Southern Belle Magazine May 2013, Issue 1 - Page 15

to Finally Call Home B en and Clarita Yoder lived in a rental house for several years, which put a damper on the amount of personal decorating that Clarita desperately wanted to do. That all would change in January of 2010 when the young couple with two little girls, bought a hundred year old bungalow, now lovingly called The Cottage at 341 South. The house was a foreclosure. It had been on the market for quite a while and was in very bad condition. Despite all of the hard work it would take, it would be their very own. After working on the 1600 square ft. cottage full time for four months, the family moved in on May 31, 2010. The two bedroom house has hardwood floors throughout and five fireplaces. Ben and Clarita added a stairway to the upstairs with the intent of adding one or two more bedrooms in the future. A new little member of the family arrived since the move-in so the extra bedrooms may be needed sooner than they had planned! Our tour of the Yoder’s home is focused on the beautiful makeover of the kitchen. While working on the house, Ben removed some walls in between the kitchen, the dining room and living room, making the house seem more spacious and open. Most of the kitchen was done on a very tight budget with the exception of one splurge item that Ben surprised Clarita with an apron-front sink, which she absolutely loves. Some of the cabinets Ben built himself and cabinet doors purchased online were added to those he built as well as to the existing cabinetry. The chandelier was an auction treasure and cost just $7. The butcher block counter top was handmade by Ben repurposing old 2x4’s from the walls he had removed. Clarita thinks he was a “genius” for that idea! Clarita wanted a cool color for the kitchen since most of the year the weather is hot. She didn’t want a “hot color to make her feel like she was roasting along with dinner.” The color she chose was Kittery Blue in an eggshell finish from Benjamin Moore but mixed with pure white to soften the brightness of the blue. Even the concrete counter top was crafted by Ben. After pricing the cost of various counter tops, Ben decided to experiment with the concrete top. With no prior experience in this type project, Ben had to try a couple of techniques to achieve the dark finish the couple wanted. Adding black dye into the concrete mixture barely gave a light grey color so he rubbed an ebony wood stain on top of the counter top after it was dry. It was the perfect color. A sealer was added as a final step. Clarita loves the durability of the counter top and the fact that she can remove hot dishes from the oven and sit them directly on the counter without any damage. 15