This renovation in the historic Union Hill neighborhood of Church Hill is shockingly (check the photos out below) one of the easiest renovations we have done. The house itself actually had really good bones.
We lovingly brought this home built in the 1800s back to life and the once abandoned eyesore is now the nicest home on the block. Quick note: you can click the link at the bottom of each section to learn more and see more photos.
The photo above shows exactly where we started. The home is located in the historic district and we applied for tax credits so in order to get the tax credits and stay within the requirements of the historic district, we had to preserve as much as possible.
I am a HUGE fan of painted brick but unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to do that here. We repaired, cleaned, and restored the brick and mortar where we needed to. We left the original windows and scraped and repainted the sashes.
The front porch railings had to stay even though they aren’t original to the house so we had our brick mason rebuild/repair them and they actually kind of grew on me. We scraped and repainted the front door and trim and I love how it turned out. I wanted the home to feel upscale and classic so we used unlacquered brass door hardware from Nostalgic Warehouse throughout the house. I will show you more close-ups of the hardware below. I honestly think it’s my favorite part of the house and an integral part of my vision coming together!
THE ENTRY & STAIRS
As much as I love an open concept I really do appreciate a separated entryway. This is what the foyer looked like when we started.
We scraped and painted all the walls, trim, and staircase. All of which are original to the house. We replaced the foyer light with this beautiful light fixture from Shades of Light.
THE LIVING ROOM & DINING ROOM
This house is a typical four square. So on the first floor, you have the entryway, living room to your left which opens up to the dining room in the back and the dining room neighbors the kitchen. Here is what the living room looked like before. It’s not a great picture but you can see the foe-wood paneling and the spackled painted ceiling.
Clearly we took down the foe paneling as any sane person would. We typically paint our new construction homes with flat paint but we used Gray Mist by Benjamin Moore in an eggshell sheen and I am so happy we did. The slight sheen reflects the light and makes each room feel so much brighter.
This is the condition the dining room was in when we started the project. Dave is secretly a hoarder of old doors and the ones pictured here are actually a collection he had started before we met. He had been using this house as a “storage unit” of sorts and needless to say, these doors all found better homes or the trash after we started construction. 🙂
Luckily all of the fireplaces were in great shape. We simply repainted using a high gloss Rustoleum paint. I love how these light fixtures turned out. I feel like they elevated the style in a way that kept with the classic feeling of the home but brought the house into this decade.
Before we dive into the kitchen before and afters themselves, let’s take another look at this angle to remember how separated the kitchen was from the dining area
You can see the original red tile on what’s now the wall the stove is placed.
As you can see this is just so much better. We created some space separation and got extra cabinet space by adding the island. The wall was a supportive wall to the structure of the home so we kept a header above but you can hardly tell it’s there.
This is what the kitchen looked like before. Super narrow and small. The house is only 3 bedrooms. 2 if we are being honest. The third room is really small. But even still this would be a small kitchen for any home these days.
By opening that wall between the kitchen and the dining room both spaces become much more of a part of the main living area. And because the kitchen isn’t big enough to have an eat-in area, it was really important to us that this nearby dining table felt convenient and open to the kitchen.
We used gray cabinets to add some character to the home. I think it softens and defines the space nicely. We opted for a quartz countertop which will hold the test of renters and also add value when we go to sell it in a few years.
One drawback to these older homes is the lack of storage. We added a pantry cabinet and opted to put the washer and dryer in what would have been the pantry. Its really playing musical chairs of sorts. By putting the washer and dryer here we were able to save valuable closet space upstairs.
This little room under the stairs would be a great coat closet but there was no half bath on the first floor. With the space we had we needed a half bath, washer and dryer, and a pantry in a home that really wasn’t set up for any of those rooms. It was certainly a challenge.
I am not going to lie, this did not go as planned. I wanted to mix metals but the gold faucet I wanted was back ordered so the vision didn’t really come together like I wanted it to. Still waiting on that faucet 3 months later. It’s a very tight space and we did the best we could but in trying to meet “code” it definitely didn’t come out like the inspo photo below.
Reality vs. inspo
For a house of this age this room would typically be called the “trunk room” but we converted it to the master bath.
We kept the wood floors for the tax credits and also because they were in great shape.
The shower has a marble floor and subway tile surround.
The carpet was amazing. I love old stuff. I mean this carpet must be from the 60s or 70s at the latest. It was so smooshed down you could barely tell it was there.
Again I am so happy we did an eggshell sheen for the paint. It reflects the light in such a warm and beautiful way.
We refinished all the floors and used a dark walnut Minwax stain to try to make the floor a little bit more of an even color. We had to patch in some of the rotting wood floors with new wood floors so while it was beautiful heart pine flooring, the discoloration would have been pretty severe in some places so I thought the dark rich stain would look nice.
The bedroom in the rear of the house is small but would be perfect for a nursery, office, or extra storage.
This bathroom was actually one of the easiest parts of the house. The plumbing was at least there. We did some rearranging and it turned out really nice.
We did some rearranging and it turned out really nice.
Nostalgic Warehouse provided all of the hardware for this project and I think it really was the piece of the puzzle that made the whole project come together. We used the New York Unlacquered brass with keyholes. We kept all the original doors that actually had keyholes so these were just perfect!
It softens and warms each room and was the perfect match for the paint and trim colors!