Friday, February 27, 2015

Renovation and The Three-Ring Binder

Whenever I begin a project (house or otherwise), I organize that project into a three-ring binder. Perhaps I am old-fashioned, perhaps I am technically inept, regardless, it helps me tremendously. 

This particular three-ring binder has been with me awhile, it was in fact used for our old house.  

For our current house renovation, I created tabs within the binder organized by category or room. The task of listing all of those categories, and in what order, well, it is my first step towards putting plans into action - for me. 

Mike operates mostly in his head, quite successfully. 

Whenever I offer to review my binder with Mike, he responds mostly with dread to the invitation. I think it's because he is not so necessarily visual and therefore, a three -ring binder with twenty tabs, filled with ideas on just about everything, can be a bit overwhelming. 

I suppose, it can also infer that a substantial amount of work may lie ahead.

This calms me...but I'm afraid it sometimes may do the opposite to my husband. 

Despite this left brain exercise to organize my right brain tendencies, I do think that he would have to admit that my three-ring binder serves an invaluable purpose for us while working with contractors. Again and again, I have found that where language can fall short, visual aids can translate ideas rather effectively. 

We will be installing a new front door down the road and I've used the two photos above (which I have taken) to convey our vision. Images such as these are much more effective in capturing the essence of a feature than words or even drawings, in my opinion. 

I also like to have a place to keep all of the endless notes I take. Through our two whole house renovations, I have found myself with so many notes scribbled down while consulting with various trades. My notes are for my own personal use, so for the most part I'm the only one who needs to read my sloppy penmanship and, ahem, my misspellings.  Yes, I do know how to spell 'hedges.' 

I do have a Pinterest board for our renovation, but nonetheless I like the streamlined resource of my notebook. For some time, this photo of a Sheraton settee I purchased at auction was the only direction I had for a particular room. I had no doubts about its placement but needed to mull over what would accompany it. 

Is anyone else this 20th Century, or is it just me? 

I also feel as if placing an inspiration photo in my three ring binder- like this Damask covered Chippendale sofa - will compel me to be brave and wiggle out of my comfort zone (e.g., neutrals). I hope it works. 

Notes on how to apply floor sealer...I'll have to type those out before I give them to our floor contractor. 

My four year olds love to help with the three-ring hole punch. The sound of it is so tactile, I suppose that is part of the fun. And after all these years, one (yours truly) can still manage to spill all of the tiny paper punches onto one's floor... Simplistic tool yes, but needless to say, I panic when I can't find mine. 

Mike just returned from checking on the house, something he does every night even if he was just there a few hours ago...I will get a quote from him on my three ring binder when he comes into the room. 

"What do you think of my three ring binder?" 

"My favorite part of the three ring binder is the first page with all of the phone numbers (of the various trades). "

I assumed as much...But he continued. 

"The rest of it is essential for you to organize thoughts, for us to determine design choices and finishing details, and also to communicate ideas to various trades as well as between the two of us." 


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