It took me a full year before I realized I could do anything to my house I wanted. For 12 months I still operated under that double way of thinking: "What would Bob approve of?" One day it occurred to me that I needed no one's sanction, and I began to move forward.
The changes came slowly at first. I painted my bathroom a brilliant Barbados blue and added a tropical motif to the curtains and towels. But then I began to seriously rethink my furniture and rooms. As a single person with fewer social responsibilities, I needed a different configuration.
I moved the dining room furniture to the living room, which was seldom used, and created a seating area/tv area in the diningroom, which was open to the kitchen. Knocking down a few more walls with the help of my brother, I opened up the entire living space. An electrician friend upgraded my light fixtures, and I rolled up my sleeves and painted away.
A year later I designed a bedroom/livingroom suite in the basement with a kitchenette, and rented it out. I had found the perfect way of making the house pay for itself, while writing off major portions of it.
Just recently I added crown molding and chair railing to the living/dining room - kitchen area, and I am making arrangements to paint my livingroom a brighter, bolder color. (Bob liked white.) My redecorating is still not completed, though my place already looks more streamlined and brighter.
And then it occurred to me: As I transformed myself to suit my new situation, I also transformed my house. I feel as if a load has been lifted off me, and it shows.