A Blank Canvas

Late August , 2000. after living in NY City for almost 14 years, I moved into our home at 1 Beechwood Road. The house, built in 1904, was a ranch like, circa 1960 remodeled structure, with blue bathrooms, lopsided, off center chandeliers  and a once white,  shaggy,  wall to wall carpet on the second floor. The kitchen was a combination of salvaged,  mixed-matched cabinets with a wagon wheel light fixture hanging over a crooked island on cracked, light blue and silver, checkered linoleum tiles.

Yet the house was perfect! The lighting was right, the rooms were open and spacious and the basement was unfinished. To me it was a blank canvas!

After removing the carpets and refinishing the floors, we moved in. Two years later, we finally tore down the master bathroom. I really couldn’t bear taking another shower in the cerulean built in tub. Unfortunately, for the first time, I also realized the time, money and patience needed to complete any project in this home. There is nothing straight about a  house that is 100 years old…

We managed to give the kitchen a facelift and redo the other two bathrooms. But shortly after, my magazine clippings, paint chips, job quotes were filed and the canvas was put aside.  My kitchen, the Viking stove I dreamed of, now seemed a lifetime away…..

That creative fire was dimmed, Life took over and my canvas was forgotten.

What inspired me to write this was something I read over the weekend. The Author was talking about savings. How putting money aside first before paying your bills would secure  savings…because the bills  no matter what, would always be paid. The author then went on to apply the same strategy with everything in life.  For example, taking  an hour of personal time everyday, in a busy schedule, even if it means hiring a babysitter. What is crucial is being consistent about it so that it works long term.

Which brings me once again to my kitchen. Last spring we had to decide whether to repair or replace our cabinets and counter after a valve leak caused water damage. My husband convinced me that this was our chance. Even though it was completely out of the budget, we should just go for it. We would find a way. I was hesitant at first, but that quickly grew into excitement. I pulled out my files, dusted the cobwebs off the canvas and was amazed how once again the creative light started to burn….my vision now extending to the living room,  dining room and the rest of the house. Seeing everything evolve brought out the sensitivity to color and design that had been dormant for years. Not only has the kitchen brought light into our house, it has also brought happiness, inspiration, hope and possibilities for the future. And the bills got paid.

The Viking stove was  cut out of the design . I traded it for a wonderful green counter ( the color of plantains).

IMG_2456

I love to start my days , sitting by my counter, sipping delicious coffee with my breakfast.

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