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The Project: Ancestral House

It was a monumental practical arts project. However, as fate would have it, I was the perfect candidate for the job. Why? I remember everything. Providentially, I have a photographic mind. I would tell friends or family members, in occasions that, hey do you recall the time when we did this or did that? Or I would tell a brother or a sister, that old film we watched back in the 1980s was really funny. A few would remember but most do not, even if I bombard them with clues and details.

Lost pieces but not lost in time. My nephews and nieces would ask me about the good old times. The times when I was young. They were fascinated and still are with our family house. Some elderly nephews and nieces have faded and vivid memories of the property. How they enjoyed the gardens and the backyard! The swings and the fishpond and the fruit bearing trees and the dragonflies they would catch in the shrubs and bushes.

I looked for everything that were missing in the living room. The piano, (check), the two large set of furniture sets, (check), and the antique chests and two cabinets, (check), to my chagrin the old rattan table and chairs were gone. Upon further searching, I found the table but the chairs were nowhere to be found. Most of the figurines, jars, souvenir items, etc. were sporadically located in the second floor of our humble abode.

Over time the really old and fragile pieces are beyond repair. For instance the treasured chandeliers of my late mother are just cherished memories. She took time and effort saving money for them. So, I decided to transform an office chandelier into the shape and length of the old stage-ornamental-lights.

To make the space more relaxing and happier, we put every rounded objects back in it. As the old pieces are typically designed to have jagged edges, there is a scientific solution for its jarring effects by muting it with aerodynamically spherical-designed-objects. Thus, the flow of the air, and the wind, and even the light make the people settled and at ease.

Reinvention had been induced to the over-all restoration and renovation because some family members developed attachments to certain items. Hence, as the case may be, a table may be replaced by a small cabinet. Other objects were replaced by surplus items kept in storage bins and cabinets.

Original placement of furniture is vital to the success of any project such as this one. Improvements also play a pivotal part in arrangements of wall fixtures and decorations for an organized and cohesive impact. Clean straight lines add to the uncluttered approach to interior design.

Foreground and background dilemma and vice-versa. Our project had one noticeable problem which was being deemed too dark by observers. Dark wood as walls and dark red tiles were the elements contributing to this challenge. Thus, the background was the culprit, so, a simple solution was to make the foreground lighter. A white sofa cover hid the dark red leather. White throw pillows were thrown in. New white chairs replaced the lost rattan set. And most, but not all of the objects were professionally painted white.

In this project, 80 percent are set in place. 20 percent are new ones. But, I intentionally went overboard just to feel the threshold of the audience. They did not realize though that the original state of the house was only restored at least 60 percent prior to our mother’s early demise. Sadly, many objects, items, and, pieces, are lost, gone, and broken. But not forgotten. It would never be same but it would be close enough.

If you do not have a photographic memory then old pictures would help you a lot. We wish you good luck should you decide to embark on your own restoration or renovation projects. Certainly, it would not be easy and there would be creative differences, but, rest assured the result will be worth it. It is better than not doing anything at all. Remember, you are the doer against the talkers and the critics. And, do not pay attention to them. Keep in mind you are doing it for your family’s legacy, your parents and grandparents. Then, victory is sweet as you get words of gratitude and nods of approvals. Lastly, to the naysayers, just laugh it all off. Alright?

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