The "Is This Really the Same House?" Makeover

The "Is This Really the Same House?" Makeover

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Janel Laban
Mar 3, 2015

Project by: Sally of Mirth Studio
Location: Charleston, SC

About two years ago we bought a smallish fixer upper on one of the most beautiful streets in Charleston SC. Though my first instinct was that it would never work, as it was a 1966 brick tri-level with no architectural beauty, I could not stop thinking about it. I imagined sunny days with my family under the gorgeous live oaks that surround the property. So I convinced my husband we could turn this into something amazing and then went about designing every square inch.

I am an artist and owned and operated my own decorative painting business in NYC and Connecticut for over 15 years. My husband owned and operated bars and nightclubs in NYC before we took the leap of faith to move South. Together we had designed and built 5 bars/clubs and we had completely renovated a 1956 flat roof mid century in Connecticut so we felt we were up to the task.


After purchasing the house we blew out the original 8 ft. dropped ceiling to reveal an amazing open space. We added a small living area on to the north side of the house to give us enough space for our family of 5 (we have 3 kiddos from ages 3 to 14) . We converted the garage into a master suite. We also added an IKEA kitchen as we had done in our mid century in Connecticut.

Among other things on my wish list, I really wanted a gorgeous patterned painted foyer floor like I had painted for my clients in NYC. As I had had back surgery not too long ago, getting down on the floor and doing it myself was out of the question….way too tedious and painful. I decided I would try to figure out a way to get the look without the labor involved. I did a lot of research and had the good fortune to meet a manufacturer with 30 years in the flooring industry. Together we developed a tile that was printable, durable and easy to install. When installed, these tiles give the look of an elegant painted wood floor. This worked out so well I decided to make a business out of it thus Mirth Studio was born. We are proud to be the first in the world to offer colorful, patterned, hardwood floor tiles.

We still have a long way to go with the renovation as we have not even begun the outdoor space but we are truly enjoying every minute of our new home. I feel like it must have been meant to be as it has lead me to this business which I think is exactly what I am supposed to be doing…. I just had not thought of it until now!

Thanks, Sally!

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