It’s quite warm day in winter today. I sit here in my favourite spot in the office, huddled as I watched the traffic outside. We have landed a new contract for a renovation. Restoration and renovation is a passion for me and it’s what started me on my interior design business.
The competition is tough, but I believe I have what it takes to make it. Thanks to my grandfather who had a love for old buildings. He used to take me to old buildings in our city, and told me about its history. Architecture and art history lessons for a six-year old, that’s what it was! I grew up loving every intricate detail, the smell of brass fittings, the cracked floors, even custom window treatment and custom window drapes. Their musty smell brought me back to those days when I soaked in the stories behind every building we visited.
And when we went on holidays, a visit to the old structures of the place was always on the list. Gramp dabbled in renovations, restorations, which included train sets and railroads. I spent the next ten years learning about buildings of a specific era and it has served me well now that I am in the business.
It has served me well when I am into a restoration project where parts of the house needs to have a modern component to them. It’s a good thing there’s shades on wheels. They specialize in window treatment and what makes it even better is they that they bring the blinds, shades, shutters and draperies showroom to their clients – literally! Indeed times have changed and the way we do business is much different from tradition.
I can’t complain really. I have tried working in other firms and while I enjoyed the exposure, it was not something that I wanted to do for the long term. But starting on my own had its pains and challenges too. I’m still working hard to keep the bottomline above the water, but the satisfaction is way better than I could hope for.
Today started well. My team finally got its first big break and I’m loving it. It’s also one of the buildings that my grandfather used to point out to me, an old mill that is to be transformed into a home for a family of four. I wanted to revere the brick walls, the brass knobs, even and especially the stained windows. I love how it has survived ninety years, and it has not crumbled despite the neglect.
I look out to the traffic and it seems even the weather is cooperating. The sun is shining, it’s chilly, but not biting cold. I have just finished the first schematic sketches and the ideas keep pouring in. I raise my mug of steaming coffee in a silent toast to Gramp. Thank you for instilling in me a love for old buildings, an appreciation for the arts, and the respect for the elements and time. One day, I will make a monument for you. But for now, let me work on it.