Suddenly, for the first time in about eighteen months or more, my creative career has hit a hiatus. I have no theatre projects lined up and am not working on anything at the moment. Somehow, this time, it doesn’t quite feel like the “I’ll never work again” blues. I know I will, and possibly sooner than I may even like.
Or not. I may have just jinxed that.
I’m not superstitious, but I believe in the ability to jinx things. And Yes, I think there’s a difference.
Meanwhile my creative urges have been continuously prodded over the past few months in a completely different kind of way—home remodeling. That last picture I posted was an homage to what’s now in some dumpster or being sold in a salvage shop. It was an authentic Youngstown steel cabinet with a double drain ceramic top sink and countertops that drained in to it. I did some research and learned they were most popular in the late 40s and 50s.
Even though we have a “designer” working with us and we’ve paid a “design fee” the fact is that virtually everything we’ve chosen in our remodeling project (which is big, by the way) has been thought-up, researched, paired with other items, and chosen by us. Cabinet styles, countertops, flooring, tiling, the fireplace design, the mantel and hearth, the doors, the faucets, the knobs, the lights……
Next time I have the opportunity, I’m going to kiss the first set designer or decorator I see. The number of choices to make, all with the hope that when it comes together it looks cohesive and not completely off the wall, is astounding.
We’ve been taking dozens of pictures of the process. The demolition has been the most fascinating. Today our kitchen was taken down to the bare studs in some parts. Other sections only had removed the trashy, cheap paneling (which had been painted to not look like paneling,) revealing the original plaster walls which still had their awesome mid-1940’s color that lingers somewhere between a dusty rose and a burnt orange, and makes me think of my grandparent’s house. It was also amazing to discover that there’s hardwood flooring under all that bad vinyl tiling. Ironically, hardwood floors is what we’ll be returning to the kitchen.
It’s all a vision still in our heads. In reality, it’s a mess. But it’s a creative process, nonetheless. This is actually the second, though larger, project of the year. It was a struggle to choose the right tile—for the backsplash, the floor, the fireplace face and hearth. Choosing the paint colors for the earlier project was nearly a disaster and more than a struggle. Then one day our designer dropped off about 60 different colors to choose from for our grout. Grout! Who knew there would be so many choices?
But just like analyzing a script or telling a story or creating a character, every design is driven by a unifying goal, a theme, and an aesthetic. In this case we turned to an oil painting purchased in Barcelona, with its Mediterranean, earthy colors, for our guide. And there’s the choice to make sure that the addition doesn’t look like an addition. That architectural elements are maintained, or even repurposed as in the case of the leaded windows we’re moving from the west wall to the south wall.
It’s a picture we’re putting together, deciding very carefully on every detail as we go.
I wonder how that 40s color might look in our new hearth room?