Our never-ending quest for a life more awesome recently completed its most important chapter: the renovation of the living room. This was an important step, for one reason only: We will finally be DRY. Look, when you are still in the States, the idea of a beach house sounds like total paradise. And most of the time, it is. But what we never expected was that we would always be mildly WET, due to the high humidity and onshore ocean breeze. The breeze carries salt, and the salt corrodes. Between the wet air, the sand lot, and the salt, our romanticized ideas of beach life were definitely being challenged, as we found ourselves surrounded by mold, swelling, rotting wood, sand everywhere, and an almost mythical onslaught of rust.
The entire thing was bumming us out, and making us forget how truly amazing it is to live just a few steps from the tide. Last year, during a trip to visit friends in Malibu, California, and comparing their beachfront construction techniques, it dawned on me that we could approach our new lifestyle in a different way. We could Seal the F*cker Off.
The STFO Initiative, as it came to be known, is pretty radical in a place where the normal mode for construction is to encourage airflow and ocean breeze. As we have mentioned in earlier posts in this series, beachfront houses like ours are traditionally used for just a month or two a year, when a family home gets filled with people, all hanging hammocks in the shade and in the breeze. It’s a beautiful way to live, but it’s hell on your computer equipment.
The other downside, of course, will be electricity, one of the most expensive utilities here in Mexico. With the house sealed off, we will need to cool and dehumidify it, which ain’t gonna be cheap. We’ve read lots of estimates, and we haven’t gotten a bill yet, but we expect implementation of the STFO Initiative to add between $200 and $75,000 to our monthly bill. We have also decided we don’t care. Chalk it up to the cost of doing business, here. We will have a dry house. We will have things made of wood. We will not watch the microwave rust. We are reclaiming our humanity!
Jesus, this post is all over the place. Let’s just get to the pictures, and we can talk more later. Here are the before and afters, to get us going:
As you can see, what was, in our minds, a small project, ended up being a full replacement of…kind of everything. We had replaced the old windows with sliding glass doors almost two years ago, but everything else, from the floor tile to the ceiling fans, is new.
Here are a few more detail photos, or, as we so tastefully call them, “concrete-porn.”
This post was typed in our new, 68-degree, dry-as-a-bone living room, and we are thrilled with the results. With this phase of renovation, our reconstruction of our beach house is almost complete. Inside, we have to revisit the kitchen, undo some weirdness there, and then it is on to the outside. Stay tuned…it just gets better and better!
This project was completed by the consistently amazing Victor & Ingrid of the architecture firm of Carrillo and Peon. We love inviting them into our home to tear it apart, and are consistently stunned by their creativity and professionalism.