Womens Focus July 2012 : Page 35

nest h7(%.)4#/-%34/(/-%2%0!)2&#0c; /.#%9/56%"2/+%.)4&#0c; 9/5#!.4"2%!+)4!.9&524(%2&#0e;v Their determination to work on a budget led This Old House to feature their living room in the budget redo section. Katherine has always admired This Old House and even dreamed of being featured on the television program with Tom Silva. She decided to send in pictures of their living room for a chance to be featured in the reader section. Sometime later, Katherine and Conan were contacted by TOH. The process was a lot of back and forth by phone and email trying to get the right picture for the magazine. Photos were continuously retaken with furniture removed or repositioned to create a space to the magazine’s liking. Eventually, the magazine was satisfied with the photo and the Fugit living room was featured in the June 2012 issue. Whatever they find around the house – old pieces of wood, mirrors, and light sconces – Katherine and Conan try to fit it somewhere in their renovations. A piece of wood they found downstairs that was used to hold up the house has now been cut and refinished to be used as kitchen shelves. Light fixtures from the office were used in the bathroom. A medicine cabinet mirror was cut to fit in a frame Katherine found at the DAV. To keep with the tradition of the “When it comes to home repair, once you’ve broken it, you can’t break it any further.” Katherine and Conan are all about DIY, for the main purpose of saving money and to create a space that stays true to the period of the house. If they like a particular look in a magazine or blog, they look to see if they can get something similar for less somewhere else, like the DAV or Goodwill, or make it themselves – which is what they did for their kitchen lights. “That’s the main concern here: can I do it for almost nothing? Demolition is free, that’s my motto. So, don’t like the floor? Just tear it up.” Katherine said. During the bathroom renovation, Conan noticed something sitting beneath the staircase to the attic and went to investigate. He pulled out a veritable smorgasbord of early 20th century “trash”. What the Fugit’s thought was a laundry chute in the hallway was actually used as a trash collector. Makeup containers, gum It’s a work in progress for this labor of love adventure, but when complete, Katherine and Conan will have an abundance of pride for what they’ve accomplished and the experiences of homeownership few take the time and effort to learn. ;SQIRW*SGYWGSQˆ.90=ˆ 35 wrappers, dry cleaning tickets and a tobacco can provided Katherine and Conan with a bit of history on their home. The can of tobacco with the date March 1919, helped them date their house which was originally thought to have been built in the 1920s. What was trash in the 1920s is now the Fugit’s piece of history. Katherine would like to clean them up and display them in the bathroom. “Stuff that has lasted in the house this long, it would be a shame to get rid of it,” Conan said. In the beginning of their renovation adventure, Conan and Katherine decided to start blogging about their daily projects and experiences so they would have a record of what they did and how they did it. At BlogSpot, their blog, “Keep Smiling: Two Newlyweds, One Old House”, captures their progress in each room, problems they encounter, and resources they use for each project. “It’s so much nicer to have people who comment because you feel like you’re not just having a conversation with yourself like a crazy person. You can have more of a voice when you write,” Katherine said. Soon, Katherine and Conan will create a video tour of the house for blog readers. You can visit their blog at keepsmilinghome.blogspot.com. The work is far from over for Katherine and Conan. They plan to paint the exterior and expand the ‘water closet’ (literally a closet with a toilet), replace the windows in the sunroom, strengthen the attic floor for a living space, finish the basement and install air conditioning. house, they even swapped out modern light switches with push button switches. “You’ve got to listen to the house and hear the architecture,” Conan said. “Part of my thinking is what’s the point of living in an old house if you change it and update it, make everything contemporary. Might as well buy a contemporary house and have a finished basement.”

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