Remote Control

A break from our regularly-scheduled pretty picture programming to talk about realities of construction from afar …

As the guy who pays the bills and handles contractor communications (that would be my husband) likes to remind, there’s more to making this pied a terre a reality than surfing for nice things to put in it.

We can easily make some decisions remotely, but we’re now facing a number of decisions that are better made in person. But any personal viewing means a 24-hour trip to the other side of the planet (with a stop in Dubai to visit some family, this time!). It’s not like jumping in the car to The Tile Shop five miles away, as we did when we gutted & renovated our Chicago master bathroom.

Further, some decisions are easily changeable. If we don’t like a wall paint color in person, no big deal, we can paint over it. It bugs me to no end on shows like House Hunters when people comment on wall colors like that’s a permanent fixture. It’s much more costly to fix structural problems or rework a house layout that doesn’t work for your family, than repaint some walls.

Via Your Home Decoration

But other decisions are more permanent. Next we must choose cabinet door finishes (in India they’re called shutters) and granite. I found photos and sources online for our architect to follow up on. But I won’t make a final call via online jpg’s or architect photos. You can’t tell the true colors. The cabinets and granite must coordinate with the tile, which was already purchased. I know from past experience, things that look great when photos are paired together can clash horribly when you play with samples of the actual material.

Virtual granite samples

Kitchen cabinets from Chennai source, but I’d change the color

I’ve always taken it for granted that we can get samples to bring home and look at in different light. No one is granting samples in Chennai to bring to the U.S. I don’t trust others available in Chennai to make the calls for me — I gotta see this stuff in person.

Also some elements should be very distinctive. Because we’ll spend very few days a year in the apartment, it won’t be lushly furnished. So whatever is in there, we want quality and style. For us, it’s not a utilitarian, pedestrian place. It should be an “experience.” Like a five star hotel experience in India. Because it really is our own little hotel suite in Chennai, in a way. I was thrilled to find last night that Fanimation (I previously posted pics of many of their ceiling fans) has an outlet in Mumbai. And guess what, my husband may need to travel to Mumbai for business soon! I’d prefer our contractors not make fast decisions to install the basic ceiling fans.

Not everything must be decided and installed quickly. Some things, we may take a great deal of time to find just the right thing. And that’s OK. The hunt is part of the fun.

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