December 26, 2008
Lessons in renovationJoe Switalski learned a lot from his renovation. Here are some of his tips: Think vertically in a small space. He reclaimed lost space over the old cabinets by replacing them with 42-inch-tall, honey birch cabinets that reach the ceiling. Make windows look taller to give an illusion of height. He hung silk panels near the crown molding above the dining room windows. Celebrate original details. Rather than sanding the original knockdown plaster walls, Switalski embraced them. He painted the inside of the house a light tan, except for the back wall of the dining room/kitchen, which he painted deep, rich brown.
keep the lighting soft. He installed dimmers on every light in the house. Save money with minor changes.Switalski saved the charm (and money) in the bathroom by keeping the original ceramic, aqua blue tile framed with a black, bullnose edge. The aqua-toned mosaic floor and white bathtub are also original. When he added a white pedestal sink, he moved the medicine cabinet to the side wall and replaced it with a large mirror that reaches the ceiling. Don't forget curb appeal. He paved the driveway, carport and curved path that leads to the front porch with Old Chicago brick-style pavers. Four-inch tumbled marble, similar in color to the pavers, cover the formerly cement porch. A bronze bistro table with two matching chairs and a pineapple porch light welcome visitors.