Updating a tri level home
The exterior was devoid of personality; it was painted a pallid “peachy-tan” and lacked landscaping.
Inside, the walls were painted white, the floors covered in linoleum and white wall-to-wall carpeting. In bi-level homes, the main entrance opens to a landing with stairs leading to the upper and lower levels.
“It was the most hideous house in the neighborhood,” Liess says.
But with Dave’s DIY assistance, and ,000 from savings and no-interest credit cards, Liess took a house that had been for sale for four years and, in six months, turned it into a jewel. “But it worked.” Two months later, in December 2009, a Better Homes and Garden editor saw the house’s transformation on Liess’s blog, purestylehome.
“I promised to take care of it and love it,” she says. “The bones were in great shape and it had the feeling I wanted: light and airy,” Liess says.
“I know [bi-levels] don’t typically sell easily, but they are so livable.
All 3,000 square feet of this house are aboveground.” By embracing the contemporary architecture and applying her style — a mix of traditional, vintage and natural elements — Liess gave a dated and nondescript box a fresh, family-friendly facelift.
Today, the house, much like Liess, exudes warmth, comfort and a charming personality.
In a bathroom, for example, the green toilet was replaced with a white one, the green tub hidden behind a white shower curtain and the green sink sprayed with a white epoxy.They replaced grimy white linoleum flooring with engineered hardwood in a rich walnut. For Liess, this wasn’t just about creating a home for her family; it was a business investment.A butcher block-topped island from Ikea was placed in the center, and a vintage chandelier Liess found at a New York flea market was hung above. “I would not have done this in our financial position if it wasn’t for the business,” she says.“My in-laws pleaded with us.” But Liess was in love.So much so that when the couple’s purchase offer was rejected, she drafted a letter to the homeowners asking them to reconsider.