Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Time For Every Season

There is a time for every season and so this time must be for winter. We can't cheat winter, can we? I must admit I'm dreaming of spring and summer and autumn... all the seasons I haven't seen from the windows of my new condo.

I have seen winter in St Joseph. It is cold, very cold. And it is white, very white. I imagine it is pretty when the sun is shining on the brilliant white snow. I have not seen that facet of winter in St Joseph yet. What I have seen is ominous dark clouds drifting into the city from the even darker waters of Lake Michigan.

I am spending this time planning the home improvements I will need to do on my condo. It's fun to dream, imagining the bright and cheery colors I want on my walls. Shall it be yellow in my kitchen? Yes, I think it shall. And pale green for the dining room? Yes, that would do very nicely. The living room must be blue and white I think. But not a sad or drab blue! No. It must be a cheerful blue for the living room. Oh who knows, I may get back inside and decide on an entirely different color scheme!

Which room shall I start with? The kitchen so I have a place to cook? Maybe the bedroom so I have a place to sleep. Or maybe one of the bathrooms so that... well, I won't go too far down that road. We all know how necessary a bathroom is ;-)

I went to a home improvement show yesterday and got some good information about new products on the market. I can hardly wait to get started on redoing the condo. The challenges will be to keep a rein on my spending and not to plan too many projects initially. I've learned that home improvement projects always take 3 times the number of hours and generally twice as much money as you think they will. How much can be done before summer? Probably a third of what I'm thinking can be done ;-) I bought the first item for my condo at the home show... a set of hand painted wine glasses and a hand painted wine rack... absolutely charming! I can't live in wine country without wine glasses now can I?!

I'm spending a tremendous amount of time watching HGTV these days. And I'm learning a lot about interior design. I've picked up so many tips I hope to incorporate. It really is a good resource. I just wish I could get started on the redo already!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Why This Blog...

I recently bought a vacation condo/second home in St. Joseph, Michigan. The area, southwestern Michigan, is almost totally new to me. Oh sure, I've been there before, but only a few times. If you don't count driving through it on my way to Chicago from Detroit, I've been to St Joseph exactly 3 times... once on a day trip in the summer of 2007 to visit and photograph the city, and twice this month looking for condos. The second trip was the charm when I found just the sort of condo I was looking for. I'm waiting now to be "approved" by the condo association and to close on the property.

I'm excited by the prospect of having a second home in a resort area that I don't have to spend time maintaining. :-) OK, I'll have to spend some time initially because this condo is a "fixer upper". It's in good condition except that it's all a bit dated. I'll have to buy all new appliances and replace most of the cupboards, sinks, vanities, light fixtures, and throw on a new coat of paint. But I look forward to the decorating challenge! My hope is to have a good bit of it done by the start of summer so I can just kick back my heels and enjoy Discovering St Joseph!