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Introducing INTUIT Design

The following is excerpt from a forthcoming book, Learning to Read the Energies of Your Home – by Nicholas Borrell

Do you plan to remodel your home? Perhaps you have ideas, but don’t quite know where to start. If you are getting serious about it, looking at your home through the Eyes of the Dreamer can help. It is creative work, well worth doing.

Just flow with me here …

You have been thinking about all the changes you might do if …

  • You had the money
  • You knew exactly what you would change
  • You had the ability to do it
  • Or, if you knew who to call to get it done.

All that said, The Dream is a long way from reality … or is it? You know you want “something different.” Now what you need is a creative partner “with skills” to get the process going.

An early project taught me a lot about creative partnership and how important trust and opportunity are…

Chip and Sue had a ranch house circa 1955 in Riverside, Connecticut. It was pretty much in its original condition when I was invited over to look at a “deck job” which entailed covering over the raw concrete slab at the rear of the dining room. They hired me to build a redwood deck, wrap-around stairs, and some planters – all very sleek and contemporary. During and after the deck was completed, we often speculated on the “other things” they wanted done: new windows, a home office for Chip, and “something different.”

I was a hungry young artist and I soon came back with a plan to build a two-story stair well out of 2” thick oak slabs, replace all the windows with new longer, wider, Andersen clad casements, re-trim the house in oak, and convert half of the attic into a home office with closets and shelving and skylights …

One of my finest coups on that early project was the addition of a tall, narrow, fixed window at the end of their dark bedroom hallway. Very Zen. We eventually created a stone ledge garden outside in its view.

Chip and Sue’s Wish List had been accumulating for years, latent in their imaginations – waiting for activation. They were a sophisticated couple, way ahead-of-the-curve … into efficiency, and “Small is Beautiful” paradigms. Later, as the children got older and needed some privacy, we turned a garage bay into a family room.

Chip was an accomplished agricultural policy analyst with a kind and creative personality. On one of his trips to Thailand he purchased two sturdy teak rectangular grates. He didn’t know what to do with them and asked what I thought. Perhaps a table?

After a day or so I got back to him saying, “Let’s cut the grates into the floor above the utility room and circulate all the wasted hot air up into the first and attic floors.” We never needed to add an additional heat source to the attic area; we just tightly insulated it. The Thai grate solution provided all the warmth that was required.

So here is an exercise. Forget the money for now. Dreams cost nothing. Sit down with paper and pen and make your “Wish List.”

  • New kitchen counters
  • Better closets
  • New doors and windows
  • Solar panels
  • Second story or master suite
  • Refinish the floors
  • Take a vacation!

It took several years, on-and-off, to complete Sue and Chip’s dream. I watched their two children go from middle to high school. We never did remodel the kitchen.

Life is a growth process, a journey from youthful folly to wisdom, a meandering trip through opportunity and choice. Two things are very clear:

Dream large and be willing to follow through on your decisions. Good things do happen!

And if you happen upon something magic in your travels that you JUST KNOW will fit somewhere in your home, it probably will!

Now, if you are intrigued, please visit IntuitDESIGN – a service offered by Nicholas Borrell of The Healing Home.


  1. David R. Philpot #

    If I was remodeling , I know where I’d start.

    February 22, 2014
  2. David R. Philpot #

    Nick, very well written, clearly stated. I wish I had a house for you to remodel for me.

    January 12, 2014
    • nickANDannie #

      Thanks Dave. What a pleasure that would be!

      January 12, 2014

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