Climbing the walls

Soon, the last shift for the day will begin - I calculate that we should be able to do one room a day with two coats of paint on it. This is working in the evenings after Smallsteps hits the hay, since my wife and I both work the days.

We spent the first part of the day clearing trash and most of the dust, so that we don't have to climb over the clutter while we edge and then roll the walls. We actually have only been able to paint a couple hours so far, but I am liking the colour we have chosen. It takes on the ambient light bouncing off surfaces, so it will change again once the floors are painted and since they will be white, it will be a more true feel to it.

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I have to admit though, I am pretty tired and my body aches, yet I am feeling pretty good about the work we have done, as it definitely has connected us more to the house. Some people prefer the "move in ready" houses, which is great in many ways - but it is a bit soulless for me for some reason, there is nothing personal.

One of the benefits of renovating a home is that we are part of the story, we are characters in the history of the house and both the decisions made and a lot of the work done is our own.

I have talked about how houses change usage over time due to the people who live in them and the styles and cultures of the day. This house was built in the 60s and there are parts of it that are created for that time, like smaller windows to keep the heat in. But, the space has shifted as different families have lived here and now it is our time to add to the story of the house.

There is a trend in Finland to restore houses to their past, including having the 1950s and 60s kitchens, even if impractical. While I understand this, I also think that houses can evolve to represent the culture of the family too, which is more our style.

We want to have spaces that are right for us, not right for a 1960s family. This is why we are opening up spaces, cleaning up lines, bringing in more light and hiding away clutter where we can. What I hope is that it gives us the space to become more creative, more relaxed and more of a family.

The upstairs of the house is built for us, a place where we will spend most of the time when we are home and especially as a family. Yet, it gives room for everyone to have their own space to get away and section off from the world. I am looking forward to observing how we start to use it once ready and how Smallsteps makes it her own.

I wonder how much of an effect the home has on a child's development. Not the family, the actual home. I grew up in a large and old farm house that allowed us the space and privacy to be as loud as we wanted, as there were no neighbours within earshot. I think that this has made a difference to the way I interact later in life too, where I am not concerned with who overhears a conversation I might be having. Has the childhood home made me less careful in some way?

Maybe, it is impossible to tell, but I think that since we have moved here from an apartment that was a little cramped in some sense, Smallsteps has blossomed and has become more confident and independent. It could of course be a natural part of her maturing, but the timing indicates there has been influence from her physical surroundings.

I hope that one day, more attention is given to not only looking after the environment, but building spaces where we as a community can flourish. More green space in a city for example, more opportunity to interact with unknowns, a little more random and freedom. Would it affect the way we live by improving the way we think and feel?

I think our surrounding have to have some influence on our mood, which means the thoughts we have are going to be nudged also. I wonder if we work out where we feel the best and then build spaces that provide some of that, will we become better versions of ourselves?

Which spaces relax you the most, where do you feel the most creative? And, when you are in those spaces, what is the sound like - is there silence, music, the hum of traffic in the distance? Where do you feel that you are at your best?

Does the space matter at all, or just the walls in our head?

Taraz
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