Here I am, age 3, helping my Dad build a treehouse. I didn't realize that it was meant for my brother until it was finished and only had a knotted rope for access. He is almost 5 years older than me, so that was just "perfect" for him - a haven away from his little sister! Dad realized that I was not going to give up on the idea of playing up there, so he built a set of steps for me. Years after it was built, when my brother had outgrown the need for the playhouse, it was finally mine. So, I set about remodeling. I painted it with the leftover (pink!) paint from my bedroom, hung curtains, moved in my kitchen wares, and held the cats hostage there as my "babies".
...without a mouse.
Remodeling is always thought of as an opportunity to fix what is broken and make your house work better for you, but it can also be an opportunity to do something unique - just because you want to.
One of my recent clients had a special request. She always loved the children's book Loudmouse by Richard Wilbur, and wanted to pay homage by creating a little house for the imaginary mouse. At first, she worried that we would all think she was crazy. Instead, the whole crew jumped right on board. Our lead carpenter found the perfect visible-but-not-too-prominent location below the original "draft box" (refrigerator) and created a little shadow box and portal.
Although a real mouse will (hopefully) never take up residence there, we have already spotted more than a few smiles.
PHOTOGRAPHY copyright Dale Lang, 2009