I shout "Good morning!" to the guys at the hardware store and stomp confidently into the main aisle with my phone in my hand. I'm wearing an XXL hoodie stained with yellow paint,
jogging pants with pink speckles and a crazy cap for children by Bob the Builder on my head. It's about the 98th time I've shown up here. Within two weeks. I need paint, foil, screws,
light bulbs, sandpaper and the feeling of shredding my credit card at the cash register. Since the beginning of January I have been working on the renovation and beautification of my Tiny
Home. All by myself. Because I can. With no idea about home improvement, lots of nonsense in my head and highest motivation. I've written plans, watched Youtube tutorials, ordered all of
Amazon. In the meantime the first walls have been painted, the first teeth - um, nails - have been pulled out and the place is somewhere between Tim „The Toolman
Here I give you a fantastic, crazy and honest insight into the first phase of my craft profession. Why my whole house consists of theme rooms, why the kitchen looks like candyfloss and how I broke off a metal hook with my bare hands.
The first boxes made it into the Tiny House, the first bird is chased away from the fridge - I am ready to go! Although the home already looks quite nice and I could move in directly, I feel that my personal spirit is totally missing. I admit it, I have always been a huge fan of thematic spaces. So all my planning on paper began with considerations, distortions and pretty awful sketches. After hundreds of attempts it was finally clear how I wanted to splash the color.
My bedroom will be the Jule-Verne-Travel-Room. With old maps, small planes, globes - and a starry sky. Yeah, I'll paint the ceiling dark blue and spray on stars. If I don't fall off that ladder first. Furthermore, a crazy chandelier with 14 differently colored lampshades, which I bought and collected all over the world, comes in.
My hallway will be an urban graffiti jungle with photo wallpaper and other creative stuff. The entrance area is transformed into a black and white blues jazz bar with instruments on the walls, Sinatra above the wardrobe and hanging CDs.
Let's get to the kitchen, which will be a gaudy-berry American Diner with a bunch of USA metal signs from my big trip in 2017. What remains is the living room, which mutates into a yellow-green natural oasis with a Japanese touch and a hanging garden. Oh yes, and the bathroom of course! You can't do it without a crapper, can you? It will become a 60s actor's cabin with Audrey Hepburn, a pink mask and a pineapple-shaped soap dispenser.
Where do all those ideas come from? Out of my confused and colorful brain! How many inspiration blogs, residential magazines and house building series have I seen before? None. My claim is that everything comes from my own thoughts.
The thing is that I still live in my temporary, shared apartment in Wuppertal during the entire January. So I currently only come by the Tiny Home for the renovation once in a while. But that also means that I haven't connected any water or heating yet. Especially since the water pipes outside are not insulated and could burst in the frost, if water remains in them and I am not there for several days.
This means that I have to put on six layers of clothes while working so that I don't get totally smashed at 35F and seven hours of work. On some days I can see my breath by painting. Only the hard ones come into the garden (as we say in Germany). Or into the Tiny Home.
I am armed with plastic cover, brushes, rollers and paint. First step is coloring the walls. In the entire house. I want to start right away and and think that I will "just" go and tape the room for a second. Haha. After two hours I really want to throw the tape out of the window like a frisbee. So that somebody will slip out of it and break his ass. I step back. Each corner is neatly prepared. I'm completely exhausted. And it looks like nothing has actually happened yet. Terrific!
I throw a little foil over the sofa, which is so big and heavy that I can't carry it out. I do it somewhat unmotivated and hope it'll be alright. Two minutes later, the first green blob is on the fabric. I curse. No water in the house. I spit on a dishcloth and make things a little worse. Then I just put something on it so you can't see it anymore.
Of course, it ends up that everythings is taking ten times as long as I thought. I rub my icy hands with half of my fingernails broken off and eat a cold sandwich of cheese that's so hard that I could kill someone with it.
Nevertheless, I am satisfied after the first day. I walk stupidly through some wet yellow paint on the floor and throw my brushes into the car to wash them out at home in the shared flat, where I have something weird like warm and running water.
There I mess around in the kitchen, before I move under the hot shower and never want to leave the bathroom again. Around midnight I crawl into my bed and make a list of things I have to order. Then I buy nonsense on Amazon and watch a documentary about North Korea. At 2:30, I still have back pain.
Unfortunately, I am beaten for two weeks afterwards, because a severe illness has caught me. More about that soon. It messes up my original plans, but I can't change it. Health first. But just a little bit. Because two days after I'm out of the hospital, I'm back at the Tiny House. I bought new yellow for the living room and start painting a second layer. As I peel off the tape between the green corner and the yellow wall, I realize that I had a pretty stupid brain fart the last time I was here. Because I didn't remove the tape and painted with both colors around it. And now there's a white stripe. I grab my forehead and suddenly have yellowbangs. Let's get it fixed!
When I come back a little later, something's weird. The wall is stained. The yellow tones vary in brightness. I get a little hate attack and I look at the paint pots. Same company. Same color name. Are they kidding me? Then I see that I once bought the matt version and once the glossy version. And painted woth both of them. Unbelievable! I look at the disaster for a few minutes and then go to a bistro to almost order hard liquor.
Then I go to the DIY store ("Hello again!") and buy the matt version again to paint the crap all over one more time. It's better when you are able to read...
But at some point I'm done with the darn living room. It's called a living room, not a painting room, right? So I dedicate myself to the kitchen, which looks like a grey prison. First I tear a pile of greasy and stupidly glued foil from the walls. I come across several rusty nails, which I pull out of the cardboard-walls with all my energy and four different tools, by being bathes in sweat. Yeah, my Tiny House doesn't have concrete walls, it's basically a cardboard house. Like the huts in the United States. High five to the elementary insurance!
A few days ago, I bought a percussion drill. It can so thingsup to ferroconcrete. Just in case I want to dig a well through the stone slabs outside to grow goldfish.
Finally I move into the kitchen with painting fleece and rollers and start painting the walls in berry-red-pink. I get into an enormously good mood from the color, which almost makes up for the annoying blind, which just doesn't want to leave its bracket. "Stupid shityt piece of pergament!" I yell at the ugly shred, which is only moderately impressed.
At the end of the third day of my renovation I want to unscrew the wardrobe in the hallway. It should go into the entrance room. Says my plan. I loosen three screws easily with my left hand and the cordless screwdriver. But the damn thing has four screws. And one of them is not in the mood and turns dull. The cordless screwdriver rattles like a helicopter. I support myself at the wardrobe, which promptly slides - because it is only hanging on one hook. Who could have known!? I sway around helplessly by waving with the screwdrive like an idiot.
Then I read through a few tricks on Google and try them one by one. Aluminium foil on the screwdriver doesn't help. Hammer blows to the screw work better. I reach for the good old screwdriver and try it again by hand. Suddenly, this thing comes off a millimeter. But only one. Still. Motivated by this I get a small cupboard, climb up, cling to the door frame with all my power and shout something like "Dwjbk@v=$&§qr38qrAD!" while almost dislocating my shoulder. Shortly afterwards the door almost slams shut and I almost clamp my hand off. But only almost. The screw and I do fight for almost a quarter of an hour. I'm sweating like crazy and everything hurts. But giving up is out of question.
Of course, the best thing happens at the grand finale - the screw and the wardrobe crack dramatically and splinter downwards all of a sudden, while something metallic flies away. I am totally impressed and shout "Hallelujah!" into the screwdriver, while silent applause fills the room. Then I see that one of the hooks is completely broken off and the cupboard has a deep flaw. Well, I wanted to throw it away anyway, because it sucked. On the other hand I could also put it on the green spot on the sofa. That would be very surreal. Salvador Dalí would freak out with enthusiasm.
With my last strength I push the extremely heavy wardrobe into the entrance room and plunge myself on my water bottle, because I am close to dehydration by evaporation. Now I still have to
drive home 55 miles in the dark. But driving is one of my passions - it calms me down.
When I lie in bed at night, I feel every fibre of my body. I'm grinning. What a great feeling!
I quickly write down that I need dowels for plasterboard and that I want to built a table out of pallets myself. Then I watch a documentary about Sahara and fall asleep two minutes after the movie started.