This is the third year in a row I’ve posted about our historic home renovation and finally I can say it’s done… Kind of!!! At least, on the inside. (Cue the applause!)
Reflecting back on the last year of this huge project, it feels great to have it in the rear view mirror, finally. The interior phase brought this charming 1922 home into a modern era. The Jennie Alexander house has been given another 100 years of life.
Her facelift would make any surgeon proud but the most important things are the improvements that aren’t sexy. When we purchased this home we agreed to purchase “as-is.” That was really brave or incredibly stupid, still not sure which, but we got her. One of the reasons we felt somewhat secure is that the previous owner reported having updated the electrical. As it turns out, the electrical was not only NOT updated but what had been “updated” was unsafely spliced using the non-updated knob-and-tube wiring, thus rendering the whole house electrical system unsafe. I know, I had to remind myself to breathe through that whole fiasco. But it’s a NEW day! We now have a fully updated, to code, electrical system.
Trust me, that’s going to make me sleep a lot better here.
The electrical problems weren’t the only obstacle we faced. We discovered asbestos covered runs of venting in the walls and leaking lead pipes in the ceilings. All of which have been remediated, replaced, removed–basically any “r” word that has to do with construction we have done.
In addition, we replaced the shingle roof with a full metal roof. This roof is warrantied for 50 years but will last for well over 50 years. The metal roof is energy efficient and fire coded. Fire coded means it will not burn our house or spread a fire. Whew!
Now to the fun stuff.The design inside the home centered on original aspects of the house. We kept a really clean color palette to highlight the woodwork, windows, and ample spaces.
We splurged on color in the focus wall in the kitchen with brilliant tile work including handmade tiles by local artist Angela Clousher. I love that we found a local creative genius to give us a look we love. Seriously, my heart melts every time I look at that wall! And that stove… really.
Can you say counter space for days?
Oh, and did I mention I have not one but TWO islands!? Dreamy!
We used strong dark colors on 2 walls in the main living space to accentuate our large art pieces by Chris Watts and Isaac Payne.
Is that a table worthy of many dinner parties, or what?
Our next phase of work is on the outside. We have worked with a landscape architect to create a beautiful update to our outdoor spaces. This plan includes iron handrails and new patio areas.
We are also going to paint the exterior of the house.
Going forward, I don’t think we will ever really be done with this house but it’s ok. Future plans also include a wine cellar and updating the back cottage.
We really feel very lucky to have found our home in the amazing Elizabeth neighborhood and are enjoying the fruits of our labor. As painful as it is in the process, making a home perfectly yours is always worth it!
Here’s to a new year and a new house, well renovated, at least on the inside.