Fall Newsletter, 2016

Poor Cobbler's Wife

By: Wayne Coolidge
   I was watching a football game over the weekend and a commercial came on that I hadn’t seen before. It had me laughing out loud because it hit home – I even rewound it so that Wendy could enjoy it.  I haven’t seen it again and I couldn’t find it on the internet, but it went something like this:
   The scene opens with a general contractor meeting with his clients, a husband and wife. They are standing in a kitchen that has site protection hanging in the background and obvious demolition in progress. A general question is asked about the schedule and the ensuing dialogue is what each individual is thinking rather than what they are really saying.

General Contractor: “I’m going to say a bunch of technical jargon and double talk that really won’t make any sense or answer the actual question.”

Husband: “I going to nod my head like I understand and so my wife thinks I have this under control.”

Wife: “I just going to stand here with my arms crossed and keep asking about the schedule.”

General Contractor: “Basically after today, I am wrapping up my tools and we won’t be back for six months.”

  I don’t even know what the commercial was for but it was very stereotypical and cracked me up! In real life (at least my real life) this doesn’t happen, but I can see how that could happen. We have done six kitchen renovations in the past year and of any home improvement that would impact a client’s life – it is a kitchen!  Typically, before a project begins, I submit a flowchart schedule with start to finish dates, and we stay pretty true to that schedule. Except for my poor wife! Her experience with our own home renovation projects are VERY much like that commercial. Our last house took 18 years to remodel- hey that’s not bad… that averaged out to only about two years per room.
   Our current home project is a dining room/3-season room that is being reconstructed into a larger dining room, her office, and a bar. Before the project began in the spring, she asked me if it would be finished by August because we were going to be hosting a dual one-year birthday party for our two grandchildren. I gave her a bunch of technical jargon and double talk but promised it would be done by August.
   Last night as we were sitting at the bar, which I would say is 85% complete, she says, “Do you know it has been 3 years that we have been working on this project?” I said, “No way”. She said, “Yup – we just hosted our grandchildren’s third birthday party last month. CRAP – she’s right! Just like the poor cobbler’s wife whose children had to go barefoot. So I gave her some more technical jargon and double talk as she stood there with folded arms. My only saving grace at this point is that I never promised what YEAR I would have this project completed in August!

Broken-plan Living Space

   There are many benefits to open-plan living space with wide, open spaces making it easier for social gatherings and room to see everything at all times. However, with this also comes a lack of privacy and possible difficulties furnishing without the backing of walls. A new direction, which seems to be the best of both worlds, is the concept of broken-plan living space.
   With broken-plan living space, you can keep the concept of an open-plan space but add a wall or half-wall in certain areas. This allows for privacy if desired and the ability to create purposes for each area independently. The modern world has more people (and children) using tablets and smartphones that desire separation from the rest. Whether studying, gaming, or working from home, your family can still interact without being on top of one another.
   Too much open space can also feel like a museum and lack coziness. By introducing some degrees of separation, you can have it all. If you’re not a fan of adding walls, you can divide other ways too. One of the most popular designs is creating different levels and adding stairs to get from one area to the next. Varying floor or ceiling heights in an area, can bring on a totally different feeling. Other options are internal windows, sliding doors, or even shelving. To further separate spaces, use different décor in each area, including different walls, flooring, and window treatments.

Seasonal Recharge

   As fall begins, life can become very busy with the start of school, approaching holidays, family gatherings, etc. In a time when so much is going on, it is nice to have at least one spot to escape to– your home. During times of stress, your home should serve as an area of retreat. It should be a place you enjoy coming home to and provide a calming atmosphere. Here are some ways to do just that!
   It is important to consider the color of your space. Colors are personality dependent and very unique to what feels calming to you. White can often be seen as the ultimate calming color, yet some may prefer a shade of soft blue or green. Take the time to test out different colors and see how they make you feel.
   Sometimes with others in the house, it can be difficult to find a spot for relaxation. Create your own area to allow yourself some peace and quiet. Claim a corner chair, set-up an afternoon tea spot, or build a reading nook. Do what you can to make time for yourself and make it routine to visit that spot daily. You can even go further and create a “sanctuary” by hanging sheer sheets, adding lots of pillows, and some string lights.
   Another approach is to add décor to uplift your mood. Find peaceful artwork or print family pictures that make you feel happy. Consider adding plants to your space as well. They can benefit your health through purifying the air as well as the sight of them bringing calm to a room.

Use Fallen Leaves for Mulch

   A great solution to cleaning up your yard is to put your fallen leaves to use as mulch around your plants, trees, and even right on the yard. Be sure to shred the leaves before using them with a mulching mower, shredder, or leaf blower on the vacuum setting. The leaves will enrich the soil by locking in moisture and help protect plants from cold temperatures.

Renovate for the Future

   When renovating your home, it’s easy to get caught up in trends that are here and now- but by doing so, you risk outdating your house sooner than later. Stick to classic styles and appliances that you know will be in style in the future. And instead, pay attention to trends for accessorizing and decorating.

Fun Suggestion

Turn door hinges into picture/memorabilia holders:
  1. Open the hinges and glue or stick magnets to one side (will stick to metal of other side of course)
  2. Attach twine, ribbon, or wire to outer ends of bolts to hang on wall
  3. Print some pictures, artwork, quotes, etc. and insert into hinge
  4. Hang and admire!
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PO Box 1701
Dover, NH 03821-1701

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W. A. Coolidge Company · PO Box 1701 · Dover, NH 03821-1701 · USA

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