It's the Little Things


Remodeling & Design / Sunday, May 10th, 2015

Versailles fence post

Transforming a house involves lots of big things – changes that immediately shift one’s perception of the entire space. Exterior paint. Windows. Those kinds of things. But it’s the smaller things that add the flavor. Some, you might not even notice unless they were pointed out. The cap of moss and lichen stains on the concrete fence post (Versailles – 2009) above, for instance. Or more mundane things like this window sill:

2015-01-24 23.00.54It isn’t wood; it’s faux marble. Perhaps trendy in the ’80s but now – not so much. And every window in the house has them. Our first thought was to have them replaced with wood when we replaced the windows. After some experimentation, however, I found that, with a bit of hand-sanding (200 grit paper) and applying paint with a small, short-napped roller, we could bring them into the current century at a fraction of the cost.

2015-01-24 23.07.02The downstairs master en suite has a large picture window that had a dingy, beige semi-Roman blind. We took it down almost immediately but that left a clean shot into the kitchen from the bath.

2015-01-26 00.29.13With some Internet shopping, a couple of power tools, and some assistance from the grandson,

2015-02-08 18.53.042015-02-08 18.50.48we had a completely different look.

IMG_2295This bookshelf is in the room that we decided to use as the dining room:

2014-10-19 21.37.53Remember in the mid-century ranch when I talked about darkening the interior of the shelves to sort of levitate the items displayed? This shelving unit was a perfect candidate for that treatment.

IMG_1972The paint we used on the interior is the Benjamin Moore Iron Mountain that we originally considered for the library. I think it produced the effect rather nicely, don’t you? Please note – the stuff on the shelves is just kind of thrown on there; styling, arranging, and discerning selection of items for display to come later (Debra wouldn’t want you to think that she decorates like this).

2015-02-08 18.56.05The SoMoToHo has a wet bar/butler’s pantry area adjoining the dining room that, frankly, was a missed opportunity. We enjoy out-of-the-ordinary architectural arrangements and this is one, but the cloudy, uniform color contrasted with painful tile and brass fixtures, highlighted by wall mirroring was wide of the mark.

2014-10-19 21.39.18 The first step was to get rid of the mirror.

bar no mirrorThe next was to update the cabinet fronts (and install one on the left cabinet – after reconfiguring the shelving to standard storage).

bar cabs new doorsSome new trim paint – bright white above to increase the height and Dash of Pepper below to add substance – and the perfect accent mirror and you begin to see the potential of the space.

2015-02-15 20.46.22The tile still needs to go (we’re thinking white quartz, since this serves as our coffee bar) and we need a new sink – brushed chrome? oil rubbed bronze? – but we think it is well on the way to becoming a decorative asset – as the architect obviously intended – rather than an afterthought.

I’ll try to keep pointing out the little things as we go through the SoMoToHo transformation. If you ever have questions about anything – big or small – just ask.

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