At Home: Living in a Labor of Love
Oftentimes, a house becomes a labor of love. That statement definitely holds true for Anthony and Irma Carmichael. The couple purchased their home in Olde Towne East in 1987 and it has been a constant stream of projects to change the home from six separate apartments back to single family.
“We wanted to redo an old house,” says Irma. “We thought it would be a neat thing to do. Many of our friends thought it was not the wisest thing to do.”
“We want to try to put it back as original as we could, or better,” adds Anthony.
The home was built in 1890 and now spans over 5,400 square-feet, including the third floor living space. There are six bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms.
Early changes that were made to the home included removing the fire escapes from the rear and the sides. The roof had to be replaced and areas where the roof had leaked for awhile, needed to be repaired.
“I had noticed a home down the street having its roof redone and asked for an estimate on my roof. That’s how I met John Still. He and I worked on projects in this house for the first five years.”
Stairs were rebuilt. A rear stairwell -in the form of a spiral staircase- was added. Nearly all 43 windows have been replaced. New furnaces were installed. Still milled new wood trim to match the original trim and also built new doors. Fireplaces were retiled. Bathrooms were remodeled and a laundry room added to the main floor. The top floor had skylights added for natural light. Much shopping at antique malls for the perfect piece occurred.
Five years ago the couple redid the kitchen. It’s where the couple loves to spend time, Irma especially. They also entertain many guests. Anthony added a deep marble windowsill by the prep sink that houses some of Irma’s favorite plants. The kitchen floors were redone in cherry and walnut in a pattern to match the floors throughout the first floor.
“It took a long time for us to decide on some things -tiles, colors- which tested our connection,” says Irma with a laugh.
“It’s an ongoing project and has a life of its own,” smiles Anthony. “A lot of people stay here. Our house has always got someone here.”
“Then it becomes a home,” says Irma.
The Carmichaels will be opening up their home for the third time for the 2014 Olde Towne East Summer Tour of Historic Homes.
“We love to do the tour because it shows people the opportunity you have in the neighborhood,” says Anthony. “Not everything you want is in this form until you make it happen.”
See the Carmichaels’ home and others on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 2pm to 7pm during the Olde Towne East Summer Tour of Historic Homes. To purchase tickets, visit OldeTowneEast.org.
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 an email to me at [email protected].