July 2017 Renovation Round-up

July is always a busy month for me as I volunteer for my neighborhood Historic Tour of Homes (Olde Towne East Neighborhood Association). The home tour is always the second Sunday of July and I was the Tour co-chair this year.

Plus I wrecked my car at the end of June and had to buy a replacement car at the beginning of July. I don’t like car shopping – but I do like the car I bought.

I had a big To Do List for July and did not get all of it completed. I do think I made some good progress though. I had some painting help from my friends Tom and Chanda.

In June I primed my kitchen and had the tile floor installed. At the beginning of July my friend Tom helped me paint the kitchen. I used a color called Frolic by Sherwin Williams (SW 6703).Kitchen all Painted

I am in love with this color – it is bright and cheerful and is a terrific contrast against the gray tile floor.

Since the walls were finished, I installed all the switch plate covers. I’ve been buying Light Switch Plateswitch plate covers for the past 10 years and it is such a delight to be able to install them.

Next, I sanded, primed and painted some base cabinets that friends gave me 3 or 4 years ago. I sold them a house and these cabinets were in their garage. They asked if I wanted them and of course I said YES! So they will get a new life in my new kitchen. The color is another Sherwim Williams color – this one is called Peppercorn (SW 7674).


I like the way it turned out and I think it looks so nice against the walls and floor. I may put an additional coat of paint on it and then seal it with a clear coat.

My garden is going crazy but my tomatoes are all still green. I can’t wait until they ripen.


I primed and painted the foyer and the small room under my staircases – I call it the Mystery Room. It was really tragic looking before this work.

mystery room before
Before Primer.
priming mystery room
During Priming.
Mystery Room all primed
After Primer – photo bomb by my dogs.
Mystery Room Painted
Mystery room all done.

I also primed and painted the foyer with the help of my friend Chanda. The wall color is called June Day (SW 6682).

The foyer didn’t look as sad as Mystery Room but it did need some color. And, boy, did we give it some color! This is what it looks like now.


What home improvement projects did you do in July? I would love to hear about your renovation projects!


Foyer Transformation at Miller Manor

Ahhh … the foyer. It is the first part of your house a visitor sees when they step inside the front door. You want it to make an impression. A foyer is a transitional space – offering safety or shelter from the outside and providing an introduction to your home. I think it should be warm, inviting and a preview of what the rest of the house holds.

I love bright warm colors. I always thought that a foyer should be bold and sunny. Ohio winters can be gray and dreary and I figured the best way to beat the winter blues is to have a cheerful foyer.

The foyer was anything but cheerful when I bought Miller Manor. Its plaster was cracked and crumbling. It had a radiator but that was the only thing that made it warm. The light fixutres had been stripped and the only light was from a single and lonely incandescent bulb hanging from the ceiling. It was not a welcoming space at all.

The transformation started with installing new electric service. Holes were cut into the walls and ceiling to make way for the upgraded wiring. Those holes made it look even more sad.

Once my house passed its electric inspection, my contractor started to repair the walls and ceilings.

After the wall repair, I primed the walls and celing of the foyer, along with a little room located under the staircases (I call it the Mystery Room). It is the room leading to the basement entrance and will be a storage room for extra wine, seasonal dishes, and guests’ coats. When the house was a boarding house, it was actually a half bathroom. You can still see the holes in the doors from the towel holders.

The left photo is Mystery Room before priming and painting. The one on the right is after.

My dear friend Chanda helped me paint the Foyer and Mystery Room a sunny Sherwin Williams color called June Day (SW6682). I knew this color would beat any winter blues and highlight Miller Manor’s beautiful features – the front stair case, beautiful trim and 9 foot paneled doors.

splochy floor

The paint color looks terrific but it also shows how bad the floors and trim look. The trim refinishing is a project for winter, but the floors I can improve right now. 

I spent an entire evening scraping the drywall mud off the floors with my 5 in 1 tool. 

Then I cleaned the floors with good old Murphy’s Oil Soap. Twice. Since you have to dilute the MOS with water I keep re-using this Method Floor Cleaner bottle. 

Helpful tip: don’t put your coffee mug next to the floor cleaner. You may accidently grab the wrong container to take a sip of what you think is coffee. 20170806_095513_Film1


Next, I used a lambs wool applicator to apply a product called Holloway House Quick Shine Floor Finish. This is NOT a floor cleaner – rather it is a protective glossy finish. 20170806_102933_Film1

The more coats you apply, the more glossy the floors look. 

I love the way it turned out and now I can’t wait to do the other rooms!! Maybe I will do the front parlor floors next.

Stay tuned for more Miller Manor transformation updates.


April 17 Columbus, OH Metro Housing Stats

Hello Friends!

Happy May 2017! Soon we will experience warmer temperatures and will be getting ready for the summer season.black butterfly

May is the time for planting – those who want to have a vegetable garden will be busy mid-month getting their plants into the soil. Do you plant a vegetable garden? If so, what are your favorite plants to grow? Do you have a container garden, raised bed or a section of your yard devoted to gardening?
I hope you enjoy the information included in this April 2017 Cbus Housing Stats link. As you can see we have increased average sales price in the Metro ZIP codes (43201, 43203, 43205, 43206, 43215, 43222) from last month and also the last 3 months with a property being on the market for an average of 50 days. In fact, the April 2017 average sales price was at highest level compared to April of 2016 and 2015.

I would like to wish all moms reading this email a Happy Mother’s Day. If you are a mom to a pet, I want to send you warm Happy Fur Kid Mother’s Day wishes too. Thank you for giving your fur kid a happy loving home.

Please contact me if you are considering selling or buying property in central Ohio. As you can see, we have a market well suited for sellers. Let me put my real estate and renovation experience to work for you!
Thank you for your friendship and trust!


2017 Tax Season is Upon Us

“I LOVE doing my taxes!” said nobody.

The tax deadline will be here before we know it and for this year, 2016 taxes are due on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

This is not a typo. According to eFile.com:

Why is Tax Day April 18?

The regular tax return filing deadline is April 15. However, due to April 15 being on a Saturday and the Washington D.C. Emancipation Day holiday being observed on April 17 instead of April 16, 2017, Tax Day is on the following Tuesday.

Did you buy a house last year? If you did, you may know that there are tax several deductions you can now take on your personal income taxes that you could not take before.

From  this 2015 article on The Motley Fool Website, you can now take advantage of 9 different tax breaks. A quick summary follows:

  1. Mortgage payment interest deduction.
  2. Mortgage Credit Certification
  3. Mortgage Points Deduction
  4. Tax-free IRA withdrawals
  5. Real estate tax deduction
  6. Home improvements deduction
  7. Home office deduction
  8. Home energy tax credits
  9. Private mortgage insurance deductions

Of course, if you already own your home (not a first time home buyer) you can take advantage of these deductions too.

As always, it is best to check with your accountant to make sure you can take all of these deductions and ask them for tax advice.

Thinking of buying a home in 2017 so you can deduct some of thest items from your taxes? Please do contact me!

Take care,
Christina Miller – Your Renovation Realtor
Coldwell Banker King Thompson / Metro Office

Good bye Daylight Savings Time!!

This is a happy day and a sad one too.

Happy because we get an extra hour and I use it every year to reflect on the events since January 1, and plan for the exciting days left in our year. I even start to plan the next year.

Sad because it gets dark so early. Those of you who follow my blog know that I do not like the dark. I really really do not like it.

So this morning, I also baked some apple/pumpkin/cream cheese muffins topped with a streusel. I plan to take them to my Open House today in the Franklin Park area of Columbus.

1587 Franklin Park, Columbus, OH 43205

It is an adorable, affordable (only $144,000) historic (built in 1885) home. It even has a 2 car garage.

What did you do with your extra hour?

Do you struggle with winter darkness too?


Food Trucks in Columbus

Does your city have an amazing food truck scene? The one in Columbus is terrific and has a variety of fabulous and diverse types of food trucks. They are all over the city every day and it seems like more and more are joining the effort. food-trucks

I ran across this article of the 10 best food trucks in Columbus. Click here

I have to say my favorite food truck is Tatoheads – and they are mentioned in the article (#8). In addition to their food truck, they have a brick and mortar restaurant on Parsons Avenue and it is just as awesome as their mobile operations.

Los Potosinos is a food truck specializing in Mexican food (#5 in the article) and it is literally a 3 minute walk from my house at 791 E Long Street in the King Lincoln District. You want authentic Mexican food? This is the place to go.

Another one of my favorites did not make this list but it is certainly worth consideration – Timmy’s Melt Down. Read all about their out-of-the-box grilled cheese sandwiches here. Grilled cheese as amazing? Yes!!! I consider myself an expert at grilled cheese – and Timmy’s does not disappoint. Plus they serve your sandwich with a side of silly and wise cracks. It is a fun place to go.

So tell me – what are your favorite food trucks in Columbus? What kind of mobile food scene do you have in your city?




Daily Prompt: Volunteer

via Daily Prompt: Volunteer

As the weather turns chilly, I often think about those who are homeless. My office is about a mile and a half away from my house and I pass the Faith Mission every day. It is a local homeless shelter that provides food, shelter and medical services to the homeless population of Columbus. I see residents of the shelter outside each morning on my walk to work. Now that temperatures are dropping the folks outside are huddled close together. It’s cold!

I think it is sad that so many of us have too much stuff, while others hardly have anything. I want to do something to make a difference.

For this reason, I am holding a donation drive for the Faith Mission. You can learn about their program here.

Reading their website, a small donation of $2.25 can provide somebody an entire meal and hope. $2.25. You pay more than that for a cup of coffee!

Starting November 1 and going through New Year’s Eve, I will collect donations and take them, once a week, to the Faith Mission. We can all provide something to donate – even if we are short on cash or time. The Mission accepts gently used household goods, toiletries as well as food donations. You can find a list of needed items here.

There are so many reasons why people become homeless – loss of a job, the end of a relationship, a serious illness, and countless other reasons. We all need a little help at some point in our lives.

Contact me if you want to help with the donation drive. Or, contact the Faith Mission, or the homeless shelter in your area, to see how you can make a difference too. Remember, $2.25 can feed a person and give them hope. Food fills your stomach, but the glimmer of home has intangible benefits and may save another person’s life. You can make a difference.

Thanks – and happy holidays to all of you.


Realtor, Home Renovater, Repurposing Items, Animal Lover