What My Home Remodel Taught Me About Myself

Saman Khanzada-Mirza
5 min readAug 20, 2020

“Marriage is a compromise, and so is renovation”, Candice Olson

The idea of re-configuring an existing space in your home to the requirements of your family and lifestyle is a very attractive proposition and most, given the time and money, will rush into it with earnest. I am no exception and when the opportunity presented itself, I was beyond thrilled.

Two years ago, my husband and I decided to buy the townhouse next door to the one we were renting. What was even more perfect was that it was a grey-structure just over 5000 square feet spanning three floors. For those who don’t know, a grey-structure is a building that has been left unfinished other than its walls and roof. It is literally a blank canvass for the artist (ahem, me!) to pick up their paints and bring it to life.

As we were renting the town house next door which had a similar layout to the one we had bought (albeit mirror image) I knew exactly how the space worked, or in this case, did not work for us.

We decided to knock down quite a few interior walls and reconfigure the entire space on the three floors to suit our almost grown-up family of four (here I am referring to my husband as an almost grown-up too).

My youngest had just turned sixteen that year and was already looking at university choices. My oldest was travelling and working on projects all over the place and the middle one was away studying at university and only home for brief periods.

This meant my husband and I had the luxury of reclaiming some of the space for our use that the children would have previously occupied. We could indulge ourselves a little bit (finally, I must say).

As we started planning the space, all three of our children were a bit alarmed at the eagerness we exhibited as we poured over the house-plan and marked our respective territories on all three floors. It was like two seasoned Generals, face to face with monocles on, bent over a war-table (dining table) diving up land at the end of a long, drawn out war (marriage?). There was much haggling and concessions given and grudgingly conceding victory before a firm handshake and final markups.

We agreed (whole heartedly) on his and hers bathrooms on separate floors (the couple

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Saman Khanzada-Mirza

I love all inspiring and uplifting things — whether as beautiful and profound written words, elating and exhilarating art and design or soulful life experiences