Location: Chilton/Orchard Parkway Historic District, Niagara Falls
When I bought this 1905 Craftsman style home on Valentine's Day of 2007 I had no idea that it would become my labor of love. It was in terrible shape, with every room needing attention. I'm an artist and an art teacher, so every project was approached in terms of creativity first and "know-how" second...in fact, when I started working on the place I always joke that I didn't know what a hammer was.
My home inspector almost nixed the deal when he found rotted floor joists beneath the second floor bathroom, which led to a total remodel, down to the studs.
Many materials are recycled from my Babci's old house (Babci is Polish for grandma) including her claw foot tub and milk chute which in installed as a bathroom cabinet. Other materials came from Buffalo Reuse, a salvage yard in Buffalo, NY.
All of the home depot light fixtures were removed and I began to locate period originals, mostly from Antique Man Antiques, also in Buffalo NY.
Light switches were replaced with reproduction push button models, tin ceilings panels were salvaged and reused, bold, hand painted walls replaced dirty white, hex tiles were laid in the bathrooms, an actually penny floor (complete with period design) in the foyer, floors refinished, drop crilings removed, pocket doors fixed, stained glass windows repaired, gardens were planted, and most importantly, ART was added.
It's a large home, 3,500 sq ft, and when our Mayor, Paul Dyster visited during our garden walk he said "You live in a museum!".
This house has taken time away from my easel painting, but has become a huge art project. And it's lots of fun!
(Images: Rob Lynch)