Category: Eclectic Homes

Contractor Tips: What Your Contractor Truly Means

Contractors did not become contractors because they like to convey. If they did they’d have become speechwriters or newscasters (or get a gig writing ideabooks for ). Sometimes what they say seems completely evident for them, but makes no sense for you. And a builder might talk euphemistically to dance about difficult topics. This advice should help you translate some of the euphemisms and somewhat curt statements you might hear, so that you get the maximum out of the client-contractor relationship.

1. Nothing. If he doesn’t call you back, he’s just not that into you. You do not need to chase a builder who is too busy to return your telephone, unless you have given him cash.

2. Let us do it my way rather. Odds are, your builder has more experience doing things a certain way, therefore he may want to urge that procedure. It’s usually best to go with it rather than having him try something for the first time on your job.

Buckminster Green LLC

3. I’ll begin late next week. If your overall contractor sets a beginning date, then he ought to have the ability to retain it. But a lot of times the tradesmen (electricians, technicians, etc.) juggle many jobs simultaneously and often have to take care of emergencies. You need to expect them only to come close to their beginning and completion estimates.

4. The cost will be…
Unless you’re changing the range of work, a builder won’t expect to negotiate a lump sum cost estimate. If you think the cost is too high, get the following quote for comparison. While prices vary because of differences in approaching the undertaking or overhead expenses, a builder won’t stay in business unless he prices competitively.

Uptic Studios

5. I’ll do my best. There is a good chance a contract will fall short of your expectations. If you hear this, then hear your gut. Have you been asking for a great deal? Perhaps you have added work to the extent, but asked for the job to be finished by precisely the exact same date? Are you anticipating a brand new look from a remodel with existing elements?

There are 3 elements to any project: The level of quality, the cost and the time it requires to complete the undertaking. Pick two of these that are most important to you. Should you need everything ideal by a certain date, be prepared to pay more. If you’ve got a fixed budget but need a certain look, give the contractor time to be inventive and make it work.

Anthony James Construction

6. But I can not make a recommendation. Most builders prefer that you just work. Should you request your general contractor for their plumber’s name and number and he provides it to youpersonally, thank them. By enabling you to work directly with a subcontractor your contractor requires a risk by giving up control of the situation. In addition, he gives up the power to indicate the cost of the work that the plumber does, and this is just one of the ways builders get paid.

Buckminster Green LLC

7. The layout had some tweaking. Frequently, this means that the plans were unbuildable. Sometimes what is drawn on paper just can not be constructed. A stairs you would need to crawl on your knees to utilize, “existing” spaces that don’t exist, a pocket door that would slide through a switch box along with the shower enclosure — I have seen all of them.

8. I don’t think this is a good fit. If a builder declines to estimate a job it could be for a whole lot of factors. Perhaps he has concerns regarding the budget. You and your contractor will be speaking a whole lot, so perhaps he just did not think you clicked. It could also be that he’s too busy, and that he won’t have the ability to devote enough time for your job to do it right.

Buckminster Green LLC

9. We will have to do some value engineering. You have got caviar dreams on a cheese and cracker budget. Value engineering is as soon as the team thinks creatively about how to rework the job to do the exact same or similar extent for less, like by changing material selections.

10. Let us walk through and make a hit list. A contractor wishes to know everything you need done to be satisfied with the work. Every visit to your project prices your contractor, therefore make an effort to think of a comprehensive punch list –a list of to-do things which have to be done for your job to be considered complete — instead of sending it bit by bit as time passes.

Next: 10 Home Projects That Probably Need a Guru

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Playful Riverfront Pad in Oregon

Given its modern exterior, expansive backyard and beautiful riverfront location, it’s hard to think this home was once an outdated duplex. Homeowners Rich and Alicia dwelt in half of it for decades before taking the plunge on a full scale remodel. A second-story master suite, cedar exterior additions and new decks and landscaping generated plenty of indoor and outdoor area for this family.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Rich and Alicia; girls Hatte and Hazel; gold retriever Spinner
Location: Milwaukie, Oregon, near Portland
Size: 2,800 square feet; four bedrooms; four baths
That’s interesting: The backyard features a 75-foot zip line.

John Prindle

Rich and Alicia wake up to this particular view of the lush backyard out of their master bedroom. The calm Willamette River is located in the backdrop.

They moved here with a little bit of trepidation: The region suffered extensive damage from a notorious Portland flooding in 1996. Thanks to a lot, their home fared well.

John Prindle

The house was an outdated duplex once the couple moved in. Working with Gary Hartill of OrangeWall Studios, they saw the possibility, gutted it and rebuilt the construction. The renovation integrated a second-story master suite and contained fresh decks and landscaping. The group maintained the original shingle siding on the duplex and accented the new improvements with flat tongue and groove cedar.

John Prindle

Rich, a former contractor, built the treehouselike patio deck around an present tree. It could be reached by the garden line — a favorite activity of this couple’s daughters as well as their friends.

John Prindle

The main floor of the home is a totally open area. The corner dining area holds a handmade plywood table that’s immune to the indiscretions of 2 artistic daughters.

Following dinnertime, a sport of foosball or an impromptu dance session under the mirrored disco ball leaves the home full of fun and energy that is positive.

John Prindle

Artist Tyler Schlicting painted this hummingbird scene in 2006, and it’s a family favorite. The painting hangs in the corner of the dining space, mixed into a gallery wall of art by Hatte and Hazel. Paper animals from the Museum of Contemporary Craft make up the weeks of a calendar.

John Prindle

The spacious kitchen lets plenty of space for inquisitive chefs and provides a great view of the river. The teak-veneer cabinets are lucky leftovers out of an architect friend’s job. The raised kitchen bar is made of reclaimed wood from a Phillippines schoolhouse.

Pendant lights: Otto x Otto, Lighting Universe; rug: Ikea

John Prindle

Just off the dining area is located a seating area which Alicia has called “The Bird’s Nest.” A magnificent view of nearby Elk Rock Island and also an occasional appearance in the bald eagle make this a popular perch.

John Prindle

The spaciousness of the principal flooring is best appreciated when you look toward the door. The oversize rug in this area has been in Alicia’s family for about 120 decades. An abstract photograph by Kirk Jonasson hangs over the living room fireplace.

John Prindle

Among the biggest challenges of the remodel was the complete redesign of this stairs. The stairs used to go the other way and were super steep. “I had to leave if they were bringing in the metallic beam that retains the stairs,” Alicia says. “It had been the one thing that really stressed me out. I am not even sure how they got it.”

John Prindle

The stair treads are created from reclaimed mahogany, sourced from a demolished 1930s schoolhouse in the Philippines — the exact same wood used on the kitchen bar counter tops.

John Prindle

New skylights brighten the distance, and UFO-like lights out of Foscarini O-Space hang over the stairs. The modern pendants add a classy touch using an orange accent wall serving as the background.

John Prindle

Future film manager Hatte’s area has the exact same upbeat vibe as the rest of the home. Rich built the cabinets and loft bed over a two-week time while the rest of the family was back east to find relatives. Visiting artist Allison Reimus, who once lived with the family, did the portrait of Hatte.

John Prindle

Upstairs, the master bedroom’s balcony seats makes it possible for the few to enjoy views of the river. At the corner is another comfy birdwatching nook.

John Prindle

Flowers grow across the front and back of the home. An enthusiastic gardener, Alicia cut these pink roses for a nice impromptu tablescape.

Can you have a creative, lively home? Discuss it with us!

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Contractor Tips: Finish Your Basement the Ideal Way

Basements are catchy. These big distances beg for a new use, but they often become dumping grounds for many of life’s extras. If selling your house within this marketplace is not a choice but you need extra living space, you might find yourself pacing back and forth at the basement wondering in the event that you’re able to convert it to the room of your dreams. As the pictures below show, it is possible — and the choices are endless.

Diagrams: The steps in completing a basement

dSPACE Studio Ltd, AIA

If you think of finished basements, you likely think about a room that is not finished to the criteria of the bedrooms upstairs. This doesn’t need to be the case. However, the challenge of creating an inviting and beautiful area is greater in the basement, where the systems and infrastructure of your residence need to be hidden tastefully.

A finished basement certainly adds value to your home, but make sure you check with your own insurance agent. Some finished bathrooms might not be insured — and do not expect a bedroom to count in the total of bedrooms once you sell the house.

M.J. Whelan Construction

Plumbing. If you want to bring a toilet in the basement, then find your soil pile and see whether the main drain for your house goes underground or runs aboveground. If it runs underground, as long as you put the new toilet close to it, plumbing shouldn’t be a great deal more difficult than upstairs.

If it runs aboveground, you’ll almost certainly require a grinder and a pump — such as those produced by Saniflo. Water runs through gravity, so in the event that you want it to return once you flush, it requires special equipment.

Orfield Remodeling, Inc

Natural light. Natural lighting is often in short supply in a basement. In this image, the kitchen was set from the only window to maximize sunlight in the preparation area.

Additionally, many building codes require a second way to exit the basement in the event the space is going to be finished. Get more light and satisfy code requirements by installing an egress window and window nicely. An egress window is large enough for a person to exit through it, and also the nicely allows more light in your basement. To avoid water problems, have a drain installed in the base of the well.

Ernesto Santalla PLLC

The ceiling. You’d never know that this room is in a basement. There are always plumbing, wires and ducts to conceal. This usually means dropping the ceiling height in certain areas.

Attempt to combine the obstructions to one area and make a space with a lower ceiling. Continue the dropped ceiling to the walls for a natural transition. Boxing in pipes and ducts with soffits and chases informs people that there is something hidden.

Obviously, the other thing that makes this basement look like it belongs upstairs is the usage of drywall. You’ll need to place access panels where shutoffs, junction boxes or yards are. Be certain to install the drywall 1/2 inch off the ground and utilize moisture-resistant drywall. All basements flood eventually, and this can help.

Fiberglass-faced drywall is even better compared to paper-faced drywall, because it is the paper that harbors mould. Be prepared to pay additional for completing the fiberglass drywall, since the whole face should be skim coated with joint compound.


Mio Ceiling Tiles – $98

Finished bathrooms traditionally had ceiling tiles in a grid as opposed to a drywall ceiling. Most individuals don’t like this look, so we’re seeing an increasing number of drywall ceilings. If you want simple access to the area above the basement ceiling but need a more interesting appearance, consider sculptural ceiling tiles out of Mio.

Because a basement is below the bathrooms, kitchen and other sources of water at the house, when a basement floods it often comes through the ceiling. In case you’ve got a drywall ceiling, then you will want to cut out a section and fix it. In case you have ceiling tiles it might be as simple as replacing a tile or two.

Read more about Mio’s tiles

Overall Basement Finishing

Height. Think about how you intend on using your finished basement. If you want to exercise down there, then you might want more headroom. Lift your arms overhead. I need an 8-foot ceiling to do that. Are you going to be standing on a treadmill? Insert the height off the floor to your own height. If you’re going to run on the treadmill instead of posing for fake exercise Facebook photos, you’ll need more room as you’ll bounce up as you run. Often the height just is not there.

Recently, my company solved this issue two different ways for two different clients. In one house we cut the flooring joists in that region and hung them out of structural headers. Then we included steel angles to encourage the floor. Ideally this region should be found under an area upstairs that does not get a lot of traffic, like under a coffee table.

In the other basement we couldn’t track down the space out of the path of visitors, so it made more sense to return. We dug a pit in the ground 12 inches, poured a new slab in the reduced level and poured little walls with a curb surround so the hole would not fill with water in the event the basement got moist. Lowered into the pit, the treadmill is flush with the surrounding floor.

Case Design/Remodeling, Inc..

Waterproofing. I know I return to flood, but it is going to occur, so plan ahead. If you do not have a system in place to deal with the water, then choose a flooring material that may manage getting wet, like the tile shown in this basement. If you do not have a floor drain, get one installed. It’s ideal to get a drain that ties into the storm drain right or that drains into a pit with a sump pump in it. Should you pay for all these systems up front, you will not be paying to replace rugs, furniture and appliances afterwards.

Pine Street Carpenters & Your Kitchen Studio

Lighting. The most crucial element to making a basement a place people need to hang out is very good lighting. Here is another instance of a well-planned ceiling design. The tray ceiling in the middle is surrounded by reduced areas that can conceal ductwork and piping. Additionally, it gave the builder a spot to install indirect lighting. Since the ceilings in a basement are generally lower than everywhere in the house, light reflected up off the ceiling — such as the ambient lighting inside this tray ceiling or the sconces on the walls — is far better than light directed down.

Revealing Assets – Home Staging Services

If you plan on using recessed lighting in your low ceilings, consider about the cone of light that spreads out of a recessed lighting. The closer it is to the floor, the closer you’ll need to space the lights to find good coverage. Fantastic lighting design makes a big difference, so hire a professional lighting designer. A variety of light types is important so the space can accommodate unique uses and moods.

There are many alternatives today for energy-efficient lighting, and therefore don’t avoid LEDs and CFLs because you think that they’ll throw an unflattering light. Everything from cool to warm light is offered in most types.

Diagrams: The Measures in Finishing a Basement
Space for Family: Converting the Attic or Basement
5 Basement Renovations Created for Fun
How to Take Care of a Flooded Basement

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A pilaster is the official term for a flattened column projecting from a wall around a door or window or for a classical decoration on furniture. A easy pilaster will include a base, main column plus a capital (the ribbon at the top of the column) and can be either plain or ornate. Topping these bits, you will frequently find an architrave, frieze, and cornice.There may be extra ornamentation too, in the form of corbels (plaster, wood or iron trim bits that project out of the supporting piece), wood carvings or scrollwork.

david phillips

Pilasters frequently include an architrave, the expression for the piece that sits just over the capital. In this entertainment center, the architrave is the base of the bookshelf over the TV cupboard.

Harrison Design

The component formed by combining the architrave, the undecorated frieze over it, and the cornice, or top piece, into one unit is called an entablature.

david phillips

These fluted pilastercolumns are adorned with corbels in the very top whilst wainscotting covers the base. The space over the corbel is known as an arcade.

ASID, Christopher A Rose AIA

Above the pilasters of this bathroom are a capital and an arched walls opening. The centerpiece is known as the pendant.

American Masonry Supply, Inc..

All these pilasters are all topped by a capital.

Crisp Architects

When two pilasters connect on a corner, it is referred to as a canton.

Browse more pilaster photos

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12 Libraries That Lightened Up

When you hear the term”library,” what comes to mind? Professor Plum with the candlestick? For me it’s plenty of dark wood paneling, a deep burgundy Chesterfield couch, an oppressive amount of leather-bound novels, a heavy desk, brass lamps and perhaps a lot of judges having their weekly poker game, complete with lots of cigar smoke.

As a dark and cozy library may be a great part of a conventional home, I’m more excited about the ways designers are kicking heritage to the curb and producing airy and open library spaces. They have kept the comfy stuffed furniture but gotten rid of the stuffiness. Another exciting aspect is they are finding room for libraries in that which would otherwise be wasted space. Get ideas by a look at a number of library layouts that are fresh.

Griffin Enright Architects

This home includes a wood-burning floor plan, however, the contemporary library space is demarcated by a change in altitude and rich dark wood. Using shelves which go only halfway up the walls as well as glistening ivory floor keeps things light.

Watch the rest of this home

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

This library is also situated in spot using a transitional elevation within the floor plan. The architect must have taken careful notes on how best to maximize the natural light whilst maintaining the room sheltered from direct sunlight.

Watch the rest of this home

Mark English Architects

This spacious library provides a spot that is sleeping for guests around the contemporary sleeper couch and borrows light.

Studio Bergtraun AIA

This open and comfortable library is actually a portion of a kitchen renovation.


Instead of shutting the library off in the usual traditional manner, this spacious library keeps the space airy and leaves the entire first floor feel larger. Planked walls and a planked ceiling lend a cabin feel.

Chang + Sylligardos Architects

The upstairs hallway can be a wasted space; just a small addition to the thickness allowed for long bookshelves here. The walkway is available to the floor below.

Tip: Take notice of the monitor lighting, art lighting and library lamps utilized to spotlight the shelves in many of these photos. Shining light on your books and objects will change how you experience your library distance, especially at night.

Watch more ways to integrate libraries into other areas

Richard Bubnowski Design LLC

Here is another great library spot which makes excellent use of every square inch of space in this upstairs hallway.

Watch the rest of this home

Exedra Architects

Putting this library space in the end of the stair landing is just another brilliant use of space that is often wasted.

Emily A. Clark

This designer has made numerous moves I admire: the library desk complete with studying light (reminds me of faculty ), the oversize lantern, the light walls, the dark paint inside the shelves…

Tip: When figuring out furniture positioning similar to this, have your electrician put in a plug from the floor so you nobody trips over unsightly cables.

Chloe Warner

This bright library space is the best spot for hosting a contemporary salon.

Chang + Sylligardos Architects

There are no rules that say bookshelves need to hug the walls; they are also able to function as room dividers in a large, open space. This chamber can go out of breakfast area to research and homework area with one clearing of the table.

Belsey & Mahla Architects

This is a gorgeous illustration of a library that is transitional-style. It’s the bones of a conventional library but has lightened things up with paint colour, fabrics and light fittings.

Where and how can you store the books in your home? Let us know in the Remarks section.

24 Amazing Walls of Books
Tour a Book Lover’s Beautiful Cape Cod

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Renovation Detail: The Chippendale Balustrade

In my search to replace the iron railings onto our front porch, I found that the Chippendale balustrade and fell in love. Affectionately inspired from the work of Thomas Chippendale, an 18th-century English furniture manufacturer, the fretwork is also influenced by Asian layouts trends.

The geometric pattern is typically placed inside a rectangular frame and is often repeated. With careful mathematical calculations, a skilled craftsperson is able to build the regimented balustrade, which is often found on porches, decks, widow walks and staircases.

The next time you end up in a historic neighborhood with well-preserved homes, have a look-see at the balustrades. You are guaranteed to stumble upon a Chippendale or two. Heck, even Thomas Jefferson used them at Monticello.

Acanthus Design-Denise Woolery

The Chippendale balustrade can function both decorative and practical purposes, as implemented with this exterior staircase.

Clifford M. Scholz Architects Inc..

Chippendale balustrades are combined with square spindles here in order to keep the rail system from being overly busy and also to allow the natural beauty of this seaside environment come through.

Tim Barber Ltd Architecture

The ground-level porch columns align with the upper-deck newel posts here in order to make a uniform outside facade. With good knee sides that the Chippendale balustrades help to make the second-story deck feel quite open.

Duckham Architecture & Interiors

Although only the only front and centre section of the New England porch rail is Chippendale, the jazzy geometric layout still manages to enhance the whole look of the facade. It is the great budget-friendly alternative.

Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home

Used in conjunction with a screened-in porch, the Chippendale design enhances the interior as much as the outside of the home. The plan is also mimicked on the fireplace display.

Rasmussen / Su Architects

Not often seen on interior staircases, the Chippendale balustrades within this Philadelphia home complement the daring white trim across the home.

Hendel Homes

Constructed out of white iron, all these Chippendale balustrades are more and leaner than normal wooden rail systems.

Cory Spencer Partners

This expansive home uses the Chippendale balustrade as a protective barrier for double-hung windows on the second floor.

The Chippendale layout is highly prevalent in this garden garden: It could be located on the decorative rail system along with the patio seat.

Tim Barber Ltd Architecture

Chippendale balustrades unite with a custom pergola and garage doors to make an outside millwork montage. Also say that the rail height is low enough that it does not interfere with the view out the deck .

The Diagonal Cross Balustrade

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Contemporary Split-Level in Chicago

“Peachy” normally means something great, but for Michael and Karen Hohman, it described the outdated pastel hue of their 1950s split-level house in Chicago. In the exterior trim to the walls and ceilings, almost all lace the bright hue. The Hohmans understood that, despite the color, there was great potential in the structure of the house. With the help of designer Lynn Hertl of LKH Design, they started with a fresh coat of paint and renovated the living area, family room and sunroom, altering their midcentury space into a modern home.

at a Glance
Who lives here:
Michael and Karen Hohman, kids Kate and Grant and their four chihuahuas
Where: Highland Park suburb of Chicago
Size: 3,500 square feet; 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms; two half-baths
That’s interesting: The lively ceramic egg-head sculptures by LaGardo Takett at the living room have been marketed and used as condom holders in the 1960s.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

A fresh new color palette made a huge difference in the overall appearance of their living space, formerly marked by weathered floors and cherry walls. The Hohmans used the high ceilings and built-ins to their advantage, painting the ceiling white to create a light-filled, inviting space.

Sofa and chair: Sofa, Roche Bobois; java table: Instructions; corner table: Altura

Cynthia Lynn Photography

The brick chimney shaft is first to the house, and the Hohmans additional new built-in cabinetry to tuck the TV away.

The timber chair and ottoman beside the fireplace were rescued from a curbside garbage heap. A self-described Dumpster diver, Karen watched beyond the shabby cushions and asked Hertl to provide the chair brand new life by refinishing and reupholstering it.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

The couple’s inside style comes mainly in their artwork and found objects. Karen says,”I feel that an eclectic mixture of elements makes an intriguing, cursory look to a house. We started collecting quirky artwork, not knowing their initial function.”

The egglike sculptural heads are by ceramicist LaGardo Takett. “Little did we all know that these humorous pieces had a goal beyond decoration,” Karen says. “They were created and marketed through Playboy magazine as condom holders in the 1960s.”

The suspended flying guy is by Jonathan Forrest Read. The couple found this bit at the St. Petersburg Clay Company in Florida. “We enjoyed his job according to his unconventional thought — a human figure drifting through the atmosphere without care,” Karen says.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

Cynthia Lynn: Where are your favourite places to buy artwork?

Karen Hohman: Mike and I love to locate unique galleries once we travel, and we look for emerging artists wherever we go. We once bought a number of bits in Canada during one vacation. Mike and I enjoy encouraging gifted artists who are building their careers. We regular certain galleries like Vickers Gallery at Aspen, Colorado, along with the St. Petersburg Clay Company in Florida.

One of our favourite musicians, Mark Winter, created the large sided animal-like sculpture at the corner of their living area. We’ve gathered a range of Mark’s impressive bits. He incorporates scrap metal and recycled components and manipulates them into sculptural forms. Mike and I see his Wisconsin studio to watch him at work.

The mantel painting is from my grandma, who had been an avid art collector at the’50s and’60s. The painting is titled Ghost Rider, by Thomas Strobel. Our family has lots of the paintings using natural landscape themes and eye-fooling, antitraditionalist abstract geometric patterns.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

CL: What did you do to make it yours? What is your decorating doctrine?

KH: First of all, we painted all, because the whole house was painted in coral tones. That alone made a big difference. We then replaced the timber floors, the carpet, the tile and all the window treatments to liven up the space. We installed all of new lighting fixtures throughout and additional cabinetry in the living space, then completed the modern look with our artwork. Our philosophy was to pick a color palette which pulled away from the existing look. Our designer, Lynn, found an entirely different color palette which complemented the existing hard stuff.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

This bronze sculpture, Ladder — Seven Climbers, is by artist Bill Starke, bought through the Vickers Gallery. Karen says,”We loved that his job created compositions of figures that depicted the beauty and sophistication of the human state.”

CL: How would you complete these sentences?

If I could have four famous people over for dinner… I would encourage Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Steve Jobs and Chris Rock.

My mum moment was… taking a look at the before and after images of the house and realizing just how far we have come in altering the distance.

My advice to other homeowners would be… to enjoy and utilize all of the space in your house. Don’t create a space unlivable as it’s too overdone.

My house is… my way to express my personality and flavor through layout and artwork.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

New lighting fixtures were added across the house along with new window treatments. The Roman blinds update the space and allow more light in.

Karen bought the dining room celebrity sculptures when she had been a student at Indiana University. She states ,”They have an wonderful art college, and I had been lucky enough to buy them from a gallery that sold and featured pupil work.”

Living room table: Instructions; chandelier: Nido; seats: Altura, Bergamo cloth

Cynthia Lynn Photography

The kitchen needed the smallest quantity of renovation. Other than changing the paint color and also the kitchen faucet, the Hohmans left the space as is. Karen says their next design job is to reestablish it.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

High ceilings make this the perfect spot for enjoying breakfast.

Table and seats: Crate and Barrel

Cynthia Lynn Photography

The living room renovations also started with an entirely new color palette. The Hohmans awakened the old laminate floors, replacing them with hardwoods. The cherry wood warms the space without overpowering it, unlike its own peach predecessor. The formerly peach walls have been painted a neutral color. The first fireplace surround featured patterned tiles, and also the Hohmans replaced them from Ann Sacks. A signed Picasso lithograph hangs over the mantel.

The snakeskin chair is another one of Karen’s recovered objects, found on the curb in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Hertl refinished and reupholstered it.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

CL: What was or is your main style dilemma?

KH: The area spaces were awkward, and it challenged us to design each room creatively with furniture and artwork. We tried to salvage some of this challenging material that existed in the house, like the granite and the cabinets.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

The sunroom also failed a color transformation. Formerly, dark colours on the ceiling and dark furniture dulled the space, along with the Hohmans chose a soothing sage green and replaced the outdated chairs with vivid and inviting furniture. The sunroom overlooks the backyard and joins to the family room.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

The glass doors are original to the house. The cozy sectional serves as the perfect rest spot for the Hohmans’ four chihuahuas.

CL: What’s the first thing you’d grab if your house were on fire?

KH: I would grab our four chihuahuas.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

Pitched ceilings and strange layouts throughout the house presented a creative struggle. A personalized photo collage by Karen hangs in the master bedroom; it comprises photographs taken of her family, travels and everyday environment.

Bed: antique; nightstand: Instructions

Cynthia Lynn Photography

Karen and Michael chose a subtle color palette for the master bedroom, while the kids’ rooms obtained bolder choices.

A reading chair sits at the corner of this area, opposite the bed. Light from either side makes it an ideal reading spot. Karen says the master bedroom is where they feel the most at home:”It’s the ideal place to sit back and relax.”

BEFORE: The bath

Cynthia Lynn Photography

AFTER: The bathroom countertops and sinks have been replaced with contemporary faucets, and rainforest marble adorns the his-and-hers sinks.

Light fixtures: Lumens

Cynthia Lynn Photography

The Hohmans completely gutted the shower, removing the doors with chrome trim and replacing them with glass panels. They incorporated new tile and fixtures and painted the ceiling white.

CL: What is your ultimate dream house thing? What is your latest splurge?

KH: An art studio with many windows will definitely be my dream house thing. We completely gutted our master bath, and it was worth it.

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