Attic After
Attic Before
Custom shelving and mantels
As seen in August issue of Columbus Monthly Homes
Outdoor Kitchen and Bar
renovator Joe McCarty, bought their Italian Village row
house two years ago, they knew a massive modernization
was in order.
Previous owners had attempted to keep everything in the
turn-of-the-century period in which the home was built,
including the nondescript and small Victorian fireplace
built around 1900. The new owners quickly saw past the
room's pale green walls and blase character, though. After
modernizing some other spaces in the house, they
eventually made this living room their highest priority.
They started out with one basic understanding. "We like
modern," explains Sammons, "but not ultra modern."
The project began with some prior experiences–they had
seen a similar design in a magazine and Sammons had
considered it fora former client. Thus, they were prepared
to move forward with a novel
concept for this relatively small space. They added a
granite block wall around the fireplace that would, in the
end, make the space even slightly smaller.
The tile installation, however, made the hearth's original
firebox deeper to better accommodate glowing gas logs.
"It gave us the depth," explains McCarty. Once the 50
granite tiles that constituted the glistening new fireplace
surround went into place, the two evaluated the project
and McCarty moved forward to build off-white shelving
on either side. To add more specific detail, they chose to
use cherry stain–instead of paint–on the bottom shelf of
each unit, just above the enclosed cabinets.
The entire construction added depth, height and even a bit
of grandeur to a room in a home that probably once
belonged to a factory worker. Their digital television sits
perfectly in the granite space above the cozy hearth, but
another surprise awaits. Underneath the creamy white
molding designed to match the home's original woodwork,
where the cabinets hit the ceiling, McCarty has adeptly
hidden a 10-foot
screen that drops to accommodate the projector attached
to the ceiling at the rear of the room. "I wanted a home
theater room," he explains.
The ceiling of this room has been completely redone to
accommodate strategically placed recessed lights above
the bookshelves. Another hidden feature integrated in this
new shelving unit is a speaker system camouflaged by soft
white fabric at the top of the shelves.
Once the major construction details were in place,
Sammons went to work to finish the room's decor. "It's
hard to find small furniture," he explains. Yet,
two chairs that once belonged to his mother were
reupholstered and now flank the new hearth. A leather
sofa divides the living room space from the home's quaint
entry area. Sammons located the perfect, square ottoman
at a friend's home and offered to trade, since the friend
was looking for a replacement piece anyway. Now, the
neutral-toned ottoman serves multiple purposes in the
middle of the room. It's Sammons's one concession to
size. "I think you can still put a large piece of furniture in
your home for impact," he explains.
Gold velvet draperies hang simply at the large window
overlooking the broad front porch. Throw pillows and
Sammons's collection of crosses from throughout the
world add to the decor. And an area rug, situated on a
new Brazilian cherry floor, brings additional gold tones to
the room's palette.
With the new update, Sammons still gives a nod to the
home's century-long history. The original tile is intact
behind the new granite wall, he explains. Although creating
the new wall took only about three weeks, the tweaks and
adjustments to the remainder of the room's decor have
continued. "I'm finally happy with the way it looks now,"

says Sammons. And, even though they worried about
losing valuable floor space, "It actually made the room
look bigger," adds McCarty.
August 2009
Palm Springs House
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