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Why are we renovating? Are we crazy?  Maybe.

Jonathan, Jennifer (me) and Addison - November 2013

Jonathan, Jennifer (me) and Addison – November 2013

We’ve lived in this house for almost 11 years.  And while we love all of the character and history, we have some things that we’ve wanted to change from Day 1.  And so begins the can of worms that we are opening…

Dining Room - New Year's Party

As with any old house, the storage stinks.  And since we love to to entertain – it’s really a problem!  I’m a natural hostess and Jonathan is an amazing chef.  So we have to have every different sized dish (in white, of course) for any type of fabulous food that he might crank out, along with all of the pretty serving pieces, and all of the different appliances too.


I come from a family of professional shoppers so we are constantly getting cool kitchen items from my mom.  And I’m a little bit of a pack rat.  Needless to say storage in our kitchen has always been a total nightmare.  And it’s not just the storage, the kitchen is small, and closed off to the living/dining areas with only one way in and out.  So it’s a big traffic jam when we’re entertaining.

Our Kitchen Before the Renovation

We’ve managed it fine for the last decade, but we are ready to create our dream kitchen where we can do our thing.

Upstairs Bathroom

Upstairs Bathroom

The other major issue with the home is the lack of a true master suite.  Currently the house is a 3-bedroom 2-bath.  There’s a big bathroom downstairs and a teeny one upstairs, both with clawfoot tubs.  All three bedrooms are up.

Downstairs Bath

Downstairs Bath

From Day 1 I’ve always used the downstairs bathroom and Jonathan used the upstairs bath.  (This was a good move marriage-wise!)   Addison also uses the downstairs bath.  Addison and I are a little messy.  (OK – sometimes we are very messy.) And our laundry is downstairs in a little room cramped with the cat litter box.  The combination of all of this means that there have been clean and dirty clothes strewn in so many places at any given time.  And doing laundry in a stinky room is just gross.


Both Jonathan and I work from home.  I took over the 3rd bedroom as my office from Day 1 because I had so much paper.  And when Jonathan started working from home he took over the dining room table.   The guest room became Addison’s room.  So now, when people come to the house, Jonathan has the equivalent of the Apple store on the dining room table and every room except the living room has at least one item of clothing.  And we have no guest room.  Literally my mom has slept on the couch.


We’ve put off this renovation (with good reason) for some time.  We hired an architect when we bought the house and we collaborated on a plan.  Then we got married (2004), had Addison (2006), and entered the Great Recession (2007).  Thankfully we survived it all!  It was time.  While moving out and renovating is inconvenient, buying another home and leaving our great street was simply not an option.  We know that this is our forever home and we had to pull the trigger on what we’d been talking about for the last decade before we talked ourselves out of the pain and hassle we were facing.


Thank goodness for Houzz.  I think we spent most of the months of September and October on that site.  And I have the pleasure of seeing great homes all day long in my career as a REALTOR.  We knew what we wanted in terms of look and feel early on. For those of you that know Jonathan, you understand this.  My husband is truly the renaissance man.  He is an artist at his core.  He has to create.  Whether it be painting,  building a playhouse, creating food or writing software – he’s always creating.  And boy did those skills come in handy for this project!


We have a friend that is a great builder so we engaged him and referenced the plans that we started with.  Between Jonathan learning a version of  autocad with 3-D renderings, our builder, architect and designer, we’ve come up with what we believe is a fabulous plan that serves our needs, while keeping the historic integrity of the home intact.


We plan on using as many of the materials again from the rooms in the rear of the home that were demoed.


Additionally we found a great salvage and restoration resource to find some goodies – and take the goodies we were not going to use. I’m looking forward to sharing our plans and chronicling the before, during and after.

My friend Benito Ferro (@yoyoferro)

my friend Benito Ferro (@yoyoferro) drew this image of our house

I have no idea what this experience is going to be like. I guess that’s going to be part of the fun of doing it real time.