From the moment the door opened, everything about the Byingtons and their home was warm and inviting.
The previous owner of the house at 3118 Hull Road lived out in Washington and rented the property for over 15 years, after which it sat empty for a couple more. During its rental phase, one of the previous tenants was a taxidermist and another rebuilt engines in the living room. The house needed work.
Aaron and Justine bought the early 1970's, 4,600 sq. ft. house in May of 2005. "The house had great bones and a great layout", says Aaron, the owner of Byington Builders. He knew his vision for their new home was going to take a major overhaul; he needed to gut it and start from scratch.
He had three-and-a-half weeks before he and his wife and their three children, including a newborn, were to move in.
Working day and night, Aaron and his crew worked tirelessly to complete the job. Justine worked on painting and decor. They accomplished their goal and it's everything they hoped it would be.
Walking into the home you'd never guess that it was ever anything less than it is now. There are small touches of whimsy in each room keeping it from ever becoming too serious. Justine laughs, "I like to have fun with it."
The rustic red-painted kitchen boasts a 5'x9' granite island which somehow doesn't take over the room. The large leather barstool chairs and the use of larger items on the island, including a bowl big enough to hold several dozen ripe red apples, keep the centerpiece of the room from being overwhelming. The kitchen is the only room with its original flooring, although it was stripped and redone.
The dining room is reminiscent of an old Italian restaurant. The gold walls and beamed ceiling add to the authentic flavor to the room. Burnt-red tiled flooring helps to flow the room from the kitchen. Aaron built a wine rack into the wall using cut sewer pipe. He then placed lighting behind it which he has access to from the laundry room next door. Pictures on the back wall of Al Capone, Lucky Luciano and John Gotti help complete the atmosphere of Little Italy.
Aaron added on a family room where Justine could do her work-from-home job while attending to their daughter. The room is simple and cozy with plush couches and chairs. A patio door and two windows with airy white drapes keep the room bright against the dark furniture.
The fireplace in the sitting room in the front of the house uses cultured stone. It is textured which prevents it from looking overdone and gives it a warmer feel. It is set between twin built-in floor-to-ceiling shelves which the family mostly uses for photos mixed with books and a few fanciful candles and other knick-knacks. Again, the decor uses reds to keep the warmth and the playfulness intact.
Their youngest daughter's nursery is painted bright yellow. On the wall hangs the dress she wore when she came home from the hospital. The bright pinks and yellows, with white furniture and purple bedding is the perfect room for any little girl.
Entering their 12-year-old daughter's room, it's obvious it belongs to a tween. Neon bright colors and zebra prints make this room the perfect room for any young girl. To meld the zebra print, Justine got creative and quickly painted a couple of simple zebras and framed them. Then she, her daughter, husband, and brother each took a plain piece of paper, some black paint, and each did their own interpretation of zebra stripes. She then framed those and hung them over the bed.
Their son is a college student. He's also a golfer and walking into his room, the passion he has for the sport is obvious. Trophies, ribbons and other awards are on every shelf. A collection of golf balls hangs on the wall. There is even a bedside table with a golfer motif. The rest of the room is done in shades of browns, blues and creams. A serene study haven for when he is home from school.
In the master bedroom, the hardwood floor enhances the browns and blues of the bedding. Cream accents and accessories help add a sublime richness to the room. His and her closets and a large dresser keep the room simple and quiet. It's a room for rest and relaxation.
Entering the basement, it's obvious where all the real fun in this house is celebrated. Aaron says it took him almost a year of coming home after work at night, sitting in the stark room and drawing and sketching ideas of what he wanted. He knew once it was done, that was it.
It's an homage to the Ohio State Buckeyes. Gray walls, red furniture. A bar base made out of plywood, covered in styrofoam, and carved and painted to resemble the outside of "the shoe", OSU's football stadium. The bar is gray-topped and the sink area is red tile with block "O" created tiles on either side of the cooler. The main wall has four small flat-screen tvs strategically placed around an area where a television projection setup broadcasts the Buckeyes on Saturdays. Ohio State gnomes add luck at the bar and football prints adorn the walls. The downstairs bleeds Scarlet and Gray. Even the bathroom.
This is a couple with a sense of humor. It shows in their home. They originally bought it with the ultimate intention of flipping it. But the joke is actually on them. This house is everything they dreamed it to be. They love the neighborhood, the location is ideal for them. They took a sad unkempt rental house and made it into a bright luxurious happy abode.
Way to go Team Byington!