Our first project was in Birmingham on a typical ranch style home with basement. This is the one we brought some of the ideas from our travels into. The idea of cutting out the floor was based on the back of this, our family home on the beach. This is the view from the front door. It once was closed off with a wall where the kitchen was and a sun room behind the rail that led to a stair that split between the kitchen and the sun room. Below was dark with metal window and a hollow core door led to the outside. The garage below the kitchen was small and unusable. The fireplace was flanked by a wall and bookshelf with the dining behind. We scooped it all out to find it had originally had three sides. We stained the floors and painted the ceiling a dark color to make it go away. We absolutely loved the tomato red cabinets. You could see them when you cruised down the street. Southern Living did a few photo shoots by the pool and in the kitchen. Behind the rail, the view to the pool spoke all there is to know about this home.We converted it to the perfect home for our blended family of six. From the back, you can see where the two stories came into play and the french doors that gave a once plain facade with a concrete porch on back new life. A bar-b-Que pit stood where the tree now flourishes.
Compared to the beach house where I lived for three years and grew up since I was eight, I felt right at home, but with a completely different feel. The beach house has doors across the back and a two-story space in the living room yet they both feel just as spacious.
The greatest thing about “Richmar” was the activity. There were the pre-teens in the pool, the ministry students who lived there and made an impact on my kids. The bible studies for my daughter who was three and the ones for my daughter in fourth and fifth grade. There were two exchange students who called it home for a year. Amalie from Norway and Alicia from Germany and the ones who came in between while in the US, some homesick and in need of a place of refuge.
THAT is what a home is all about. We swore as long as we had it we would share it.