Saga of the Studio Remodel: Patience and Gratitude

Studio Remodel in Progress
Studio Remodel in Progress. Photo © Jane Alynn

Little did I know when I began this studio remodel project, way back in October of last year, that it still would be “coming along” eight months later. It’s been painfully long and fraught, vaguely reminiscent of having babies.

For a long time nothing moves. Finally, it begins to take shape, but it isn’t pretty. The dominant mood is anxiety. This is a child, you think, but what if…? And the wait is excruciating.

I wondered as the months passed how I would manage:

  • working in make-shift digs.
  • writing on a rickety, sway-back Goodwill card table.
  • any semblance of organization on a 32” x 32” table top cluttered with computer, printer, desk lamp, pens, keys, cameras, phone, needed office supplies, piles of papers, you name it.
  • amid boxes of stuff piled up around me, blocking access to my bookshelves.
  • without access to negative files and records, which are in storage.
  • when temporary begins to feel like permanent.

To be fair, my son, who’s doing the work, has been equally vexed, and maybe more so, since he’s a superb craftsman and the delays have had nothing to do with his fine work. Rather, they were problems he uncovered in the process, big problems that our home inspection (fourteen years ago) should have found but didn’t—decades-old moisture leaks that had caused the studs to rot and black mold to flourish. There was of course nothing else to do but tear it all out and start over. The merit of complete reconstruction rather than superficial remodeling was clear. What gratitude I feel for his root-bound love and remarkable skill.

Today, though the discomfort isn’t over, the end is in sight. What’s left to do? Install finishing trim—baseboards, doors, and windows—and furnishings, such as bookshelves, print rail, work bench with light box, larger monitor, and a writing/computer desk. Minimal.

I can do this.

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