How To Use Art In Your Home
- Art, Art, Everywhere! (Without the Feel of a Museum!)
Some houses entice you from the street.
Not this 1950s ranch when Diane and Scott Carroll first saw it.
It was a hard to swallow lump of tract-style blandness. They wanted
a better-looking home eight years ago, but budget concerns made
them gulp down their pride. Curb appeal aside, they conceded that
for a reasonable price this 1,300-square-foot two-bedroom house
offered big windows, an untouched decor still in good condition,
a 100x160-foot lot shaded by gigantic oak trees--and loads of
Potential, they learned, can take a long time to
realize. Scott, a sculptor, and Diane, a photo stylist and regional
editor for BH&G[R] magazine, embarked on a lengthy list of
home-improvement projects. Those that required specialized skills
were handed to professionals, but the couple did much of the work
Scott spent several of his teenage summers working
in construction and as an apprentice making art furniture, so
he had woodworking skills he could employ in the kitchen and living
room. Diane's lifelong interest in gardening became a passion
when reworking the landscaping in the backyard. They also painted--everything.
"Basically the whole house needed painting," she says.
"Inside and out."
"We didn't do a lot of
demolition in the house," Diane says. "It was more like
we added things."
A contractor was hired to do structural work, such
as remodeling their garage into a master suite and knocking an
8-foot opening in a load-bearing wall. The opening, which joined
the living/dining room in the front of the house and the kitchen/den
in the back, created the heart of their home. Pros also installed
plantation shutters on the windows, refinished the original wood
floors, and laid new floors in the bedrooms.
As with most budget-minded home projects, family
and friends were called upon to help where Scott and Diane's skills
left off. They designed the living room bookshelves, but a friend
of Scott's with fine woodworking skills built them. Then he and
Scott installed them.
Bookshelves, molding, wood floors, and shutters
fleshed out the plain mid-century architecture of their house.
The couple's goal wasn't always looks, however. "The house
was both nondescript and small, so when we worked on a room, we
tried to add not just personality and warmth but also storage,"
Diane says. The living-room bookshelves provided a place to show
off their collections. On the adjacent wall in the dining area,
a cabinet with china storage also serves as a buffet.
Better Homes & Gardens, Jan, 2003 by Sarah Egge
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