Happy New Year!
I hope your New Year’s Eve was all that you hoped it would be! We stayed home and toggled between Carson Daly’s NYE and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve until the ball dropped. Then we reflected upon how much we have to be thankful for (our family and friends, our first year as a married couple, our second year in our house, the first holiday for our new puppy, Mokie) and sealed our joy with a kiss.
But that was last week. Back in November, my design partner and I finished a house in La Jolla that I would have shared earlier if the holidays hadn’t swept away every spare moment.
It was an amazing house, perched on a hill with ocean and city (the good, green parts) views.
I mean washing your dishes from this vantage point, would be…dare I say it, pleasurable?
More good views…(with a cute doggie-in-the-background bonus).
And one more shot.
But the real story is this…
Because our clients live in La Jolla, and we live five hours away, in Santa Barbara, we did all our design work based on ONE TRIP to the house. One measurement-taking, note-scribbling, photo-snapping visit…
so we could remember what the place looked like!
HGTV, this could be your next hit show: “See the house once, now redesign it!”
We only had our memories, iPad photos, and a few notes to go on before we had to start conceptualizing and ordering.
And then we waited,
and waited some more–grrrr–because when you go the custom route, things can take what seems like forever. Add to that the workers at the Long Beach port went on strike which meant Customs screeched to a halt.
We had to use a loaner table, above, while the real one made of glass, walnut, and steel shipped–in, apparently, slow motion–from Italy.
It seemed nearly everything was behind schedule. We were frustrated, our clients were frustrated. Just when we were dreading sending our next, “It looks like it will be another month,” email, production dates shortened and delivery dates came into view.
We scheduled an installation date. We made the pilgrimage from SB to SD with a vehicle stuffed so full we had the visibility of a moving truck. We had coffee, conversation, and celery sticks stuffed with peanut butter to fuel us until we arrived at the house, near midnight.
The next morning, a succession of small (big to us!) miracles seemed to take place as delivery after delivery arrived in perfect order (rugs before furniture, that sort of thing). We found the one grocery store that carried white mini pumpkins (we were setting the table pre-Thanskgiving) and when the million pound mirror arrived, see below, Lizz Lang Art Services stopped what they were doing and magically materialized at the door with more power tools and brute strength than we were equipped with.
They hung nine other pieces which meant we could keep going…
…at our, “They clients will be here any minute!” pace. (They were on vacation and were due to arrive home at 4 pm.)
At 4:03 pm, as we were literally tossing on a throw blanket and adjusting throw pillows on the sectional, the delivery driver of the sectional announced, “I think the owners just pulled up.”
The clients walked in and squealed with joy; we squealed with relief and it was wonderful. We made our graceful exit (marred only by the awkwardness of the fifteen minute search to find my missing phone that had mistakenly been thrown into the bottom of a bag of pillows during our extreme haste). And, giddily, we drove home with tired feet, growling bellies, and spirits soaring because so many things worked out when they could, just as easily, have gone the other way.
PS, My mom and I saw The Theory of Everything over the holidays. I highly, highly recommend it. Stephen Hawking has certainly been through a sort of hell most of us are lucky enough to never endure, and yet…here are his words:
“However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.”
Here’s to making those words ring true as we enter 2015.
Happy New Year!