Friday, May 4, 2007

A Renovation Vacation

It is always nice to get away from home and stop thinking about the little repairs that remain incomplete. But it turns out that home renos can follow you on vacation. While in Paris for two weeks, I was graciously invited to stay with my former neighbour Melanie and her husband Jerome. They moved into a charming house just steps from the Paris city limit in the village of St-Ouen. Both are interior designers by trade, so they are working on one majorly cool home renovation, already five years in the making. The house is deceptively small looking from the street, but beyond the pseudo-Mediterranean exterior hides a four bedroom, three bathroom home with a private sunny garden, a huge workshop, and a garage that currently parks three cars. A house this size in Paris is exceptional. And so are their building plans.

Melanie and Jerome are not only expanding their home, they are also expanding their family. Melanie was 5 1/2 months preganant when we arrived. I was there when she had her 2nd ultrasound and found out that it will be a girl. Exciting! But baby needs a bedroom, so the push is on to get the main floor done by September. Jerome completed the subfloor during our first week there, and they had a few different tradesmen in during my visit. I thought that they would have the inside track on all the best contractors & tradespeople in the city, but in fact, they said that good contractors are hard to find in Paris, just as here in Canada. So, they are in a holding pattern, waiting to get work done.

It seems that on either side of the Atlantic, home renos can be equally frustrating. Yet also equally rewarding. The work that they have done so far is very impressive, so I can't wait to see the next phase. Just one more reason to want to go back to Paris -- as if I need an excuse!!!