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Renovating Couples

by - Tuesday, June 10, 2008

HandyMan and I are newlyweds. We're also renovating a house. Put those two things together and I'd say we've learned a whole lot more about each other as compared to other couples just nine months into marriage. Renovating can be stressful, frustrating, enjoyable, laughable, difficult, painful, exhilirating, and ultimately rewarding. Same goes for married life. But renovating just puts a big ol' spotlight on your marriage - it intensifies things, it highlights, it makes you take a step back and say "Wow. So this is the person I married."

Take shopping for example. It only took three trips to Ikea for HandyMan and I to figure out we have different shopping modus operandi. HandyMan likes to wander the aisles and be inspired, with only a vague idea of what he is looking for or what style he wants. I, on the other hand, am on a mission: I have a 'big picture' vision in my head, have already flipped through the catalogue and tagged some items, come armed with dimensions and my little swatch book filled with paint, wallpaper, and fabric samples. But that's what makes the whole process fun. You learn about your similar tastes and your differences in shopping habits. You figure out who's the better interior designer and who's the sharper architect. You discover who is a pro at picking paint colours and who gets overwhelmed looking at 32 different types of kitchen faucets. If you're lucky, you'll find a balance and see how your talents complement each other. And if you're really lucky, you'll end up with a home that is a perfect reflection of the two of you.

Its not easy. And I guess documenting my and HandyMan's journey with our house really does serve to document our evolution as a husband and wife as well. I like to think that every tile we lay and nail we hammer helps to strengthen our marriage as well as our home. That may be naive, I guess. Ah well, call me a newlywed :)

Check out these great blogs to read about the trials and tribulations of other couples on the road to home-making:

86'in It
Baltimore Rowhouse
Becoming Home
Four Beds Two Baths
House In Progress
In Pursuit of our Place
Newlywedisms by Bryn
No. 462
Rehab or Die
The Newlywed Diaries
This Young House
Three Acres

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10 comments

  1. Love this post!! Thanks for the links I have most of these blogs on my reader but there are a couple new ones I'll have to add. I totally understand what you mean about your different shopping styles. I'm a planner and DH is a wanderer. And so far renovating has been the same way. I have huge master plans and DH is impulsive with a plan as you go style.

    I don't think you're naive. They say if you can make it through remodeling you can make it through anything. But what do I know we're newlyweds too. : )

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  2. The Qheen and I are definitely learning each others tastes, and more importantly I am learning to compromise. Apparently I wasn't very good at doing this. :-)

    I have a vision of things that work and don't work, but am lost when it comes to the details matching and what things go together. Like patterns and colors I can pick out individually, but put them together and who knows how it will turn out! I can pick out some cool pieces, but making it work together is the Queen's job.

    Always a pleasure to read your blog!

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  3. Thanks for commenting threeacres! I’ll have to check out more of your blog… DIY roofing…I’m impressed! I’m starting to think that renovating when you’re a newlywed is perfect timing… you’ve still got that “we can do anything together” wedding hangover and maybe attempt things together you may not do later in marriage :)

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  4. I hear you about learning to compromise Corey... you figure that out pretty quickly when you're faced with a gazillion design decisions!

    HandyMan and I work the same way when it comes to bringing the whole look together. I leave it to him to figure out how to frame out a wall and he leaves it to me to pick out the paint colour ;)

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  5. Love it! You summed the whole sentiment of this adventure up perfectly.

    I have definitely learned to keep quiet when Kyle gets frustrated with a project he didn't think fully through beforehand...and to remember that he's not actually mad at me, I'm just the most convenient person to take it out on!

    And I've learned to respect his profession (superintendent for new home construction) and that of all the tradespeople much more.

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  6. Thanks for the mention, Wanderluster. Also thanks for accumulating the list of blogs. That's a nice resource.

    Best,
    Mark
    RehabOrDie.com

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  7. Katie, learning to keep my mouth shut is one of the things I'm still working on, lol! I have come to appreciate HandyMan's talents more though. I love the fact that he can teach me new things too.

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  8. You're welcome Mark! Its nice to know there are others out there in the same boat... or is that sinking ship?! ;)

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  9. Sometimes I wonder. Right now, too much is happening, too fast, and it's wearing me out.

    Check out the latest "relationship" posting.

    It was pretty funny.

    BTW, we love Vancouver too (we honeymooned there and up on (in) the Campbell River (holy water for fly fisherpeople).

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  10. Couldn't agree more. Going thru a major scale renovation is by far the most stressful experiences a couple can voluntarily bring itself into. Not for the faint of heart!

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