Wednesday, September 18, 2013

building blocks

As the kids have started to settle into school for another year, I still think back on the learning experiences of this past summer. I feel that learning is not just confined to a classroom and can occur all year long from real life experiences (whether it is observing the tides on the beach or picking up rocks when on a bike trail).  However, let's face it, kids enjoy being online on their down time, and sometimes I worry about those  times when the kids are not unplugged...when they're too connected to the games that can distract them from discovering what's in the real world.

Our "unplugged" basement.

Earlier this past summer, my son and I had an interesting conversation about one of his buildings in his Minecraft game (for those who don't know, it's an online game that builds virtual worlds with virtual building blocks).  He was animated in his description, and explained that the "cornerstone blocks are always the strongest, because they are the pillars of the foundation of which you can build something strong".  (yes, his words).

I liked how that sounded.  Cornerstone. Pillars of strength.  I'm always astounded with the mature insight this young boy (so often) has and I was intrigued with what he was building in his virtual world.

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for an old corner fireplace. We used
Benjamin Moore "Cloud White" #OC-130 for the brick, trim and lower half of
the wall, and Benjamin Moore "La Paloma Gray" #1551 for the upper wall.

I asked him how he chose what materials to use to create his "buildings".  What determines his choices? As I listen to him, so much is revealed about what he learns...not only about how to build like an engineer, but how his choices also relates to building character.   He chooses material based on strength and durability and knows that a good strong neutral floor is the foundation that makes a solid base and provides the ability to stand tall and the confidence to be flexible and add depth or "character" with details.

There were so many flooring options to choose could be overwhelming,
but choosing the most classic styles and colours was the route to go for us.

It's amazing how much more upscale a room can look with a simple
update in flooring...we went from linoleum to marble-style porcelain.

He learned that the colour of the wall can play an important part of attracting visitors into the room and knows at his tender age that soft serene colours make people feel restful and peaceful while darker hues brings warmth and comfort.  A comforting space for family and friends to feel welcome.  How little decorative elements can make a plain house look "phenomenal" (his words), and you don't need a lot...sometimes it only takes a few simple details.

We wanted to choose a chair rail with a simple but detailed profile.  By painting the chair rail,
baseboard and lower wall all the same colour, the room now looks more sophisticated
for the adults but still comfortable and durable for the kids.  The room also looks larger too!

It was amazing how our "Minecraft" conversation was a foreshadow of events to come.  A few days later, our basement was flooded during a torrential rain storm.  Luckily our good friend, who owns a commercial building and renovation company, was able to fit us into their busy schedule (they don't normally do residential projects), and we had our own "pillar of strength" to help us through this unexpected situation.  They did a beautiful and professional job with our basement renovation.  Coincidentally enough, their company name is...Cornerstone.

Now we can return to our playroom, and enjoy the family activities we once enjoyed before the flood...and play some games, both old and new ones like Chess or Minecraft, and build more foundations, more pillars of strength for our family...building blocks of lifetime memories, learning and good times.

Please note:  The opinion in this post is unpaid and unsolicited, and is solely based on the quality of workmanship and service we received.  A great big thank you to our friends...Jim, Adam and the rest of the team at Cornerstone.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What the beautiful people are saying...