After some previous renovation projects, I never wanted to go to Home Depot or IKEA again. I really enjoyed the decisions that went into the project, but the amount of physical labor involved required getting dirty and tired and putting Life on hold for months at a time in exchange for 12-16 hour days.

So the other week I had a moment of wondering what I had gotten myself into. A day later I told a German friend about our impending floor-sanding equipment rental. He smiled faintly, gave a knowing laugh and said something about me becoming a real Berlinerin. Then I remembered him telling me years ago about sanding the wide floor boards of his superhuge, supercheap and … super-unrenovated apartment in Berlin.

So yeah, the floors are covered in rolls of grody, stinky linoleum. But the ceilings are so so high that a tall, lanky boy can’t even come close to touching them on his tippy-toes when perched precariously on a chair. And ok, the bathroom is a horror that involves a weird bathtub. But it is huge and has high ceilings. And once the German half of this relationship pulls the rolls of grody, stinky linoleum out from underneath that weird bathtub things are going to get nicer. 

As much as thoughts of S-Bahn runs to IKEA and the BauMarkt (Home Depot) make me want to weep, I am somehow happy to have the opportunity to make the space our own.

Unfortunately, the illness I was diagnosed with several years ago has returned. As one who suffers from acute Magical Thinking brought on by renovation, I have already had visions of expanding our apartment into the hallway. By doing this, we could easily add more space to the apartment. And because we are on the end of the building, we could knock out the exterior wall to create the balcony we don’t yet have, thus adding a view of a quiet little park to our living space.

And the wall separating the kitchen and living room must go.