Boho Bungalow – New Beginnings

After what feels like the summer that wouldn’t end – it’s time for me to sit down and get back to writing. My mind is a jumble and it’s hard to know where to start, so I’ll just jump in and see where this leads!  Our downtown chapter ended when we sold our building in July. With a quick close, I was in panic mode trying to pack everything up within three weeks. Keep in mind that the building was our live/work space so I had a household plus my art studio and Micheal’s office to pack up.  Oh, and did I mention that we had no place to go? That was fun, scrambling to try and find a rental with five animals and only a few weeks’ notice. After much searching and no luck on a temporary home, Micheal was finally able to talk the tenants in one of our rental properties into moving out early and we paid off the rest of their lease.  Phew, we had a place to go.  But damn, I wasn’t prepared for what was in store!

After weeks of sorting, packing and labeling, it was finally moving day. I was frazzled but ready to just get on with it. Everything was organized based on destination – storage, Micheal’s new office, and our temporary home. The move went fairly smoothly, and since we were planning to purchase a new bed for our master, we left the mattress downtown and spent one last night in our ‘dream’ home, the building that we had poured our blood, sweat and tears into for three years as we rebuilt and designed every square inch ourselves. It was bittersweet to say the least, but honestly I was so tired there were very few tears.  Those would come later.

The next morning we got up and started cleaning – I had decided to forgo a cleaning service as I was confident this wouldn’t take too long. I’m kind of a neat freak so the house is usually clean, this would be a piece of cake, or so I thought! Without going into all the boring details, let’s just say this was much more labor intensive than I anticipated. I had forgotten about things like pulling out all of the picture hangers and patching holes, taking apart the fridge (geeze, when was the last time I did a deep clean??? Yikes!) and scrubbing the endless white trim and builtins.  

At the end of a very long day we headed to our new (temporary) home. A simple little nondescript ranch house that Micheal has owned for decades, had seen countless tenants, in need of TLC – but really, how bad could it be? As long as we were all together that’s all that mattered, right? That’s what I told myself as I pulled into the driveway, bone tired and emotionally drained.

The first thing I noticed was that the house was hot as hades and the tenants did a half ass job of cleaning – just great, more scrubbing ahead. Boxes were piled everywhere and all I wanted to do was plop down on the couch and zone out with a glass of rose and mindless TV. I walked into the kitchen and it hit me – this house is a wreck!  To say that the appliances are outdated is an understatement, the cabinets and all of the walls in the kitchen and dining room were a dark oak – creating a depressing cave-like atmoshphere. The rest of the house was painted a dreary beige. And don’t even get me started on the bathrooms. How did I think I could live here? Me, who believes our homes should be our sanctuaries, a place that feeds the soul! 


What a mess – but at least Hope found her bowl!

It was then that it hit me. This is HOME for the foreseeable future. That’s when the meltdown started. The tears and then the accusations, calling my sweet husband a slum lord … it all came spewing out! I knew I had gone too far, but at that moment I didn’t care – how could he think I would live in this house, it was a dump! He stormed outside to see about fixing the A/C and I poured a large glass of wine and sat, sweating and distraught, in the middle of a hodgepodge of furniture and boxes. When he came back inside I apologized and we attempted to move things around enough so that we could sit in the living room and relax.

All the warmth and coziness of a prison cell – but at least Hope is comfortable!

When we finally went to bed – on a double mattress from our former guest bedroom laying on the floor with no platform or box springs – I started crying again. I couldn’t stop the tears. It had been an emotional time, putting our beloved building on the market, going through months of showings then all the back and forth negotiations, and finally the move. Micheal put his arms around me and whispered “we don’t have to stay here, we’ll find another place.” In between sobs, the only words that would come out were “I want to go home.”

The next morning I woke up at 5:00. I felt lighter than I had in months, as if a huge weight had been lifted. As I walked into the backyard with my coffee, the quiet was almost deafening (after ten years of living in the city I was used to constant noise!) and then it hit me, this is not an ending but rather a new beginning. I also felt something else I wasn’t expecting, gratitude. At that moment a deep sense of gratitude overcame all of the frustration of the previous night. I was so thankful for my husband, for having a roof over our heads, for having my fur babies with me and for the next chapter that was about to unfold. I realized how incredibly blessed I am and that I have nothing to be complaining about.  I was actually looking forward to the challenge of fixing up the little ranch house.  If this is where we’ll be living for the duration while we renovate our boho bungalow, then I was determined to make it our HOME!



Note:  I’ll have more updates on the boho bungalow renovation – and also decorating and design tips as I spiff up the little ranch house. I need to come up with a name for this place, boho rancho? Haha! If you have any ideas, would love to hear them! Make sure and check in on Feel Good Fridays – I’m planning to share some of my favorite boho and design blogs, magazines, books, recipes, dog mom tips and more!

Melissa Gray

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