gushing about your little miracle, proud as a peach. Same thing with your renovation. You live for the approval of your vision and hope to hear things like: “Oh however did you come up with that idea?” and “What a marvelous color!” or the holy grail: “I want to do that at my house!” (Didn’t someone say that imitation is the highest form of flattery?) Your secret sauce for interior design gleaned from Pinterest has worked!

The renovated master bathroom features terracotta terrazzo. Photo by David Sparks.

I remember having my son– the anticipation, feeling so special and happy about the occasion, then the childbirth part came around. All those little tidbits Mom/Aunt Mary/Sister Susie never told you, the parts left out to make having a baby a pretty picture. Well, there’s that with renovating, too.  Anyone considering it only thinks of the end result– the beautiful new home they will have at the end. The picture of the perfect house in their mind that if you were in fourth grade would have hearts drawn across the top. Face it, you are in love with the IDEA of it all; the fantastic furnishings where Grandma’s china will be displayed or how those memories you have always wanted to create will play out in the new space. But, like childbirth, it’s a process and not always a glamorous one.

First off, there’s the idea that it will take less time than it does. It’s so HGTV at the beginning. Tear this down, take that out. Suddenly, everything is bigger and you just know “better” is around the corner, just as quickly as the tear down happened. Ha! Not so fast. There’s plumbing and framing and electrical and numerous other things that come into play and guess what? There is a specialist to hire for every single one of them, all of whom have other things scheduled. Thankfully, there’s Travis (our Project Manager from Bruce Heys Builders) orchestrating the whole thing Leonard Bernstein style. Do NOT do this on your own (unless you like punishment).

The bathroom before the renovation had pink tile walls. Photo courtesy of Margaretha Heidel.

Back to the little pink tile which you may have read about in March. It’s now gone. Enter Terra Cotta Terrazzo. It’s kind of like the crazy tune Hernando’s Hideaway in Pajama Game (look it up). But it works and I think the shower nook we created with the most perfect Navajo White crackled subway tile (from Virginia Tile) is simply the greatest, just like my little son’s feet were the day he was born! And the blue bathroom on the main floor, like eyes you can’t stop looking at as they gaze at you. Love at first sight! And the renovation pain itself? A distant memory with most every detail wiped away. What problems? I am sitting on my couch right now in my living room and I can’t remember one (insert child’s drawing with hearts).



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