The Row House

Mark is Chip and Joanna Rolled Into One

We are big Fixer Upper fans just like the rest of America!

And people always ask us if Mark is like Chip and if I’m like Joanna.

The answer is no. Mark is Chip AND Jo, and I’m basically just his funny sidekick who follows him around and writes this blog!

Hate to be that annoying wife who gushes about her husband, but Mark really is the brains behind all our designs and the brawn behind our renovations.

He did a quick project at our current home last weekend.

Isn’t it amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do?!

Mark picked the colors and did all the scraping and then the painting.

I offer moral support and watch the baby…because someone’s gotta do that!

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The Grand House

A “Spiritual Medium” Used To Live In Our House

We thought our old Victorian might have been a funeral home at one time because of the large front rooms, super high ceilings and wide interior hallway. But it’s better than that…a spiritual medium named Mrs. Heiny used to live in our house and did readings for people from 1903 to 1905.

How cool is that?! I am obsessed with a show on E! called “Tyler Henry Hollywood Medium” and I think it is so freaking cool that Mrs. Heiny was doin’ her thang in our house.

All of this information comes from a “house history” that we asked historian Carol Peterson to do. She dug up everything she could on the house.

24 people owned the house before us. The first people who lived there were Theodore and Elizabeth Peterson in 1879. Theodore was a teamster and his family was in Pittsburgh politics.

The house was built between 1872 and 1876 in the Italianate style of architecture which was the most popular style in Pittsburgh at that time.

Italiante homes in America are modeled after Italian villas and farmhouses. This helps us GREATLY because now we know exactly what the house was intended to look like and we can mirror that as much as possible.

Mark and I LOVE going through our house history and recommend anyone who’s interested to get one done on their home!

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The Grand House

I Can See Clearly Now!

Because the old windows are gone!!

Our new windows were installed last week and it honestly feels like a completely different house.

My ever-stylish husband decided black windows would be best.

Once again, his eye for design is spot-on. The windows look terrific!

I don’t have a great front shot of the house because we’re still doing some work there…but the big beauty shot is coming in the next few weeks!

Hank the Tank was super jazzed about the new windows.

His excitement only lasted for about 3 minutes because he promptly fell right asleep!

Apparently, our renovations bore him. HA! 🙂

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Family, The Grand House

Daddy’s Little Sidekick

Guess where Mark and Henry spend most of their father-son bonding time?

Yep, you guessed it…Home Depot, Lowe’s and Busy Beaver.

Hank the Tank loves going to the hardware store with his dad…at least that’s what we think. We’ll continue to drag him there until he starts to talk and tells us otherwise. 🙂

Mark is prepping our Victorian house this weekend for the new windows that are coming.

My dad is going to help, and those two will have some “guy time” which consists of donut and hot dog breaks between working. Ha!

Awesome throwback pic of Mark’s beard!!

Henry and I will be hanging together which is our very favorite thing to do.

And I don’t care if people think I share too many pictures of my baby…how can I not? LOOK AT THAT FACE!!

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The Grand House

We almost power washed our kid.

Hank got this new kick ass stroller (which is nicer than my car) and we’ve been spending most of our time outside!

We visit Dad while he works on the new house at least 5 times every weekend.

Last Saturday and Sunday, Mark power washed the new brick addition and the front facade of the house.

I told him to be extra careful because he is not allowed to fall off the ladder or scaffolding because I am not raising this baby by myself. 🙂

Mark’s first attempt at power washing didn’t go well because the machine he rented wasn’t strong enough…he said he could rinse Henry off with it. Ha!

He got a stronger one and blasted away.

Next step is to order windows…we’re getting new ones that look like the old original ones to go with the feel of the house…can’t wait!

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The Grand House

Does Anybody Need A Tub?

For those of you following along (we love you!)…you are well aware that Mark and I tore down the entire front brick wall of our Victorian home.

While we were at it we thought…what the hell…let’s tear down the back too! 🙂

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Tony G and his crew demoed this white structure which was a tiny kitchen on the very back end of the house.

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The upper level of the brick addition on the home came down as well.

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That’s where we had the bathtub sticking out for all to see! Does anybody need a tub?! 😉

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The bricks that came down were used to rebuild the front brick wall…and the plan is to turn this portion into a second level outdoor patio with an outdoor fireplace.

You might think a newborn baby has slowed us down, but Mark and Hank are already designing the new outdoor patio and kitchen.

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And all of you know that Mark’s eye for style is on point and the rough draft drawings of the patio and kitchen are FAB-U-LOUS.

Can’t wait to show you!

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The Grand House

A Cover Preview!

We got our favorite West Elm catalog in the mail and I about FELL OVER!

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“That’s our house!!” I screamed to Mark.

I mean…it’s what our house will eventually be!

You can’t tell from the outside right now, but this home we’re renovating is a beautiful Victorian that screams old school grandeur.

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Mark and I have more of a modern, casual style.

So…as soon as I saw this catalogue picture…I knew instantly that’s how we’ll decorate the inside.

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See the big windows and the crown molding? That’s exactly what we have.

We also have original wood floors and a large entryway.

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I absolutely love how they combined the Victorian features with modern furniture and splashes of color!

Even though we are not even close to that yet…it’s nice to have a visual image to work toward and get excited for!

Right now, the only visuals we have are dirty construction sites…

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And crumbling brick interiors!

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Hopefully we’ll finish this passion project before Henry graduates college! 😉

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