Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Refurbish or Reimagine?

Refurbish or Reimagine? 

Or is it Revise and Rewrite?

Mike and I are in the midst of remodeling our house. The kitchen was gutted and now sports new cabinets. 

We've had to eat out a lot.


Step 1? Tear Everything Down

Everything will soon be painted. Every ceiling. Every wall. Inside and out.

We’ll move out a few days for some of that.


The floors will be changed from the “almost looks like wood” linoleum to a durable manufactured "luxury vinyl" wood plank floor. The lights will be brighter and more up-to-date.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. 


We’ve taken this on at the same time I am crafting a new novel. I can’t help but note how the remodel of our house is like writing a book. We have the core elements in place. Now that we’ve lived here for a bit, we are ready to revise.


In my current novel, my main character, Will, runs a growing business in a small town. He purchased an old house and engages a contractor by the name of Jess Torres to bring new life into the house. 


Here’s the excerpt where the two meet:


Will parked his car and walked up the three steps to the wide wrap around porch. He didn’t see a contractor, only a slim woman with long dark hair pulled up in in a ponytail. “I’m supposed to meet a contractor named Jess from Ace Construction.”

The brunette tossed her head causing her ponytail to swish around. “Hi, that’s me, Jess Torres.” She stuck her hand out and gave the stunned man a firm handshake.

“I, uh, I…uh my assistant said you’re from the Ace Construction company. Uh, you’re Jess? I mean of course you are, it’s just that I expected…”

“Someone older?” Jess smiled at Will. “I’m very experienced, I assure you.” She shielded her eyes from the morning sun and studied the house. “My dad is Alex Torres. You’ve probably heard of him.”

Alex Torres? Never heard of the guy. Will offered a slight nod. 

“Most people call him Ace. Hence the name Ace Construction. We specialize in older homes. Let’s see what you have here, shall we? I’ll take notes and pictures to help us plan, okay?”


And here is an excerpt from later in the same chapter... once they’ve done a complete walk through: 


Jess fell in step with him as they walked down the main staircase. “You know this really is a beautiful house.”

“That’s why I’m getting bids on restoring it.” Good to let her know I’m keeping my options open. 

“Restore? What you described is more along the lines of refurbishing.  What I’d like to do here is re-imagine.”

“Isn’t that just a matter of semantics?”

“Not really. Restoring takes it back to its original state. That’s good. It’s costly, but good. Refurbishing is a matter of making it work. Giving it an overhaul to make it functional, fresh, updated. Get it? That’s marketable. 

“But reimagining is what this house calls out for. For example, that kitchen could be stellar." Jess walked toward the storage area. "We can open up this wall. The kitchen would be the place where people gather to enjoy each other’s company as well as cook and share meals." She walked to the other end of room into the outdated dining room. "The dining room could be opened up here and here, so  you have wide doorways to what you call the living room.  Making both doors wider makes both areas feel more open. Spacious.” 


A short excerpt, indeed. But, well, you get the idea.


I’m close to completing the book. I wrote the above section long before Mike and I bought this house. I have to finish writing the book to see how Will’s house turns out. 

But our house? 

With walls out, new cabinets in the kitchen, new floors and such? I guess we took Jess’s advice. We went beyond refurbishing. We are reimagining this space. 

We're getting there...


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