Photographs by Laurie @ Horizons Photography

November 22, 2010

Let's talk UGLY

Let's talk ugly!

For those of you that have been reading for a while you know that Tim and I recently moved to our new home in July. It's our first experience as home owners and we are thrilled with our house and our neighbourhood. We are so centrally located that I can get anywhere in the city quickly and easily, and we are in a neighbourhood that is so much like Europe that I am less homesick for Austria and the life I lived there. If I can't live in Europe then this is where I would choose to live. I am lucky in that way, many people aren't as happy with where they live as I am.

However, the house we chose to live was UGLY when we bought it that we almost couldn't see it's potential. It has dust you had to wade through, enough dog hair to make a coat, enough cat hair to make an Elephant look like a Lion, and the smells of Cigarettes, Cat and Dog Urine and general dirtiness could ward off even rodents, let alone bugs and other creatures of the dark and slimy variety.  It was disgusting! If dirtiness was it's only issue then we would have simply hired a cleaning lady (for A LOT of cash) and been done with it.

I will start in the living room, with sea foam green walls and old Buick blue trim the room was in obvious need of pain, but add to those mismatched colours the nicotine yellow and you had a colour that even Crayola can't describe! The floors were a weird marble looking vinyl floor that covered the entire lower level, not too bad really if it were the height of the 1970's and vinyl was your thing. The kitchen, new as of a year ago was pretty good, the only issue was a huge cabinet jutting out of the wall that didn't match the rest of the kitchen or house really. (immediate tear down required). The basement... well that's a whole other story better saved for the end. Let's move upstairs shall we?



Joshua's room, the largest bedroom because eventually he will share with his little brother was a tan colour that bordered on mustard, the door was black on one side and not painted at all on the other side. The hall was the same sea foam green as the living room with the same Buick Blue trim. Kaleb's room, does the name PEPTO bring a colour to mind? Heinous! The bathroom was the only room in the house that was move in able so to describe it wouldn't be fun at all. Just imagine a fairly normal bathroom and move on. Now, our bedroom, picture it, black door, black trim, black ceiling, the trim on the windows and doors was a high gloss olive green with sparkly's, and the walls? Ah those walls... putrid yellow with lots of purple paint splotches. Need I say more?

Now we move to the basement, the reason for this post, the wonder of all rooms and the last remnant of the uglies that once lived here. The main room that, advertised as finished, was actually just an old basement that the previous owner threw a carpet on and slapped up some paint. By slapped on, I truly mean slapped on. This room is by far a work of art, by FAR! The walls were a wide variety of colours, powder blue mustard tan, red, green, navy blue and Buick Blue and one rather large garish creature made from some black paint. The ceiling was more of the same. The laundry room had wall paper of one wall and the rest was a surprisingly pleasing mix of dark red and deep grey, if only the wall paper wasn't blue with strange flowers?. The bathroom, my new spa, was a tropical disaster! Bright lime green covered every surface, everything else was brass, even the bidet, yes I did just say bidet!! (How we could keep something that we could imagine the previous owner using?? - it's just wrong!) Do I need to say anymore to make you envision the ugliness that was our house?

There were gems though, little things that struck my imagination and allowed me to see beyond the mess and find the beauty of the home we now have. The fireplace, though in need of reworking had loads of potential, and there were three beautiful stained glass windows that had so much charm that I could see past everything I have just described and imagine us living here. It was these little gems that I fell in love with.

We are now making the basement into our guest/playroom and as we say goodbye to the crazy black monster and the off beat wall colours there is a small part of me that is sad to see it all go, mostly because it's the last remaining visual reminder of the ugliness I fell in love with. Not to say of course that I am very excited to have the room finished, to have the toys once and for all removed my under my feet, and to have a nice spot to offer guests when they come. It will be a wonderful change around here, and a much needed update.

I guess, if looking you could find a life lesson here. No matter how messy, dirty and ugly the package is there is always a gem that someone will fall in love with and the potential that is unleashed when loved is unimaginable!