Friday, 6 November 2015

First things first : planning the project & creepie crawlies

As I've been in the new place a while, I am going to play catchup for a bit in my posts - we've done a lot since we moved in and I would love to share the full journey!

With roots in project management, the first step in kicking off a renovation project had to be planning ahead  - working out what we want to do, choosing a style and color palette, setting a budget & booking the workforce. I started with good intent, but reality and time caught up remarkably fast - and many decisions needed to be made on the fly. 

To ensure that I didn't forget or lose information as the project happened, I ensured that the project team leaders (W, Ian) were all signed up to Evernote - it helped to structure lots of pieces of information into useful findable buckets. I loved the  mobile capabilities of the Premium subscription, as well as the ability to capture documents & business cards with just one click .

Pinterest  was valuable in finding inspirational pictures . With friends and family in different countries and timezone, it was a wonderful way of being creative together and stretching boundaries. A goodly number of pins from friends made their way into the project and I'm super happy with the end results.

Choosing colors ahead of time was critical : I  had a very short window to do a lot of  'base level' renovation & redecoration work in before the movers arrived with all the furniture & belongings. There's nothing to stop me doing more, but it gets ever so much harder when you are moving things around as you paint! Each room had it's own paint chip, and I tried to blend the color change through the house, with relaxing and soft greens in the main living areas, cool active blues in thinking rooms, warm pinks in cozy sleeping rooms. I spent hours on Design Seeds browsing through the color chips finding just the right blend of shades for each room. It even encouraged me to be far more adventurous in my color selections than normal as it was so easy to find a set of beautifully matched colors to work with. 

Finally the most challenging part of the preparation was expanding my slim dutch vocabulary exponentatially with many complex building/diy/technical words as I struggled with contractors with quotations for work that I didn't feel up to doing myself. Whilst W was happy to help in the majority, he has a strong belief that he shouldn't have to make all the calls  - and anyway, all Dutchies speak English, honest! I believe I've disproved that many times now, but the rule still stands - I have to at least try. 

With the house frame and structure being entirely wooden, a must have was a survey for insects and rot. The first company to come in was quite terrifying, leaving behind the impression that the entire building was about to collapse entirely with the next breeze unless they were paid lots of money immediately as the house was thoroughly infested with 'houtworm' (woodworm) and 'boktor' (deathwatch beetle). Thankfully, a web search rapidly identified them as being at the  more 'cowboy' end of the building world, and with a little help from colleagues, I got into touch with Van Lierop - a far more reputable company who confirmed the presence of both denizens, but that it was a new and very mild infestation, easily treatable with a very good spraying! So, all booked, all planned ready for key day!

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