When Linda Lohman moved back to Louisville from Mount Washington in 2008, she was nearing retirement and knew she wanted a small home that would be easy to care for. A two-bedroom, one-bath, 1952 ranch house in Bon Air fit the bill and felt close enough to commute to the downtown job she held at the time.
Ready to remodel
"Every room has (since) been painted," Lohman told The Courier Journal. "And in each room, there has been some remodeling done."
She adds that the bathroom has had the most work, as the original tile was still intact — underneath another layer of tile — when she moved in. It was all in terrible shape, so she enlisted the help of her brother-in-law, Steve Tucker, to renovate the space. Tucker installed new tile, a vanity, mirror and light fixture; he even replaced the bathtub with a walk-in shower.
In the kitchen, Lohman had new flooring, granite countertops and a new tile backsplash installed. The space also received a fresh coat of paint, as did the original cabinetry. But for now, the appliances are staying as is.
"(The) appliances (will be) replaced when the old ones die!" Lohman said with a laugh.
"Since (the major renovations), COVID (drove me) to do crazy things," Lohman said, explaining that all the extra time spent at home got her thinking about new projects and ways to decorate. It started in the dining room, with a wall that she hand-painted, using a stencil she found online.
"I just wanted something little — not anything flashy," she said of the line-and-dot designs on the wall. "It looks like (it’s) from the 50s, from the mid-century modern era."
Once Lohman nailed down her stenciling technique, she moved on to the main bedroom, adding a floral motif to the lilac-colored wall.
"The (second time around), I used a stippling brush (to stencil)," she said. "The directions tell you to use a foam roller, but that is the (worst technique)."
Lohman’s artistic endeavors don’t end there. In the sunroom, she has converted multiple old windowpanes into art pieces. Each set features hand-painted vignettes, including everything from wildflowers and different types of birds to natural sites around the Bluegrass State and a scene from The Kentucky Derby Festival's Great Balloon Race. There are other handmade décor items throughout the house as well, such as a crocheted blanket strewn across a loveseat in the sunroom, and a handmade knife block in the kitchen that she constructed out of her old math books.
Despite the personal paintings Lohman has displayed around her house, she doesn’t refer to herself as artistic.
"(My late sister) was a decorator … and she would be rolling her eyes knowing (my house) was in Home of the Week," she said with a laugh. "She would say (I’m) crafty, but (I’m) not an artist. … I (just) like to do things myself."
In the backyard, Lohman’s garden is yet another reflection of her creativity and dexterity. She grows roses, hibiscus, lilies, zinnias, herbs, and more — and the outdoor space is dotted with windchimes she made from old wine bottles.
Lohman's recently refinished deck — complete with a new aluminum railing and a sail her son hung to offer shade — is the perfect spot for sitting and watching the birds that stop by the backyard. Though she has been spending most of her time in the garden, Lohman is hesitant to name a favorite area of her home.
"I really like every space," she said. "I (go into) the second bedroom in the winter because it's cozier, (but) I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the sunroom if it isn’t too hot."
Lohman adds that every room in her house — including the deck and backyard — boasts one-of-a-kind finds she picked up from Facebook Marketplace or items she created or refurbished herself. “I (just) think everybody should decorate their house with stuff that they love,” she exclaimed.
Know a house that would make a great Home of the Week? Email writer Lennie Omalza at email@example.com or Lifestyle Editor Kathryn Gregory at firstname.lastname@example.org.
nuts & bolts
Owner: Linda Lohman, who is a retired math professor at Jefferson Community College. Also in the home is Larry the cat.Home: This is a 2-bed, 1-bath, 1,050-square foot, ranch home in Bon Air that was built in 1952.Distinctive elements: Remodeled kitchen with granite countertops, freshly painted cabinets, and a new tile backsplash; bar cart, barware, and mid-century glassware in the dining room from Facebook Marketplace; artwork by local artist Eugene Thomas; hand-painted stenciled wall in the dining room; mid-century and contemporary furniture, watercolor by local artist Art Orr, area rug from Society6, and sofa from Joybird in the living room; Thomasville furniture, art deco mirror from Facebook Marketplace, hand-painted stenciled wall, and owner's childhood toy box in main bedroom; piano from Facebook Marketplace, owner’s grandmother’s treadle sewing machine, and framed canvas photos from travels in second bedroom; remodeled bathroom with new walk-in shower, vanity, mirror, light fixture, and tile; tile installed over concrete, and window art by owner in sunroom; back deck with new flooring and an aluminum railing.Applause! Applause! The homeowner would like to thank her brother-in-law, Steve Tucker, for remodeling the bathroom; Patriots Build and Repair for the new decking; and her sister, Judy Greathouse, a wonderful designer who she is sure is rolling her eyes at her from heaven.
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Bon Air ranch home is DIY-decor haven with mid-century modern flair