I knew then it was going to be different. You remember what it was like the first time you entered a certain space - a house, temple, an old castle or cemetery, and it spoke to you? Not in a creepy way, but suffused with light and energy and a certain je ne sais quoi about it? This house is that place for me. We knew then, this was going to be home. I thank our lucky stars (and Amit Saini, our phenomenal realtor) who made it possible for us to call it home. Not new to the pell-mell of the real estate market, A and I knew exactly what we wanted. We had the advantage of having flipped a couple of condos before, and took an avid interest in the ups and downs of the market.

After an especially tumultuous affair, we had finally decided to nest together. We had talked about it at length, and thankfully lined up on almost all our requirements. I had a few extra qualms about the need for abundant natural light and ample storage space, but outside of that, we both agreed upon the location and square footage. This condo didn't fit our original checklist, so when the listing came our way, we weren't thrilled to see it. Amit convinced us, and apathetically we came to see it. We had just put down a colossal deposit for a tiny penthouse with a massive terrace around the corner, and at this point didn't see any relevance in continuing to look; but the moment we set foot in this place, we were like children - barely able to contain our stupid grins. Naturally, we knew we were going to get it, and we knew it wasn't going to be easy. The potential and possibilities were already in my bones, and I knew where the toaster and coffee pot was going to go. I'll spare you the details of all the number-crunching, but long story short, we had acquired our own little haven, our ball and chain, sporting a savvy new address.

In the months that followed, we decided to stamp our own unique quotient on the coop. So we DIYed all the renovations, and then some. It wasn't a conscious decision, it started with light fixtures and a paint job, but quickly escalated to a kitchen makeover, and somehow ended with a concrete-top dining table and butcher's block pantry island. There's an odd stimulus in bringing one's visions and designs to life, and none of it would have been possible without A's propensity to building and creating things (not to mention his frugality and mathematical genius). We had arguments, injuries and one too many date nights at Home Depot; but the process was just as much fun and rewarding. We wouldn't have it any other way.

So I wanted to kick-start this first (one of many) DIY post with before-and-after shots of our living space. Although everything is still a work-in-progress, we take unalloyed pride in it and hope you will like the transformation as much as we do. The images aren't classy, some even unedited and taken with my phone, but this isn't so much for the visual presentation as it is to show our inspiration and hard work come to life.