Is there any such thing as a renovation job that doesn’t take twice as long and cost twice as much as at first thought? Very rare I’m thinking. It sounded so simple to tear the barn boards off the structure, dismantle the stalls, add a floor, insulate, put it all back together and voila! Yeah right. First of all, where did all the crap come from that had found its way into there because it was such a handy storage space and where the heck were we going to put it now. I shudder to imagine how many mice we displaced as we began tearing and digging. This barn had been built by friends of ours (Dave and Mary Ruth) in 2002 when our previous barn was destroyed by fire after being struck by lightening. (Luckily the horses were not inside at the time.) Dave and MR were log home builders by trade and their post and beam building was of the highest craftsmanship, even though it was “just a barn”. It was obvious that no one ever thought they were ever going to be taking it apart, especially not the guy who built it! Fortunately for us, Dave was available to come back to help with the renovation.
It wasn’t until the floor joists were in that the real look and feel of the new space began to become apparent. As it lost some of the barn look and feel and took on the atmosphere of a studio/gallery, it became a place where I enjoyed spending time again. It was important to us to maintain some of the “barnish” elements, such as the exposed beams and original barn board siding.
Our hopes of opening in early October came and went, after we were delayed for several weeks due to permit issues, supplies and labour. Once things got underway again, it moved along fairly well up to present day, where the original barn boards have been replaced, the sub-floor is in place and the insulation has been installed. Next is drywall and electrical.
Also underway, is getting a website up and running and trying to think of all the business “stuff” that will be required. We also had to make sure our lineup of artists was on board. We were very relieved to discover that Julie was still interested in having us market her paintings. We were actually well into the renovation before it occurred to me we should probably ask her that question. (I never claimed to be the sharpest tool in the shed.) Antje (the potter) is someone I was in regular contact with and she had been on board from day one and of course John was a given. In a full circle moment, when we were trying to come up with a name for the gallery, one day John came up with Two Horse Gallery – how perfect was that!