21 West James Street | Before & After

I want to begin this post by sharing a little background on our company! Brentwood Builders was founded in 1994 by Clair and Orpha Hostetter (my in-laws) based on the desire to build quality new homes and bring homeowners' design dreams to life.

Fast forward 20 years, and in 2014 Clair's son Brent (my husband) joined the Brentwood team. Coming from a background in remodel and renovations, Brent brought with him a passion for not only new construction but also for the character and potential that older homes offer. (And being married to Brent, I by default became a tag-along to all of his projects haha!)

Now in 2017 we are thrilled to combine these two passions and dreams with our first full-home renovation here in Lancaster City (where the Brentwood office is now located)! We appreciate all of the support surrounding this new business venture, and are excited for the future of this branch of Brentwood!

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The key things that caught our attention when we saw the listing for 21 West James Street were:

-2,000 square feet (on the larger side for a city home)

-Central AC and gas heat already installed

-Location within walking distance to both College Row and downtown Lancaster

-A third floor with potential

When we actually walked through the home I felt a mixture of disgusted and in LOVE. The home definitely felt spacious compared to our 1,600 square foot city home, and the 9 foot high ceilings are amazing! Paired with the huge windows and lots of natural light I was already sold. Another feature I loved was the makeshift addition off the back of the house. This little room almost met it's demise when Brent kicked a wall and the whole thing shook, but I made the case for a four-seasons room just like all of the pictures I had pinned and thankfully it happened! Then there was the attic. My two favorite features of our city home are the finished attic, and our fireplace. Well this home had one of them, and Brent built the other! (Let's be real, I have Joanna Gaines and her latest Magnolia Magazine to thank for all the inspiration that went into this fireplace).

Just a few of the challenges:

-Complete bath and kitchen remodels

-Adding a second bath and laundry hook-ups in an area that did not initially have plumbing

-Every wall and ceiling was textured

-The backroom- literally falling apart

-Wrecked wood floors (but so much potential!)

-Low ceilings/claustrophobic attic

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And then there is the completed project, aka. all our silver linings in a package deal! Those floors turned out to be BEAUTIFUL when restored! The texture magically went away (thankful for drywall), and that giant window in the kitchen was an unplanned addition that makes me want to move in. I have an old Pottery Barn magazine to thank for my trim-wall inspiration, and Anthropologie could take all my money in exchange for wallpaper. I was excited to keep the wood ceiling in the kitchen (see the transformation of above vs. below) and love the character it adds. Raising the drywall to the beams in the attic was definitely worth it for added space and light. Then of course keeping that back room, first floor laundry, and adding a second bath. The double sink vanity with soapstone look-alike bowls, painted tile, and kitchen light fixtures were just a few of my favorite finds while searching for the perfect accents.

I could rave about this house forever, but really you just need to see it for yourself! Call Brent Hostetter (717-715-9878) if you are interested in a tour, or e-mail brent@boldpa.com with any questions you have!


Hopefully I have given you a behind-the-scenes look into the transformation of this home, and also how much we enjoyed the process! We cannot wait to share many more creative projects with you!

-Katie Hostetter (just call me the "design assistant") :)

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