He may, some suggest, have more money than sense, but when our nephew Fixit started throwing his young fortune at home improvements that we’d barely heard of, we have to admit we felt an interesting mixture of envy, admiration and that age-old “why haven’t I ever thought of that” feeling. Better still, with the galpals over coffee, and everyone there having different wants and needs (never let the Other Half spot the difference) there were plenty of clever touches that we thought could add great value to a home.
Fixit kicked off, probably to impress his still rather new Mrs Fixit, with additions to the children’s quarters – and with the recent union of two families bringing ample children with it, there was a certainly need for that. Here ingenious ideas took no back seat although it started off with a humble stable door. Yup, instead of a playpen, he made the whole of their toddler’s_ playroom kid-friendly, and then used a stable door instead of the solid one that opened onto the general living area. That way, Mrs Fixit could pop the kids into the playroom, keep an eye (and ear) on them thanks to the top half being open, and get on_ with the rest of her busy life. The playroom was then treated to an entire wall covered in Lego board – leaving room for ample creativity for the older siblings. And as sleepovers were going to be on the agenda for years to come he spent some time weighing the advantages of a clever space saving four sleeper bunk system and a fold away system for two extra beds. With little ones needing to clean little teeth and hands too, he had a slide-out step installed under the vanity in the bathroom in place of the ubiquitous plastic stool.
But teenage children are also part of the equation, and the clever addition of a wrap around aquarium made one bed almost surreal. With the inter-leading door easily converted to a table tennis table, the whole teenage zone became the coolest place to hang. While still dealing with the kids, Fixit got himself a convertible – and surprisingly good-looking – dining/pool table (for the outside patio) and was instantly the most respected new father in the hood.
With a house full of children, came a house full of books and clutter, so Fixit wrapped bookcases around the walls of the stairway, keeping all the books in one area and looking rather dramatic. For the rest, large under-stair drawers created extra space. “Good ideas so far, Fixit!” we thought, and ideas that could easily impress wanna-be buyers in time to come. And he’d only just started, we smiled to each other, for as long as nephew Fixit was renovating, we knew we’d have ample conversation for a bottomless mug.