810 North Duke Street | Before & After

I’m pretty sure our open house for Duke Street was in March and it’s July, but I’m finallyyyy getting around to blogging this amazing transformation! I remember my introduction to this home so clearly. It was just a few days after our East Orange Street open house, and Brent Facetimed me to tell me he was in a condemned house that he wanted to buy for a price that felt way too high. It’s hard to give a house tour via Facetime, but I could see that the house was practically caving in and that was all I needed to feel terrified of the project. A few hours later Brent came home and told me that 810 North Duke Street was now under contract with Brentwood Builders. That was in the Spring of 2018.

That first Facetime call. Gray’s face says it all.

That first Facetime call. Gray’s face says it all.


Due to a variety of reasons, we finally got started on this project in October. I call it a project because at that point it was nowhere near a “home” to me. The house was condemned, so not much was salvageable. It’s a true miracle that we were able to refinish those gorgeous heart pine wood floors, because most everything else had to go. After a few weeks of demo we took the whole house down to it’s brick shell. Then one of the brick walls unexpectedly caved and we had to rebuild that too. Here are a few pictures of that process.


As you can see, this house left a lot of room for the imagination. I wasn’t even sure what I was looking at sometimes…so I guess you could say the design challenge was everything? But the one part of this home that really stuck out to me was the staircase. I loved that it was located in the center of the first floor, rather than right when you walk in the door like a lot of city houses. The words “old city” came to mind, and that was the direction we decided to go.

A few of my favorite things:

As you’re looking at the finished project, these are the things I loved most when designing this home!

-Goodwin Green by Benjamin Moore. I had seen this dark green popping up across design blogs, and Emily Henderson (i’m a fan) even wrote that “green is the new white.” But I was definitely a little nervous that people would think it was too dark or too bold. Obviously not nervous enough to stop myself. Thank you Grauer’s Paint & Decorating for helping me find the perfect shade!

-Embossed wallpaper. Also a shout out to Grauer’s. This wallpaper was so much fun to use because it can literally be customized to any color you want! I love the subtle texture it added to the living room and also the dining room ceiling!

-Lots of trim. One of the main things I struggled with in this house was adding character and keeping an “old city” feel. We were essentially rebuilding everything except some flooring and the staircase, but I wanted it to feel original- not like a new build. The trim wall leading from the living room into the dining room was a huge focal point and added that historic charm we were missing.

-The master suite. We completely tore out the third floor of this home, and rebuilt it to make space for a master suite that I think is just so dreamy. I really love attics in city homes because they are removed from the sounds of traffic and feel so peaceful. The perfect place for your master bedroom!

-The master bathroom tile. I was so thrilled with how the tile combinations worked out in this room. I used more organic finishes for all the tile in this house, but the master bathroom floor was my favorite find. Lots of people asked if it was original to the home, and Brent thought I found it in the basement (HA). Believe it or not, this was a Wayfair find that might go down in history as my best yet.

So those are just a few of my favorites in this house, and although there are so many more things I could mention, I’ll let the photos speak for themselves!


Paint Colors (Purchased through Grauer’s Paint & Decorating)

Exterior/Steps & Railings: Wrought Iron (Benjamin Moore)

First Floor Walls: Goodwin Green (Benjamin Moore, Williamsburg Collection)

Second Floor Walls: Revere Pewter (Benjamin Moore)

Trim: Super White (Benjamin Moore)

Thank you to:

Tyler Martin- Concrete Countertops & Design

Renovations by Dienner Co.

Grauer’s Paint & Decorating

Harmony Painting & Restoration