“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver
Yesterday marked the first week of living in our new home. It actually feels like we’ve been here longer as we’ve been settling in really well and are making good progress on unpacking. The kids are adjusting fast and seem to really like the new place. I drove them past the old place the other day since I thought they’d like to visit it, our three-year-old started waving and saying “bye bye!” and our five-year-old remarked, “I don’t miss the old house as much anymore, there are some fun things about a new house too.” Success!
I love the new space and neighborhood and it’s fun to start making the house look like our own. We’ve gotten a running start on several home improvement projects: interior painting, new carpet for the basement, a new play set for the kids in the yard, and last but not least, finding someone to hire for our kitchen/family room remodel. There are so many good firms for either architects or design-build in the Twin Cities that the choice is almost overwhelming. But, at some point you just have to go with your gut and pick one so you can get the project started, which is exactly what I intend to do.
This past week I met with Awad+Koontz and TreHus, two design-build firms that looked like they could be a good fit for what we wanted and whose work I’d seen before in local home remodel tours, home publications, etc. Both meetings were very good, but the owners certainly had different approaches and portfolios to share. But more important to me and Jin than the pretty pictures is how they will work with us to deliver a more functional and well-designed, beautiful, space while respecting our budget! And this is important to us because we have lots of other projects we’d like to get to in this house over the coming years. I don’t know that either gave me a great degree of comfort here yet. I still need to talk with their references to get a better sense of what its like working with each of them.
Then today we visited a house on the Twin Cities Home Tour by Albertsson Hansen Architects, which was a firm I was also considering. The kitchen remodel was stunning, tons of beautiful cabinets for storage, lots of natural light, and striking use of tile, counter material, and fun little details as well.
I’m meeting with them Tuesday to chat more about our project and hope it will go well. The goal is to get our decision wrapped up by Friday so we can sign with someone and kick-off the exciting design process! Tomorrow, furniture shopping for the kids’ rooms… no rest for the weary this weekend, but the energy is so much more positive than when we were busy trying to sell a house, so no complaints here. Stay tuned for the updates on our kitchen project, I’m already learning a lot of about it and will be sure to share lots of details and pics along the way.