A 1920s Detroit Craftsman Is Being Creatively Renovated One DIY Project at a Time

published Apr 2, 2021

A 1920s Detroit Craftsman Is Being Creatively Renovated One DIY Project at a Time

published Apr 2, 2021
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Name: Andy Grant, husband Cody, and mini schnoodle Gordie
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Type of Home: 1920s House
Size: 1551 square feet
Years lived in: 8 years, owned

Andy Grant’s 1920s house needed a lot of work when she bought it. “When I first moved in, every single surface in the home needed repainting (and I mean that — the kitchen was teal and sunshine yellow),” Andy says. “While the bones of the house were sound, lots of the bigger projects have taken years to complete just due to the shoestring budget I started with. There was always potential in this home, and the process of rehabbing it has gone from being a dream to my own reality. In 2019, I started @attainableattitudes to share my DIYs and home renovation projects.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Modern Eclectic

Inspiration: I find inspiration in music, pop culture, travel, and fashion. Your home is your sanctuary, put things in it that make you smile — sometimes that means Whitney Houston pop art!

Favorite Element: I love all of my tiling projects, which include two bathrooms and the fireplace. The statement fireplace was one of the first projects that I tackled because I knew it would have a big impact in the space. My dad (who has taught me everything DIY I know) was kind enough to get me started, but then I remember him saying “okay, your turn, bye!” There was a moment I remember so distinctly — the tiles were sliding down the side of the fireplace like a sad melting ice cream cone because my mortar was too liquidy. I wanted to throw in the towel, but I knew that no one was going to finish it but me! But that’s the fun thing about the DIYs in my home; I can feel proud of them because I have learned and have done them myself. I am so proud of the way it turned out. Plus, when it came time to tile the upstairs bathroom, it was so much easier to complete.

Biggest Challenge: Cohesion is always a hurdle! I really got caught up in the exhilaration of new homeownership (enter bubblegum pink kitchen) because I was so excited. Slowly, as my style developed, I realized that all it takes is dialing in on a few motifs to make them connect. The arches of the dining room are reflected in the mirror above the fireplace, etc. Thoughtful design takes time, and the best, most unique rooms aren’t built in a day!

Proudest DIY: Last year I had a vision for arched moldings in our dining room. It was incredibly hard to source materials at that time because of the pandemic, so it was a very frustrating and tedious process. However, once I have an idea in my head, I’m pretty determined. I had to use a specialty trim shop and to put it kindly, they didn’t take me seriously. I persisted, and I absolutely love the way it turned out! It wasn’t my first molding rodeo either — I also did board and batten in our back den! Practice makes perfect.

Biggest Indulgence: Art! Detroit is such a vibrant city with incredible artists. I recently purchased “Fingers Crossed” by Caroline De Giudice from an amazing local gallery called Playground Detroit. This piece makes me feel hope in such a tumultuous time.

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? We have a jack-and-jill staircase that is unique to this 1920s Craftsman. It connects both of our most used rooms— the living room and the kitchen. It’s an interesting element that you don’t see incorporated much these days.

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? I have thrifted so many of the items in our home! Most of the most special items in our house are not “new,” just “new to me”! My mom taught my sister and I how to thrift at a young age, so I’ve always loved the thrill of the hunt! My most treasured find was a vintage Jay Spectre for Century Furniture set at my local thrift store. I didn’t know what I was picking up at the time for $60 (?!?!) An absolute steal and one of my prized possessions. I used the mirror above the fireplace, and the headboard with connected nightstands in the main bedroom. I feel lucky to own such a unique and beautiful piece of design.

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: When in doubt, paint it white! For people who crave change, like myself, it allows you the freedom to change out accessories and accent colors at your will. I chose to tile the entirety of our upstairs bathroom in white classic undulating subway tile about ¾ the way up the wall. This allows for a small amount of space to be painted and changed easily. It began as Sherwin Williams “Urbane Bronze,” and now it’s on its second generation paint color, the gorgeous “Rojo Rust” by Sherwin Williams.

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? 1. Check your local thrift store first and 2. You can always repaint!








Thanks, Andy!

This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.