My Home Remodel, Part 5: Little Things Can Create Big Impact

My favorite social media site is Pinterest. I have planned our wedding, Clare’s birthday parties, our family photo shoots, even nightly meals with Pinterest boards. So you know I’ve been remodeling our home with the help of Pinterest (and my friends in the design and construction industry, of course).

We installed iridescent wallpaper and a pretty pendant light over our basement stairs.

There are so many small design ideas I have found on Pinterest that I knew would create big impact on our home. For example, when our basement stairway was completed, I wanted to glam it up a bit by installing iridescent wallpaper and a pretty pendant light that would make the wallpaper shimmer. But I didn’t want the wallpaper on the walls. I wanted it on the ceiling!

I was pregnant at the time, so my sweet husband Bart called a friend who knows how to wallpaper to teach him how to do it. The pair spent the evening on a ladder over stairs, installing wallpaper above their heads. The end result is exactly what I had envisioned and I’m very thankful to my husband for embracing and tackling this project for me.

Our main-floor bathroom’s beautiful octagon-shaped window provides much-needed privacy.

Another small project that has had major impact on our house was the replacement of a window in our main-floor bathroom. When I moved in, I always felt self-conscious getting out of the shower with the light on because the small octagon-shaped window in our bathroom had no covering on it and our neighbors could see right inside. I had talked to Bart about window film but we never got around to buying any. Then I spotted an architectural octagon window on Pinterest from a company I know through my work, Hy-Lite.

Bart and I had our existing octagon window replaced with a decorative one from Hy-Lite and the change has been amazing. I’m no longer worried about who can see me in the bathroom when the light is on because the decorative glass offers privacy. Our daughter Clare loves the rainbows the window creates all over our bathroom when sunlight streams through it. The window has inspired me to make some updates to our main-floor bathroom so the bathroom is as beautiful as the window in it! I hope to start those changes after our next project—the kitchen—is complete.

Before: Our porch with carpet that had been adhered by the previous owner of the home.

The most intensive project Bart and I tackled on our own to improve the look of our home was the front porch. We started this project during COVID lockdown in April. Bart and I enjoy traveling in the South, so I started this project by painting the ceiling of our porch our own shade of haint blue, in the Gullah tradition of warding off evil spirits. We had our porch light replaced with a prettier one and then the real work began.

The previous owner had adhered outdoor carpet to the porch and step to minimize slipping, we think, as she was aging. Bart and I researched solvents to help remove the carpet and ended up using 5 gallons of solvent and various tools to scrape and chip at the layers of adhesive. Every free moment we had, one of us was on the porch working on removing that adhesive. It was quite a job!

Our porch, today, is a much brighter space.

Once the adhesive was removed, I painted the porch and step white to match our foundation walls. Then, Bart helped me tape off lines so I could paint the outline of an outdoor rug in a color that was matched to our blue siding. At first, I planned to stencil inside the blue rectangle but I decided less is more and left the rectangle as is. I think this project really brightened up our porch. I spent many hours last summer in our porch swing, enjoying this little oasis of our home.

In Part 6, I’ll begin writing about our kitchen remodel, specifically about digging out a basement under the addition to our kitchen space.

Read the previous posts in my home-remodeling blog series:

About the Author

Christina A. Koch
Christina A. Koch is editorial director and associate publisher of retrofit.

Be the first to comment on "My Home Remodel, Part 5: Little Things Can Create Big Impact"

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: