...because who doesn't love a good before and after?
I think I originally fell in love with wedding planning because I loved before and afters. I don't religiously watch HGTV, but if it's on, I'm hooked. There is just a feeling you get when you see something that is rough and battered turned into something beautiful.
It's like life, right? We always want to see the pretty, completed side of things versus a blank slate. We stare at the perfectly photoshopped photo in magazines and online and wish we were them. How can I be that beautiful, that skinny or that fit? We want to know that there is hope beyond whatever that thing in our life is that is rough and battered - physically, mentally or emotionally. For me, I know there are certain things I can't change but I do choose to change the things I can.
I remember growing up, I used to repeat this phrase when I was feeling down or defeated. Maybe you've heard of it? "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference."
I've always been a perfectionist and slightly OCD. If I had all of the money in the world, I would just renovate and make everything beautiful. Do you ever walk into spaces and say "what is it about this place that I love so much?". I knew for me, it was an open floor plan, light colors and the smell of fresh candles. YUM.
Speaking of environment, I've been feeling some type of way about our floors in our Runway office. I know this seems silly, and a little off topic - but be patient with me, I have a point. ;)
When we first moved into this office last February, we moved into a completely brand new, blank slate. We had to do everything from paint the walls, to the floors. I thought it was a good idea to paint the floors a "concrete" color - I always loved the industrial look but to my disappointment, it turned out to be just a flat grey. Almost immediately after painting, the floors started peeling and it started to look cheap and tacky. Looking back, I'm sure we didn't do it right - but hindsight is 20/20, right? Ugh, sometimes I wish it wasn't. Can't we just always do things right the first time?!
Let me tell you a little bit about my previous offices - because obviously, I wasn't able to just move into a 1600 square foot space my first year of business. It's hard to believe my company is only 3 years old. I can't even.
During my first year of business, I worked out of coffee shops but realized that people easily got distracted, I spent WAY too much money on coffee, and sometimes to my embarrassment, I couldn't find seating. About a year in, I decided to move into a shared space where I had a small office and access to a conference room. I literally have never been more excited to get a key. HAHA
After about three months, we outgrew the space, started looking for a larger location and moved into a multi-purpose commercial building shortly after. We stayed in the second office for about a year - and then outgrew the space again. Once I started my second company, The Runway Collection, we needed a space that had an office and a warehouse since we were specializing in furniture rentals as well. After months of searching, I found the location we now call Runway HQ (named on accident by one of our Brides, Erika). ;)
Fast forward to this past weekend. I've mentioned my Dad in my first blog, but he's an insanely talented contractor who can build some crazy things from scratch. My whole life, I don't think he's ever said: "I can't build that". So, naturally, I begged him to help me replace my floors and fix my ever growing perfectionism and my goal of continuing to develop my client experience. He still lives in Michigan, so I flew him down for the weekend - to basically put him to work. HAHA. Thanks, Papa.
I grew up helping my Dad with random projects. I remember when I was small, I used to try and help him sand the floors and would proceed to ride the sander instead. What a punk - LOL. Putting down tile and playing with drywall brought back some crazy memories of helping him as a kid. I learned what hard work was by the time I was 3.
Anyway, so it's been a while since I've done anything this HGTV, so I almost forgot how much FREAKING WORK IT IS. Dude, please thank everyone who does any work for you. It's so easy to forget and just hand them their paycheck, but it's no joke.
So, who doesn't love a good before and after? I'm going to share my vinyl floor adventure. Trust me, you are going to want to find a project after this. ;)
5:00 PM - Picked up my Dad from the airport and we proceeded to head right to the office. Between the two of us and our office manager, Vanessa, we moved everything out of the office and into the warehouse. After that, my dad took one look at the floors and said: "This is freaking dirty, we have to clean it or the tiles won't stick". I rolled my eyes because that did NOT sound like fun - but proceeded to our first of many visits to Lowe's. We grabbed a mop, cleaner, scrubber, and God knows what else and headed back to the warehouse.
9:30 PM - After multiple scrubs and mops later, we let it dry and headed out. The palms of my hand were burning from wringing out the mop so many times. There goes my manicure, guys.
10:00 AM - We headed to the office to mop the floors one more time. My dad was adamant that it had to be super clean for us to get started. While it was drying, we made another friendly visit to Lowe's to grab a drywall chalk line and utility knives.
11:30 AM - Back to the office, we proceeded our tiling adventure. We had a drywall chalk that helped us evenly divide the space so that we don't mess up our tile lines. We marked the areas that had weird corners or indentations so we could cut the tile to fit correctly. Then we used the peel and stick vinyl tiles and started laying them down - one after another. It was insanely sticky and you had to line each tile perfectly or it would show in the big picture.
3:00 PM - A few hours later, my sister, Jesakkah, her boyfriend Al and my hubby Frankie arrived on site - I can't even say how true the term "many hands make light work" is! HOLY CRAP. We flew through the last few tiles, where they pulled the backing off the tiles and I laid them down.
5:00 PM - My dad and I ran to Lowe's again to grab MDF boards to replace the black baseboards (don't worry - I didn't know what that was either), caulk and drywall mud. Our job wasn't over. When we got back, we glued the baseboards on and filled in the drywall that was damaged from pulling off the previous baseboards. While we were doing that, my dad was in the warehouse sawing the perfect size boards to fit in the spaces. I was cracking up because he evenly sized each location and when we said it didn't fit - he laughed at us and said he didn't make mistakes like that. HAHA. Of course, it did end up fitting perfectly.
9:00 PM - Whew, we called it a night and headed home.
2:00 PM - After church, we stopped back at the office to put the finishing touches on the space. Frankie and I touched up the paint while my dad caulked all the edges to give it a finished look. We hung a couple of signs and brought all the furniture back in. I added a few of my decorative touches with a couple of plants and moving around some of the furniture.
6:00 PM - Finally, complete. :)
So, I'm exhausted. Hat's off to everyone in the construction industry. Your job is not easy - I'm sore in places I didn't even know existed and my knees are bruised from kneeling all day. BUT, we have an insanely beautiful product and I couldn't be more grateful. Here's to new adventures and changing what I can for a better atmosphere and for me to feel more productive at the office.
Here's to something rough and battered turned into something beautiful. <3 I challenge you today to find that one thing that you CAN change and do it for yourself. It's a satisfying feeling and will make you feel a little closer to your goals.