After growing up in Worthington, Robin Oatts was looking for a change. After high school, she was unsure of what she wanted to do, and after taking a couple of classes at Columbus State Community College, she discovered she enjoyed design. That took her to Dayton for a degree in design from the School of Advertising Art. Once she decided she wanted to buy her first house, Clintonville was her community of choice. However, everything was so expensive there.
“Clintonville was the perfect location for me,” says Oatts. “COTA access, the Park of Roses, the library, the Clintonville Farmers Market. All within walking distance.” So she kept looking.
One day a house turned up on a street she desired. Built in 1954, it had only been owned by one family and never been updated.
“It needed a lot of work,” she says. So she made an offer on the 1200 square foot Cape Cod with 3 bedrooms, and one and a half baths and she got a good deal on it. Her street also has a wide variety of people in all stages of life that she has really come to enjoy.
“I loved that the house was so outdated that I could do whatever I wanted,” says Oatts. It was the main reason she really liked the home. Since she bought it in 2009, she has completely overhauled the backyard, redone the kitchen, and made many other updates such as paint and fixtures. She recently completed a complete renovation of her basement.
Oatts runs her photography business, Genre Creative, out of her home and needed a professional meeting space for clients and a spot to shoot photos. She spent about a year designing and doing the renovations. She designed a bar that Jim Hansel from Debris Mercantile built for her. The base is two cabinets from IKEA and a beverage cooler.
In between the cabinets, Hansel added custom built shelving to hold wine bottles. Oatts’ boyfriend Jeremy Wells built the shelving out of spare wood and plumbing. The overall effect is a gorgeous industrial chic look.
A sitting area with wing backed chairs and a low profile sofa finish the look. She used vinyl stickers in plank wood form for an easy and inexpensive finish for the floor. The space is richly hued in natural tones and her clients love meeting there.
“When I can’t be in the backyard, the basement is my favorite space,” says Oatts.
In the kitchen, she used the kitchen planner at IKEA to get her layout figured out. Friends helped her put in the backsplash of beautiful sea blue tiles, which set off the large farmhouse sink. Her cousin built the bench seats and her sister made the pillows. Hansel helped with major construction and her brother-in-law installed the kitchen cabinets. With Oatts and Wells, it was truly a group effort. A fun detail includes a swivel mount for her iPad that makes it easy to cook.
“When I have time I love to cook,” says Oatts. “I use the Paprika app to manage recipes and it is so easy.”
You can find Oatts’ love of typeface throughout her home, in the art on the living room walls, the typewriter in the basement, and the letters that decorate the bathroom.
In the colder months, the lack of a dining room makes it hard to entertain guests, but in the warmer months, the backyard provides more than enough entertainment space.
Oatts enjoys gardening and you may remember we featured her backyard garden earlier this year. It’s a beautiful space, with raised garden beds filled with vegetables and fruit trees, a canopy to provide shade over the seating area, and a relaxing hammock to laze away warm days.
Oatts built the color scheme for her living room off of a chair that belonged to her grandmother. “I’ve just always loved that chair,” she says. The muted yellow tones of the chair are now nicely accented by the mustard wall color and accent pillows on the sofa.
The upstairs half story is actually quite spacious. Oatts has it divided into space for her main bedroom and her studio. The staircase opens into the studio and a hallway leads to her bed. The sloped ceiling provides a great backdrop for her to use a projector to watch television and movies.
There are two other bedrooms on the main floor. One is set up as a studio space for Wells.
Many people along her street spend time hanging out in their front yards and that is next on her list of things to change. “A poured concrete front porch would be nice,” she says. ” A new front entrance and paint…that would make it nice to hang out in the front yard.”
Oatts loves living in the city of Columbus, and feels it’s the perfect size. “I love the mix of city and community here,” she says. “I don’t honestly think Columbus is the best at any one thing, but I appreciate it for being pretty good at a lot of things.”
Interior photos provided by Robin Oatts of Genre Creative.
At Home is a monthly column on Columbus Underground focused on urban home remodeling and style as well as older home renovations and unique homes in Columbus. If you would like to have your home featured in the At Home series, please send me an email at Anne@columbusunderground.com.
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