Friday, 1 August 2014

Finishing the Apartment

Hello! It's been a little while since I've posted on the blog! I've been busy working on the apartment; I tend to go through phases in regards to blogging versus working on the house. And over the past few weeks I was swept up in a flurry of painting, puttying and cleaning as I labored under the exciting goal of actually-- are you ready for this??-- it's big -- FINISHING THE APARTMENT.

Yup, I said it. This sagging old house has been fixed up and finished up. And it only took us a year and a half. Eighteen months. No biggie. The porch is done, the bathroom is, well, as good as can be expected and we have our beautiful new island in the kitchen. It feels really good! 

When we moved in to this house, (we have the front of the main floor and the entire upper (second) floor), on a cold and rainy night in February of 2012, we were hardly prepared for the horrors that would befall us. We had spent the icy cold month of January walking the Toronto streets handing out resumes, starting out in new jobs, looking at countless apartments, and sleeping on a pullout couch at my sister's place (thanks again, Taylor and Alex!). And come February we had the naive thought that the hard part was over. 

Well, it's quite the understatement to say that we were wrong. It all began with our gruff, ESL challenged movers when they decided to hold our stuff hostage (in the rain and slush) until we somehow came up with TWICE the payment that we had agreed upon. To be brief, we wrote them a bad cheque, they tossed our stuff into the house, and for the next few months we turned off all the lights and hit the floor at the sound of any suspicious or otherwise 'angry sounding' knocks at the door. 

And then of course, there was the apartment. I've drawn upon all my poetic inclinations to try and convey how dirty, smelly and neglected this place was. But such a disaster of a 'home' is hard to put into words. When my mom saw it, she cried. 

And I cried too. Not when my mom did. At that point I was hopeful. I said, "Don't worry! A coat of paint or two... It will be fine." I cried when three coats of paint later, I could still see the blue 'aquarium' walls of the bedroom. And when the toilet broke. And when I realized that no one was coming to fix the rotten closet or the water damaged ceiling. And when trying to unpack our boxes was like trying to solve a giant house-sized Rubik's Cube. 

But in between all those moments of hysterical despair, Chris and I did a lot of work. And I like work, I really enjoy fixing things up. With every project and every room that we made beautiful, we gained momentum and were able to tackle the next terrible thing. And today there are no more things, no more projects. It's all done. I wouldn't want to do it again, although I imagine I will.... just in a different apartment. 

I plan on doing a blog post with lots of photos of the place. And I'll probably have that done some time in the next week. Until then, here is a look back at the apartment 'Before' photos, and check out my instagram now to see some sneak peek shots of our home today. 

As I've lamented before, these photos don't really show just how ugly this apartment was. They don't capture the dirt, the stains, the slope of the floors, the cracks in the walls, or the smell of stale pot and broken dreams. Or maybe they do, I don't know. The one of the closet is pretty scary. 

To see a few 'first photos' of our home now, go to the 11th apartment's instagram!

And be sure to check out the blog in the coming days and weeks, because I have so so much to share! 

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