The Bon Air Ranch House is a DIY decorating haven with a mid-century modern twist
When Linda Lohman returned from Mount Washington to Louisville in 2008, she was nearing retirement and knew she wanted a small, easy-to-maintain house. A 1952 two-bedroom, one-bath ranch house in Bon Air did the trick and felt close enough to get to the downtown job she occupied at the time.
Ready to remodel
“Every piece has (since) been painted,” Lohman told the Courier Journal. “And in every room there have been renovations done.”
She adds that the bathroom had the most work, as the original tiling was still intact – under another layer of tiling – when she moved in. Everything was in disrepair, so she enlisted the help of her brother-in-law, Steve Tucker, to renovate the space. Tucker installed new tile, vanity, mirror and light fixture; he even replaced the tub 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 devices remain as they are.
“(The) devices (will) be replaced when the old ones die!” laughed Lohman.
“Since (the major renovations), COVID (has pushed me) to do crazy things,” Lohman said, explaining that all the extra time at home has gotten her thinking about new projects and new ideas. ways to decorate. It all started in the dining room, with a wall she painted by hand, using a stencil she found online.
“I just wanted something small — not something flashy,” she said of the line-and-dot patterns on the wall. “It feels (is) the 50s, the mid-century modern era.”
Once Lohman had mastered her stenciling technique, she moved on to the master bedroom, adding a floral pattern to the lilac-colored wall.
“The (second time) I used a stippling brush (for stencil),” she said. “The instructions tell you to use a foam roller, but that’s the (worst technique).”
Lohman’s artistic endeavors don’t stop there. In the conservatory, she has converted several old panes of glass into works of art. 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 Festivalis the great balloon race. There are also other handmade decorative items throughout the house, such as a crocheted blanket strewn over a loveseat in the sunroom and a handmade knife block in the kitchen that she constructed from from his old math books.
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Despite the personal paintings Lohman has exhibited around her home, she does not define herself as an artist.
“(My late sister) was a decorator…and she would roll her eyes knowing that (my house) was in the house 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 another reflection of his creativity and dexterity. She grows roses, hibiscus, lilies, zinnias, herbs and more – and the outdoor area is dotted with wind chimes she made from old wine bottles.
Lohman’s newly remodeled deck – with a new aluminum railing and a sail his son has hung up to provide shade – is the perfect place to sit and watch the birds that stop by in the garden. Although she spends most of her time in the garden, Lohman is reluctant to name a favorite place in her house.
“I really love every space,” she said. “I (enter) the second bedroom in winter because it’s more comfortable, (but) I have breakfast, lunch and dinner on the veranda if it’s not too hot.”
Lohman adds that every room in her home — including the patio and garden — is home to unique finds she’s scavenged from Facebook Marketplace or items she’s created or renovated herself. “I (just) think everyone should decorate their house with things they love,” she exclaimed.
Do you know a house that would make a great house of the week? Email Editor Lennie Omalza at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lifestyle Editor Kathryn Gregory at email@example.com.
nuts and bolts
Owner: Linda Lohman, who is a retired math professor at Jefferson Community College. Larry the cat is also at home.House: This is a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 1050 square foot ranch home in Bon Air that was built in 1952.Distinctive elements: Renovated kitchen with granite counters, freshly painted cabinets and a new tile backsplash; mid-century bar cart, barware and glassware in the Facebook Marketplace Dining Room; artwork by local artist Eugene Thomas; hand-painted stenciled wall in the dining room; mid-century and contemporary furnishings, watercolor by local artist Art Orr, rug by Society6 and sofa by Joybird in the living room; Thomasville furniture, Facebook Marketplace art deco mirror, hand-painted stenciled wall, and owner’s childhood toy chest in master bedroom; piano from Facebook Marketplace, the owner’s grandmother’s treadle sewing machine, and framed canvas photos of travels in the second bedroom; renovated bathroom with new walk-in shower, vanity, mirror, light fixture and tile; tile installed over concrete and window art by owner in lanai; rear patio with new flooring and aluminum railing.Applause! Applause! The owner would like to thank her brother-in-law, Steve Tucker, for the bathroom remodel; Patriots Build and Repair for the new terrace; and her sister, Judy Greathouse, a wonderful designer who she’s sure is rolling her eyes from heaven.