A room with a view

Ladies and gentlemen, let the record show that there is nothing, absolutely nothing sexier than a man who completes a home renovation project. That being said, my Carpenter is by far the hottest man in Wellington County this week (next week, it’s fair game).

After six months of sleeping in the kitchen-dining room next to the pantry cupboard and the cat food tray, we can now stop hanging our housecoats off the kitchen chairs. Our room is ready. Why six months? Life, plain and simple, happens despite one’s best laid plans.

But the room was worth the wait. The Carpenter has done a fabulous job with a minuscule budget and he did it all by himself.  Did I mention his astrological sign is Leo? Yes, he did it all by himself (cough) because nobody else with haphazard skills could ever possibly work to his high standards, despite the fact that the Carpenter had never fashioned a heated floor with ceramic tiles. That wasn’t the point. No, the fact was he needed to control the entire project. Control it he did.

That was okay by me. I would have agreed to anything after the first month of sleeping in the dining room. The temptation to roll over and grab chips from the pantry without even having to get out of bed was hard to ignore. Guilty as charged.

Despite not being allowed to handle sharp objects I was given a series of tasks and responsibilities to support my Carpenter in his work. First and foremost, I had to occupy the children; keep them away from the tools, freshly tiled floors and wet paint.  I delivered fresh black coffee at regular intervals, while complimenting his progress (read ego).

Compliments are not to be confused with suggestions. Note to self: do not make suggestions during a renovation – especially to a Leo.

Also, do not stand and observe. I made that mistake once. My intentions were good. I was admiring the Carpenter’s skill and concentration (and perhaps the cheap thrill of seeing my guy in a tool belt), when he looked at me with a furrowed brow expression, the one he saves for the inept members of his job site crew.

“Do I watch you when you are working upstairs, writing your column?” he asked in a tone void of inflection. I tried to find my best innocent pout unsuccessfully. I was dismissed. I could have challenged the Leo. It was my room too, after all, but honestly, I was so turned on to see progress – any progress – on this renovation that I didn’t dare stay.

That led to my final task, which was “don’t argue when your spouse selects the ugly tiles because they fit the budget, which is now tapped out.” Smile. Accept it. Make do. In the end, his labour and my patience paid off: compromise and coffee. I suggested we look at a proper bedroom suite next, to make the furniture match the décor. The Carpenter laughed, with that furrowed brow again.

We celebrated in that room all night long. You bet we did. It was the best sleep of my life. What? That counts. Home renos make you tired, you know.

Sometimes when you make your own bed, you really do get to lie in it. A room with a view is sweet. Thank you, Carpenter.




Kelly Waterhouse