A Word about the Library

As I mentioned in the last post, we had three living areas in the mid-century ranch. The smallest of the three we decided to use as a library. Here is a before shot: 6844 Brants 004Not terrible, really. Dated wallpaper not exactly to our taste, dated paneling not exactly to our taste, the ubiquitous late ’70s brass fireplace doors, those vertical blinds that I’ve never really liked and never really work as intended, and ho-hum carpet. But shelves! Lots of shelves for books. Continue reading “A Word about the Library”

Family Room Rewind – A Comfy Place to Hang

Our mid-century ranch had a wealth of living areas: a “formal” living/dining combination the size of a small ballroom, a less expansive room right in the middle of the house that we ended up using as a library, and the room you see below that we designated as the family room – a place to hang out, play games, watch TV.

6844 Brants 008The family room certainly had the space. The light flooding in from the big windows and the 10′ ceilings (not a standard feature in a mid-century ranch; a sure give-away that this was an add-on)  were a great start for a bright, inviting space, but the floors and finishes didn’t say cozy, warm, and comfy. (If you read the second kitchen post, you already know how we felt and what we did about the floors.)    Continue reading “Family Room Rewind – A Comfy Place to Hang”

Guest Post by Debra – Not as Easy as it Sounds

Ha! Dan makes it all sound so smooth and simple, right? Look, we bought a house with this kitchen, and then voila! presto-chango, we had this fabulous kitchen! Not so fast, mister. How about the months – that’s right folks, months – that we cooked and washed dishes in the 5×8 hall bath (which was not so pretty at the time)? And the hours I spent obsessing over paint colors? Yes – the walls are this, the cabinets are that – but do you know how many colors are pinned on my Pinterest board prior to decision day? Here’s a sampling:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/133982157634174650/
from “A Life’s Design” Continue reading “Guest Post by Debra – Not as Easy as it Sounds”

The Heart of the Home – Part 2

The kitchen is where you live. Change the kitchen and you change the entire feel – the entire living experience – of the home.

Here is another view of the skeleton of our mid-century ranch kitchen reconfiguration and remodel:

6844 brants 020The window/pass-through to the family room has been expanded, the cabinets on the left side of the picture have been extended about 30″ and the space for the sink has shifted out of the corner. Standing at the sink, you will be looking into the family room, toward a fireplace and the TV.

Let’s take a look at some finish choices. Continue reading “The Heart of the Home – Part 2”

The Heart of the Home – Part 1

The kitchen is the heart of almost any modern American home – and by “modern,” I mean built since the dawn of the 20th century. Even in those houses where it is tucked off to the side, out of the way and seemingly disconnected from the intended living spaces, the kitchen is where folks tend to gather.

In our mid-century ranch, this is where we started:

photoNot a horrible kitchen. Homey, well used, and well loved. But not at all consistent with Debra’s vision for the house. Continue reading “The Heart of the Home – Part 1”

A Room for the Grandson – A Short Post

FullSizeRenderAsk any grandparent – grandkids are a joy. And, if possible, they deserve a room of their own. When we first bought the mid-century ranch, he was still sleeping in a crib. By the time we finished and sold it, he was closer to the age you see him here, and that wasn’t such a long stretch. His room had been used as an office and had a built-in desk unit occupying one full wall. Continue reading “A Room for the Grandson – A Short Post”