A Little Spice in the Bath

Sometimes, trying to figure out what they were thinking is challenging. And so it was with the master bath in the mid-century ranch.may misc 033The bit of blue that you see is all there was – the remainder of the walls were a pinkish white. Perhaps they thought it was reminiscent of the azure skies of a Texas Spring.  The free-floating cabinet in the perfect position to bang one’s head was a storage solution, I suppose, but itself cries out for a solution. And the lonely little towel bar? Well, there is a bidet there, after all. Even though it’s not a common fixture in north central Texas, where there is a bidet, there should be a towel.

Like the rest of the house, the space in the master bath was more than adequate and, while maybe not ideal, the plumbing didn’t have to be rerouted. All in all, it had the potential for a pretty cost-effective redo. Continue reading “A Little Spice in the Bath”

The Evolution of the Master

Grandson & Effie
Grandson & Effie

They say to start with a hook, right? What’s a cuter hook than puppy dogs and little boys?

Actually, this is an “after” pic of the master bedroom at the mid-century ranch. As you’ll see later, I stenciled the wall between the bedroom and the en suite with a French poem that Debra found somewhere. You can see a bit of it behind and above to left of the world’s cutest grandbaby. Continue reading “The Evolution of the Master”

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”

The Hole in the Ground

I confess to being ambivalent – in the true sense of the word; I feel strongly two ways – about swimming pools.

On the one hand, nothing enhances a back yard space more elegantly than a well-appointed pool. Add a water feature – a fountain or a waterfall, for instance – and you can have your own small slice of paradise. Here is a pool that we put in the back yard of a house that we built (as opposed to remodeled):

pool w flowers1smaller
(The rose mallow hibiscus blooms were as big as your face.)

On the other hand, pools literally are holes in the ground that you throw money in. Even if you hire a service to keep the chemicals in balance and perform periodic maintenance, they are a pain. They immediately add 20% to your electric bill and they are magnets for leaves, twigs, strange-looking bugs, and heaven forbid that you have crepe myrtles anywhere on your block. Continue reading “The Hole in the Ground”

How to Raise the Roofline or From Humdrum to Hello!

So. The problem was the low-hanging eave that stretched the entire length of the house, making an already-below-street-level structure appear fit for hobbits. How to raise the roofline? Here’s a reminder:

6844 Brants 001Not only is your eye drawn downward by the roof, but the entry looks like a cave rather than a doorway. Nothing says “Come on in!” or “Glad to see you!” or “Nice, friendly folks live here!” Continue reading “How to Raise the Roofline or From Humdrum to Hello!”

Energizing a Tired Mid-Century Ranch

The first transformation we’ll walk through was a kind of tired, low-roofed ranch built in the mid 50s . The house had seen lots of wear and tear but we felt from the minute we walked in the front door that it had also been the site of good times – laughter, love, and happy children. I don’t want to get too woo-woo on you, but houses carry the vibe of things that have gone on inside them. Haven’t you ever felt creeped out, just walking in someplace? You might write it off to weird decor or a lack of proper HVAC but sometimes it’s that the place, itself, gives off a sinister air. This place was on the other end of the continuum from that. But it was tired; a bit frazzled. Kind of in need of a spa treatment.

Here are a couple of views of the outside of the house to show you what I mean: Continue reading “Energizing a Tired Mid-Century Ranch”