Let me give you a quick summary of the living situation at the time. Both of us had full time jobs so all renovation work could only happen during the weekends, evenings, and holidays.
As our apartment needed a lot of work, and as we both had money coming in, we made the decision to continue renting our old apartment while the majority of work was underway. This was a financial choice we knew would eventually account for a large proportion of our renovation budget... every month we were paying rent, as well as mortgage payments. Through this way however, we were able to really go for broke. We could make as much mess as we wanted at the beginning, without ever having to live in the destruction we were creating around us. If I’m really honest, I would have found this impossible. If my full time job had been to renovate this apartment, I would have no problem living in a construction site, but when working all week and needing to remain professional, (both physically and mentally!), with the extent of work we were envisaging I saw no choice but to live elsewhere. I like to think this also served as an incentive to get on with the work as quickly as possible, after all every month we were very aware of our outgoings…
As time went on, and of course energy and motivation levels begin to wanes, one positive thing I can say from our set up was the two very different lives I was leading. During the week, I focused all my energy on my job and gave everything I had to it. I enjoyed being back in the office, in nice clean clothes and freshly washed dust free hair. Then when the weekend came around, my attention switched full time to renovation. Work clothes came on, hair was hidden under a hat, make up free, and off to the apartment we would go. I enjoyed the physical side of work, after sitting at a desk for the week. I enjoyed the creative side and I especially enjoyed the feeling of satisfaction at the end of each weekend, when we could see the progress we had made.
Don't get me wrong, this entire process was far from sweet and rosy! Many a meltdown was had, numerous times I questioned the scale of the project we had taken on, and of course fights were had over how much we should be taking on ourselves, and when to hire professionals (more of all this to come!).
Overall, I loved the difference between my week life, and weekend life and the opportunity it gave me to fully switch my attention from one to the other.