It’s been an exciting and seriously deadline-driven period this month. Steve Jackson’s latest Kickstarter has one of our adventures featured. Check it out! Seriously, it’s a great deal if you enjoy RPGs. This contains three magazines with a ton of content that you can use in your campaigns and it’s just $6.
I will have another piece of exciting gaming news in a few days, but I am currently sworn to secrecy.
One thing I’ve been doing since we started renovating is taking videos of our house and the progress made.
Right before we left our house for a month to let them change take out and replace walls, I took this Before video.
We returned to the house to live in my office after three weeks away. At that point we still were’t able to stay in the house due to their work, but the night we returned I took a video of our first impressions of the house and a second video of first impressions for our designer. He wanted to see our reactions, but was out of state at the time. Sorry the beginning is black. We got back quite late, having driven about ten hours from Las Vegas to get home.
After another week of hotel living, we asked if we could come back and just live in my office and another room, which is what we’ve done. Even without a kitchen or being able to live in our bedroom, we are so grateful to be home! Every morning the builders come in to work. It’s like a little party with festival music and singing. It’s a happy place. Meanwhile, in the office, it’s relatively quiet.
They’ve continued to work and this is the current state. I took this video for a friend today, but decided to share it with you guys as well.
I’ll share more videos of the renovation as it continues. It’s been a fascinating process. As the work progressed, they found problems that needed creative solutions. Things couldn’t happen the way we imagined because the building itself had surprises.
Our designer, Christopher Tracy, bubbles over with new ideas and his chosen contractor is similar. Between the two of them, they’ve met each challenge by making the old ideas better, and frequently cheaper, to implement.
A number of people have asked me how I picked Christopher and whether we like him. Short answer to the second is that we are absolutely delighted with Christopher’s attention to detail, his eye for color and shape, and his knowledge. He’s led us to ideas we never would have thought could be done here.
As to how we picked Christopher, it was after we decided that we couldn’t figure out how to solve the visual problems with the house. There are nearly no straight lines in this house or normal corners. The visual balance is, well, disturbing. In addition, the previous owners apparently did all the work using cheap labor that didn’t know what they were doing. So there are a lot of dangerous corners cut. We knew it had to be fixed and we didn’t know how to fix it.
I looked for designer portfolios in the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area who had a sensitivity to Asian design through a clean modern lens. Christopher Tracy Design was the only one we found whose portfolio spoke to us. First, his designs were very clean and he displayed some versatility of design. There were two items in Christopher’s portfolio that convinced us to interview him: Wells Drive and Almeria Court. Both designs are clean and modern with Asian or Turkish elements that really appeal to us.
He came to see the house with his amazing assistant, Michele, and gave us his opinion, which was that we needed to remove the back wall to straighten it out, add patio space, and made modifications to the rest.
We were shocked.
We thought he would say something like, “If you add some throw pillows and paint the walls, it will totally disguise all the problems with the house.” Not so much, as it turned out.
We liked him and the more we talked to him the better we felt about him. We still weren’t sure about knocking out the back wall, but we decided to hire him and discuss ideas. As you can see, he persuaded us to open up the space in the back. His assistant assured us that we would want outdoor living space in Albuquerque, which turned out to be true. Albuquerque is a fantastic place to sit outside and think.
That’s a deep dive into our renovation. Let me know what you think and whether you want to see more of this sort of thing in the future.
I hope you are finding new joys in your lives!
Be well, friends!