At Home: Modern Style in Glen Echo
Eliza Ho and Tim Lai had lived in Clintonville for nearly eight years when they decided they were ready to buy a home. They liked the area so much that they were looking at homes on four streets. After a few deals fell through, they decided to expand their search to other areas. Their Realtor suggested a home in the Glen Echo neighborhood, a place they had not heard of before. They found a three bedroom, two bath, around 2,000 square foot home with a finished attic and couldn’t be happier with the neighborhood. It is the perfect place to raise their two young children – very family friendly with a good mix of ages among the residents.
Finding a neighborhood with a great network of friendly people has become a very important piece to the couple’s enjoyment of the area. Eliza and Tim are originally from Hong Kong and their immediate families still live there. She came to OSU for her PhD studies as an historian. She is working on a dissertation on Chinese war-time photographer Sha Fei. Some of the artwork in their home is enlarged photographs relating to her studies. Tim came a few years later to join Eliza. He has his own architecture firm, Tim Lai Architect. He also has his projects as artwork in their home so he is able to view his pieces and critique them. You may recall their names from the architecture exhibit, “What’s Next: New Visions for the Clinton Theater“. They have been very involved in this project and are “hoping to generate interest and start a dialogue in the community”. Eliza continues to say she hopes the space “can be turned into a very vibrant community space.”
When they moved into the home, each wall was painted something different. This color scheme did not fit with their modern aesthetic. They like bright rooms so the first thing they did was paint everything in Eggshell White. The trim they did in a semi-gloss. Some have questioned their painting over the trim, but for them, it works. The rooms have become airy and bright with lots of natural light. They also replaced the wood floors with rustic oak in random widths. It has lots of texture and is very much the focal point. With such an expressive floor, they like having neutral walls. The hallways and stairs are painted in a cool gray-blue color and lead to the second floor where they have repeated the white rooms.
Tim put in all of the cabinets himself. They found a kitchen design they liked at IKEA and Tim assembled everything. He was impressed with how well they were designed. The countertop is a DuPont white quartz. They liked a kitchen wall cabinet so much that they have repurposed it to serve in other rooms of their home – as a buffet in the dining room, a catchall in the vestibule and storage by the stairs and in the kids’ room. The large vestibule is their favorite room in the house as it provides a nice space to welcome friends into their home and a place to get ready to go out.
For future projects, they would like to update the floor and sink in the upstairs bathroom and do some work on their outdoor spaces. Being from Hong Kong, they have never had green space to garden so they are excited that Glen Echo has a gardening group they can learn from. They plan to live in this area for a long time and are very happy their children will grow up in such a great community.
The photographs used for this story were taken by Anne and by Eliza and Tim.
At Home is a monthly column on Columbus Underground focused on urban home remodeling and style. If you would like to have your home featured in our At Home series, please send an email to Anne at [email protected].