Down To The Studs

IMG_0754When we bought our house we knew the upstairs bathroom was a do-it-yourself job and that we would have to fix it some day.  Today, that day came.  The bathroom is being stripped down to the studs, exposing the brickwork of our middle-of-the-house chimney, and then completely rebuilt from the two-by-fours up.

Because we live in a two-bathroom house, this means that, for the next two weeks, we’ll be exclusively using the shower and toilet in the downstairs bathroom.  Nothing wrong with that, right?  Not unless you’re a guy in his late 50s who typically makes at least one trip to the bathroom every night.  Until the upstairs bathroom is back on line, I’m going to have to be very careful about my fluid intake.

School Project

IMG_5131About a block from our house, a titanic home renovation project is underway.  Actually, it’s a school-to-home renovation project.  A wealthy Columbusite bought the St. Mary’s School building and is turning into a house.  For months a construction crew has swarmed all over the building and grounds, and now that spring is here and the weather has improved the pace of the work seems to have intensified.

The notion of turning an old school into a house is a very intriguing one.  I’ve never been in the St. Mary’s School building, but it reminds me of Rankin Elementary School in Akron, Ohio, the first school I ever went to.  Like St. Mary’s, Rankin was a multi-story brick building, and inside there was a lot of polished wood floors and stairs, high ceilings, an auditorium, a cafeteria — and of course lots of classrooms, desks, and blackboards.

IMG_5133When your think about what a creative remodeler might do with such space, the mind reels.  How much of the hardwood flooring do you keep and use?  Do you retain the configuration of the rooms, or knock down walls?  Of course, the heating system and the kitchen appliances would need to be replaced, and St. Mary’s School wouldn’t have had air conditioning — but the kitchen probably is big enough to . . . well, prepare a meal sufficient to feed an entire school of hungry kids.  And the St. Mary’s School has the little flourishes that were always found in older building but almost never in their soulless modern successors, like the little turret room at the top of the school that would allow you to walk up and survey the rooftops of German Village like the captain on the bridge of his ship.

Of course, our curiosity about this remodeling project in our midst will probably never be satisfied.  One day the work will end, the workers will leave, the barrier fence will come down, and the new owner will move in, and we’ll never know exactly what the St. Mary’s School has become.  Still, it’s been fun speculating.

New Digs

We’re now officially landowners again.  On Friday afternoon we closed on our new house located smack dab in the middle of German Village, located near Lindey’s, G. Michael’s Bistro, and the Book Loft.

IMG_4641It’s an older brick home built, we think, in 1906, and there’s a fair amount of work to be done before we move in.  Kish is acting as a kind of general contractor, coordinating the appearance, estimates, and work of painters, hardwood flooring firms, electricians, landscapers, and cabinet companies who will be getting the house up to Code — in this case, Kish Code. Already, work has begun.  We met with the painter yesterday morning, and he and his assistant spent the day patching holes and putting on the priming coats.

In the meantime, Kish has been fielding helpful advice from a decorator and friends who have that feng shui flair, particularly on the big sticking point — light fixtures.  What should we hang in the foyer, and what in the dining room?  Should they match in some way?  How do we thread the needle of three desires:  wanting fixtures that are physically attractive, put out sufficient light to serve their real purpose, and are easy to clean and don’t require impossible physical manipulations when it’s time to change a bulb?  We’ve looked at so many light fixtures that all of the pop-up ads on any website we access immediately cycle to lighting products and special deals on chandeliers.

It’s an exciting time for us.