No. 4: Out of the gate

Out of the gate feels daunting.  Before the closing the only thing on the line was money.  Now it’s an entirely different story.  Now I have to put my money where my mouth is and deliver on the design.  There are approvals to be sought, permits to be procured – though the design was complete – let’s face it, it’s never really done.  It’s already gone through it’s first major change, and once we are in the field (also known as the bedroom) more changes will be required to address those quirky unforeseen conditions.


The way it looks tonight….

For those unfamiliar with the terminology it means just that …. we couldn’t have known it was going to be the way we found out it actually was once we started demolition.  Unforeseen conditions are also synonymous with additional costs.  Contingency is just a nice way of saying you are going to run into these types of situations, so you need to put additional funds aside to address them.  Would I sound jaded if I said – you get less for more?

If so, let’s not start this project out that way.  The next few months will require beaucoup de creativity and positivity if we want to get this modest little home to blossom to its full jewel box potential, and WE DO!


Jean-Louis Denoit . Stilnovo Chandelier

Now I just know you are waiting for me to tell you what I decided about the lighting, but I can’t.  I’m stuck.  I want a beautiful Stillovo Vintage fixture the likes of which the French Designer Jean-Louis Denoit has used, but alas I cannot find one that meets my size, price, and aesthetic expectations.  I am frustrated.  I then fell in love with Aerin Lauder’s Cristol Teired Pendant…it hangs down 49″ – I can’t even begin to get into a discussion about ceiling heights required in that mansion to support this fixture.  No wonder they call it a pendant.  The others that I have seen of more modest proportions are leaving me uninspired.  I can myself answering the door at the crack of dawn to let the Electrician in sometime in March now….oy vey, if only I could make a decision today.


Aerin Lauder . Cristol Tiered Pendant $1600.

I’m moving on to the doors for the moment.  They will need to be ordered before Wednesday.  I am going with a Jel-Wend single panel door.  It’s clean and simple, and in keeping with the style of the unit.  I will use hollow core flush front doors – super cheap – for the laundry and boiler closets.  This will allow me to make it appear as if it’s a clean wall.  I’ll run the base board across them to further trick viewers.  While these doors are very inexpensive at less than $30.  a piece, it requires advanced skills to install without a casing, create the 45 degree angle necessary for the base molding to accommodate the door swing, and to install the hidden hinges, but it’s really worth it.  In a corridor to have more than a dozen doors simply won’t do.  The new design streamlines, eliminates, and blurs and obscures this reality.


Jeld-Wen Doors . Single Panel seen here in my Milford Street Apartment.

My own reality will need a little of the same treatment as I work through this.  A shout out to my team:

Alan Duggan – Compass, who let’s me be me with the offers and the sale pricing, and who always has great design ideas.  xo to you Alan.

Sarah Ricciarelli – Ricciarelli and Small, LLP – like my shadow she always has my back.  I am filled with gratitude.  She is sharp as a tack and nothing gets past her.

Tracy Bellavance – Blue Hills Bank – who made getting a mortgage easy…that’s right – you heard me – EASY.  Go ahead – release your contingency.  You’ve got it.



Time to Kick the Sticks

On this old tent.  Though the metaphor isn’t exactly me, (it’s still cute) as I’m not much of a camper.  I’m more Glamp than Camp, though one wouldn’t know it with this lifestyle I keep.  It’s a lot of inconvenience, a good deal of sweating, a little nail biting, a few sleepless nights, with a little glamour sprinkled in between.  Clearly I can go a long way on a perfect moment.  When something that should by all rights, not come together, when all the obstacles have been crossed, when the plan a, b, and c have been put in place, shifted around, compromised, and still inexplicably it turns out.  Well, it’s sublime.  I live for it.

closing waltham 1

But breaking camp is never that much fun.  I am always surprised by what I have managed to collect, this time in just 7 months, and how well I do, hiding it all away.  It’s not so pretty when it’s spread all out over the living room.  Nonetheless, I have a system in place which is incredibly efficient, and doesn’t involve Jo-Jo, my little sister clearing the shelves off into boxes and shrieking, “there’s no time to organize it – we just have to get it packed.”  Oh Tink, there is time, and I managed to get it done in a day.  Of course I will call on my favorite movers – Humboldt Storage and Moving Closing 2#howcanwereduceyourstresstoday.  It’s love.  I beg them with each move, I am part of their frequent flier club so we are well acquainted, to please open other divisions to manage the other aspects of my life, for which I am in desperate need of assistance.  Alas, they seem committed to sticking to this one area, that they are super good at.  I’d like to hold a grudge, but they are just too…too.  If you know what I mean.

So it’s true, I got a little restless.  I watched the market, and my gut told me to join in the fun.  This week alone in the South End 43 properties where reported on as having closed in the Spring Market.  10 of which went for over $1000. a foot, 4 over $1100., 3 over $1200.  That’s practically the definition of insanity, and I love a little insane when I’m on the selling side of the table.  I absolutely abhor it when I am trying to buy.

closing 3

If the truth be told, neither side of the tent flap is all that easy, and yet here I find myself again.  Until Friday, I’ll be on the inside looking out.  On Saturday, I’ll be the one looking – wide-eyed and all.  Wish me luck.

closing 4

A huge thanks need to go out to my Real Estate Broker, Alan Duggan of Compass, to my good friend and Artist John Vinton for loaning me the perfect painting in preparation for the sale, and to all my friends and family for putting up with the happy chaos which is my life.