Janet and Richard Schmidt decided to move back to La Grange, Texas, where Richard grew up because that’s where they wanted to raise their children. They found a house built in the 1800s not far from downtown, but Janet describes it as “all but falling down.” Richard assured her he “could see it,” easily visualizing the remodel. So bought it they did.
They began their update by staying true to the original floor plan. They removed layer after layer of flooring before they discovered the original wood floors. They found boards laid in various directions, having Janet supposing the house was added onto at these junctures.
Once Sheetrock walls were added, Richard’s talent for painting could be seen in the trompe l’oeil stone walls in the foyer. First-time visitors have to check to see if it is really stone. Richard also painted the living and dining room in a decorative faux finish. In the den, the couple added a wood-burning fireplace, incorporating the home’s old chimney. A tiny closet next to the fireplace became the mission control for the TV and other electronics enjoyed by the family.
Both Janet and Richard enjoy cooking, so the kitchen design was important. Keeping the kitchen close to the original location, the room was opened up to the dining area and the living room. It is truly the heart of their cottage. With never enough cabinets being the cry of every homeowner, the couple added as much storage as they could fit in the room. Standard cabinets were installed, and custom shelves were added where space was limited. The couple also wanted an island for a larger working surface. An old table they had was the perfect shape but too short, so they raised it to counter height by adding new feet.
Refurbishing vintage furniture such as the table and repurposing flea market finds comes naturally to this couple. They live near Round Top, Texas, with its well-known antiques fair that provides inspiration and seemingly endless treasures. So with Richard’s vision and Janet’s can-do attitude, they will continue to create a home that is uniquely their own.