Locals use time at home to work on renovations, creative projects

photo by: Contributed Photos/Josh Carson

Lawrence resident Josh Carson and his father built a patio during long hours at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Adam Sullivan wasn’t able to be with his wife, Kacey Sullivan, for her ultrasound appointment a couple weeks ago. It was an experience the couple wanted to share: seeing their future baby for the first time. But due to restrictions placed on doctors’ offices by the coronavirus, Sullivan could only be there via FaceTime.

In actuality, Sullivan was in his future son’s bedroom, engaged in a project that helped him feel linked with the pregnancy despite missing some of the milestones.

As Kacey was having her ultrasound, Adam was painting gray mountains on the walls of the baby room. “(It was) a way that I could still be connected with it all,” he said. The couple is expecting their first child, Avery, in September.

photo by: Adam Sullivan

Adam and Kacey Sullivan stand in their newly painted baby room on April 23. The couple, due in September, painted the room with mountains because they love vacationing in Colorado.

Adam and Kacey had been planning on painting the baby room, but when they found themselves at home with more free time, they thought they “might as well do something really cool and unique.” The couple chose to paint mountains because they like to vacation in Colorado.

Since Kacey can’t breathe in the fumes, she taped the walls, and Adam did the painting. Together, they created snow-capped navy and gray mountains on baby blue walls.

photo by: Adam Sullivan

Adam and Kacey Sullivan’s baby room is pictured on April 21. The couple worked together to paint mountains on the wall.

Like the Sullivans, many Lawrencians have been using the extra time at home to work on house projects and improvements. The Journal-World spoke to three such households, with the consensus being that the time at home has either inspired creative home projects or prompted improvements that have long-been neglected.

Being stuck at home ‘brings out the passion to make a change’

Since he and his wife are working from home, Josh Carson figured it would be nice to have the option to soak in the sun while doing so. Carson and his dad have been working on forming a patio in his backyard.

Since the stay-at-home orders went into place, Carson had stared at a concrete slab in his backyard he’d always wanted to remove. In the last three weeks, he and his dad have torn out the slab, leveled the ground and made a base for an outdoor patio.

“Being around the things you don’t like kind of brings out the passion to make a change, I guess,” he said.

photo by: Josh Carson

The ground has been leveled and a base has been made for an outdoor patio Josh Carson has been working on with his extra time at home.

Carson said it’s been great working with his dad on the project, even though their efforts to socially distance have made the work slightly more challenging. He also said it’s been good for his mental health.

Normally Carson goes to work, comes home and maybe watches some TV.

But “when you’re already at home in front of a screen it makes you want to find a different thing to do to keep busy,” he said.

Carson said the project has given him purpose and that he’s excited to eventually add some outdoor furniture and a small fire pit. His wife is looking forward to the day she can host friends outside, he said.

Local artist finds inspiration in own home

Tonganoxie artist Elizabeth Daniel hopes to take people’s minds off COVID-19 — at least for a little while — as she teaches them how to make art out of items in their homes.

Daniel’s Facebook page, “Elizabeth Daniel – ART and Decor,” has a little over 3,000 members. She used to post photos with items for resale, but when the virus appeared in Kansas, she said she didn’t feel right asking people to spend money or meet somewhere in public in order to acquire a basket, for example. So instead, Daniel transformed her Facebook page into a forum to discuss home decor and a platform for Daniel to share home art projects for people of all ages.

photo by: Elizabeth Daniel

Elizabeth Daniel takes a picture with her newly painted flamingo patio table.

Typically, Daniel is “pulled in a million different directions.” She teaches adult art classes and conducts art classes for kids as a volunteer. She has been hired to paint murals and was busy with her resale business.

Now, it’s her first time focusing solely on art at home. After many big ideas over the years, she’s finally found the time to follow through.

“I have a huge list of things. I don’t know if I’ll get through it all, but I’m going to try,” she said.

Daniel painted a mural of white roses on a dark, empty wall in her laundry room, and livestreamed it to her Facebook viewers so they could see her process.

photo by: Elizabeth Daniel

Elizabeth Daniel painted a mural on her laundry room wall with her free time during the stay-at-home orders.

She painted pink flamingos and green leaves on her outdoor patio table, an item she’s been wanting to spruce up for many years.

photo by: Elizabeth Daniel

Tonganoxie artist Elizabeth Daniel found time during quarantine to paint her outdoor patio table with flamingos.

She’s rearranged rooms and created sculptures and stuffed animals out of items lying around her house.

In a particularly captivating photo Daniel shared on her page, her 3-year-old son draws on a window with crayons, tracing the outside world, an activity Daniel said helps children learn about perspective.

photo by: Elizabeth Daniel

Llewyn Daniel, 3, uses a crayon to trace things he sees outside on his window.

Daniel hopes her videos and art projects are helping keep people’s spirits up. And as she finds inspiration around her own home, she hopes those following her Facebook page will also be inspired to “get a couple projects done.”

More Lawrence homes

This Journal-World feature takes readers inside interesting Lawrence homes. Have a suggestion? Please contact us at news@ljworld.com.

March 23 — Couple furnishes final home with diverse decorations from their life abroad

Feb. 17 — North Lawrence home boasts eclectic art decor

Jan. 27 — 157-year-old Pinckney home is a good fit for Busker Fest organizer

Dec. 22 — A Lawrence house and its current owners weave their histories together

Dec. 1 — Almost beyond repair: Lawrence couple gives midcentury house a second chance

Oct. 13 — Couple find cozy bungalow, community in East Lawrence

Sept. 22 — Sharing a roof works for this mother and adult daughter

Aug. 18 — Neglected eyesore transformed into a functional home

July 21 — North Lawrence home is a family heirloom

June 16 — For Lawrence woman, 19th-century house started as money pit but evolved into ‘my world’

April 29 — Owners believe they are just caretakers of restored early pioneer cottage

Feb. 26 — Couple begin with a blank sheet of paper and end up with their dream house

Jan. 21 — Couple renovates old Lawrence home for a mix of historic, modern

Nov. 30 — Well-known holiday house holds 45 years of Christmas memories

Oct. 7 — A look at a unique East Lawrence house with 54 windows


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