We’re in the last phase of our own house makeover. It’s been a crazy last six months. The first activities started in September 2016 and the contractor is working on the last finishing touches. I shared the exciting news that we’re building a dance studio and after that I got so caught up in life that I haven’t showed you the result yet. Small warning: the studio isn’t finished yet. But let me start by showing some work in progress pictures.
On the first day of work, a huge excavator showed up in our backyard, breaking down the old garage and removing the old concrete fundament. The next couple of weeks more digging occured to connect electricity, water and a sewer drain to the new building. A new and much heavier concrete foundation was cast, isolated and topped off with more concrete. Dutch building regulations are strict and we needed the uilding to be structural sound plus completley laid in brick.
The new building is 4.5 by 9 meters, slightly larger compared to the old garage. In the next six weeks, the exterior of the studio took shape. A small hallway on the left of the building, a single large room in the center and on the right there is a part of the building reserved to store our bicycles with doors opening towards the street.
The flat roof has a rooflight smack in the center, letting in lots of natural light. Due tot he weather, sometimes work wasn’t possible as the Dutch autumn and winter is cold and wet but overall deadlines were met.
Standing in the hallway, there’s a door leading to a bathroom with a walk-in shower, toilet and wash basin. When I took this picture, the lights weren’t connected and the tile grout wasn’t done. It is large enough to use for changing into dance gear, and it’s perfect for cleaning up after a hard day of sweaty labor, or rolling around in the mudd. I leave it up to you to decide what family memebers I am talking about related to these activities.
The central room has French doors, opening towards the garden and the house. Currently the garden is in a distressed state, but I have plans for lots of evergreens and flowers on the terrace. You can see the effect of the roof light, making it bright and airy. The wall in the back will have a large closet with mirrored sliding doors. All the costumes, props, cd’s, dvd’s and books need to live somewhere. This is the best solution to create both a mirror wall and a storage space. The walls and woodwork are unfinishe din this picture.
I’m skipping forward a couple of weeks. The painter did the woodwork and walls in off white and E. put in flooring. A real wood dance floor was not possible as we choose floor heating. The PVC laminate is very comfortable and easy on the feet during turns and spins. In the left corner is the expansion tank and the boiler. We plan on adding a pantry in this corner.
The dance studio was finished up untill this point when the contractor started working on the second half of the work: extending the livingroom of the house. This made our house uninhabitable so we moved in with my mother in law for a month. Spending time with her and getting to know her better was an added bonus, plus our daughter adored her and her dog. E and I took extra time off work to take care of our daughter and our dog, plus E travelled a lot to keep an eye on the work at home. It was intense.
At the start of March we moved back home and used the studio as livingroom. We got a good feel for the space and the floor. I am glad that I choose light grey oak for the studio floor, it gives a bit of character without overwhelming. I bought two sets of basic white curtains at IKEA and put them up at the French doors to add a bit of privacy.
When we moved back home, our daughter and the dog went back to daycare and E and I went back to our full time jobs. It felt so good to sleep in our own beds again! We quickly learned that living on a building site meant having lots and lots of sand and dirt in our house. Sweeping the floor four times a day was the easiest solution. We lived in the dance studio for five weeks while the work continued in our house. I always had a dream of living in a dance studio but it turned out that when you share it with a whole family plus all the living room funriture, there isn’t much room left to dance. Last weekend we moved back into the house and we’re continuing to work on the house, studio and the garden. Right on time, as our little girl started walking during the last week of us camping out in the studio. She is now happily pattering around in the extended livingroom,
In another two or three months everything will be finished and we’ll have an official opening. I can’t wait for the studio to be finished and start hosting workshops and events!