Tag Archives: Remodel

Deconstructing Shaw

2017 was the start of BIG changes with tiny results.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.” ~ Rob Siltanen

In 2016 we traded Baja for Charleston, SC  so we can spend time with the boys.

The easy purchase was a ranch style house in West Ashley. Quickly withering from the normalness of suburban living, the sirens of historic downtown Charleston began to sing.

Our first visit to Charleston in 2010 had Bill pointing to an elegant and grand 7 story building on the edge of White Point Garden where the Ashley and Cooper Rivers merge to form the Atlantic Ocean and saying “I’m going to live there one day.”

Charleston – voted #1 top U.S. city 5th year running by Travel and Leisure (2016 best city in the world too) – comes at a price. A high price. Money equates to square footage.  You get the picture.

Well I’ll be darned if Bill wasn’t right (those moments still catch me off guard).  We are now fulfilling his prophecy. Downsizing by 75% and loving every 74, 014 square inches of it. (514 sq.ft.) It’s a 1 bedroom, 1 bath with a 60 sq.ft. balcony floating over the Holy City with expansive views of the water and breathtaking sunsets on most nights.

It came furnished so we had an estate sale and utilized Craigslist to unload all the furniture we had purchased just a year before. With 2 rugs and a painting in tow – we moved in.  Heaven!  We walk to everything. History and charm ooze from every corner. Horse drawn carriages clip clop through the streets and bar/restaurants are plentiful. Yoga is 2.5 miles away and allows us to kill 2 birds with one stone, walking to and fro. Two kids in a candy shop!

Sometimes you just have to jump off the cliff without knowing where you will land. ~ Zainab Salbi

And with that said – 30 days later we sold our primary residence in Northern Nevada and opted to go even tinier – 440 sq.ft. (63360 sq. inches).
When working and raising kids our home had 5 bedrooms, 5 baths, 5 fireplaces and a 5 car garage. After the kids moved out we downsized into a 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 fireplace, 2 car garage home. Now, we’re in a 0 bedroom, 0 fireplace, 0 garage and if wasn’t for the 1 bath…. Well – you get my point.

There was an abandoned tiny home on our commercial property in Nevada that we decided to turn into a rental.  The county allowed us to dismantle the house and rebuild in the same place using the same footprint, roof and siding.  It’s cute as heck and we thought what the heck. Now it’s our home.Talk about freeing…

Living in hotel rooms more than 100 days a year over the past decade, and more recently carrying our clothes on our backs while walking two Caminos has helped condition us. You really don’t need all the peripheral crap. Happiness isn’t derived by having stuff.

However, the struggle is what to do with your STUFF.

What we learned:  You give to your kids “now” all the stuff saved for them. Why wait until you’re dead?  Sell and give away all non-essential stuff and pack the rest of the shit (stuff) up in a POD and send it to your 3rd home.

YUP… You read that correctly.

Why have 2 homes when you can have 3?  Yes, as embarrassed as I am to write this.

Hi, our names are Bill and Paige and we are Crazy – it’s been 2 weeks since we were in our last home…

Today we are in Indian Wells, CA – right near vintage Palm Springs. This one was purchased 10 years ago as a rental.

Tenant moves out and we move in.  What can we say?  It’s warm here. Palm trees rule and golfing on pristine courses is intoxicating.

“One person’s craziness is another person’s reality.” ~ Tim Burton

So that’s us for now….

We have a big trip coming up in 2018.  Stay tuned.

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Birth of a Vision – Our New Burning Man RV

Who knew at our age we could conceive….

We have yet to name her.  I was thinking Lizzy – Bill is pleading the 5th.  Perhaps you can help? One would think that after conceiving, nurturing and then finally creating life a name would appear – especially after looking into her eyes and seeing our reflection.

We sold the Pinnacle of Love after Burning Man 2012.  It was time for a new canvas and a newer motorhome.

February 2015 brought exactly what we were looking for.  A 1996 Pace Arrow Vision – the inside had been well cared for and rocked the perfect floorplan.  The oversized refrigerator and sectional couch were luxuries we hadn’t dreamed of – the outside was faded – crying out for some lovin’.

Having years to mull over themes and spending many a sleepless night searching the dark recesses of my brain looking for something unique to paint – I always came back to what was comfortable, cozy – images from colorful Mexico – Calaveras, Frida, sombreros and cardones (cactus).

So it began….

First – caulk and reseal the roof.  Next, Bill scrubbed and washed the sides with a degreaser followed by a primer coat of Kilz paint.   A clean canvas.  We were ready to roll…

Luckily we were able to work inside an enormous old metal building to avoid the intense summer sun. It was Bill’s perfect environment – a sauna! We got to paint and detox at the same time.  Our reading glasses continually slipped off our noses and the sweat dripped from our brow.  Bill was in heaven. It was the perfect environment to create.

As Heywood Broun said:  Sweat is the cologne of accomplishment.

I sketched for days using the remaining Kilz as my whiteout (perspective is hard to obtain without an eraser).  Whilst Bill and our paint angels started bringing this baby to life.

We painted from dawn to dusk using an array of semi gloss and high gloss exterior paints.

And finally she was born…

A special shout out to our angels ~ Kate, Darrell, Roxanne, Piper and Boo.  Without you we could not have made the deadline.

A Space for Artfulness

In recent years the desire to have a dedicated “art” area has been intensifying.
It started with the notion of buying a large storage shed and plopping it on our parcel – only to find out it would not fit within the mandatory setbacks.
Next was a consultation with a contractor to have a little room built off the laundry room. “This roof line doesn’t meet that – the floor elevation doesn’t meet this.  We have to change the roofline, dig out a new subfloor”.  Dollars were mounting. The heck with that.
Penny pincher Paige gave up on the whole thing.
Last month we decided the clean out the garage – the walls seemed to be closing in.  It was time to give the kids all the childhood clutter we’ve been storing for years (why make them wait until we kick the bucket). We sorted through all the novelties we haven’t looked at in 10 years. Give away this, throw out that, save enough for the kids to reminisce about later on. Divide and conquer.
And then the lightbulb went off.
My new art room.
*click on photos to enlarge
* Our handy dandy handyman took down one of our shelves in a creative way – lowering the middle shelf to create a tabletop and then cutting off the remaining top selves.  He installed particle board over the tabletop to allow room for a cantilevered sitting area while notching out  room for my legs on the shelf below.  Pegboard now hides the torn sheetrock.
New paint gave the table and adjoining shelves a crisp clean look – Minwax Polycrylic Gloss  protects the work surfaces from chipping and scratching.  Walmart curtains hide the storage shelves and create a more finished effect. I painted the floor a checkerboard pattern to pull all the colors in and chose teal green to paint an old barstool and storage boxes to add a little pop.
Violà – or Walah for us Americans…..