Here is a story you don’t necessarily hear everyday. Monica Mahoney and her family were living in Portland, Oregon. Before that, she and her husband, Robert Brisk had been living on the east coast near New York. They wanted somewhere different to raise their two young boys so they moved out to Portland. In late 2007, Robert was looking for a new job. They did not know much about Columbus, so when Robert was hired to be the head of The Wellington School, finding a home was something they relied on people from the school to help them with. A parent drove them around to all the different neighborhoods and they narrowed their choices down to Worthington and Clintonville. Then Monica came across an area in Clintonville that sits next to the Olentangy River where the homes are all mid-century architecture. She was in love.
But her family wasn’t sure. The house she picked was a 3200 square foot, 4 bedroom, 3 1/2 bathroom 1950s ranch style home that was on a double lot and being sold in an estate sale. It was very outdated but in nearly original condition. The insides were not doing justice to the mid-century style of the home. It had metal awnings everywhere and had never been updated. But the backyard was a nice size and included a basketball court, a fun feature for the boys. There was also access to the river through the backyard and it was close to the bike trail. The fact that it was also pretty close to Robert’s new job was great too. They decided to purchase the home. And then the remodel started.
Since they weren’t from the area, Monica relied on Angie’s List to find contractors to do the work on her home. She found Justin Collamore of Collamore Built Residential Design and Construction and the match couldn’t have been more perfect. Justin shared Monica’s vision for the home and worked to give the home an open floor plan and unique touches and focalpoints. The entire remodel was done for under 100k and included nearly every part of the home.
Family from L to R: Billy Brisk, Monica Mahoney, Ben Brisk, Robert Brisk
In the kitchen, Justin designed a door for the new pantry area above the stairs leading to the basement. Previously, it was an unused space. The door glass came from Franklin Art Glass Studios. The upper cabinets in the kitchen were kept and electrical work strips and under cabinet lighting were added. Greenovate did the island’s countertop, made of metal filings suspended in resin. A very cool look. A cork floor from Exclusively Floors was added, which provides great insulation. Justin suggested creating a recessed area for the refrigerator, taking a small space out of the dining room. It made sense and makes the flow in the kitchen very nice.
Sam Minturn helped out with the kitchen tile work. He also redid the floors throughout the home (which turned out to be unfinished oak floors that had been covered with carpet), did the master bathroom tile and painted the entire house with low emission pant from Greenovate.
Fortin Ironworks did the stair rail that leads to the basement. It is made out of copper pipes and wood rail that was reused from elsewhere in the home. Justin’s team designed and built the bookshelf in the living room. In the living room, the gas fireplace has become a beautiful centerpiece. It had previously been between two closed off rooms. They opened it up to be accessible from both sides and the travertine tiles were each selected by Monica from Hamilton Parker.
The living room is Monica’s favorite room in the home. Inside her home, she has done a great job curating her furniture and decorative touches, from a mix of family heirlooms, low end budget items and high end custom pieces. She has found lighting fixtures from the shops in Clintonville, Bertoia Bird Chairs that she had reupholstered from Mad4Mod, tables from Global Gallery and a terrarium from the Franklin Park Conservatory.
Living Spaces Before
Living Spaces After
Some of their Art Collection, some done by the boys
The dining room was given a cosmetic makeover and a wall was removed to open the space into the sunroom. Doing so created a large and inviting dining space that can accommodate nearly 20 guests. The family loves to entertain so this was a great change. The chandelier above the dining table is an heirloom from Robert’s family.
The sunroom is decorated with NorthWestern Oregon accents and colors to remind them of their time spent there.
The laundry room was relocated to the basement and the space was transformed into an extra bathroom.
Friends. Clarence, the cement eagle gargoyal, was a gift from her Father-in-Law and once watched over a building in New York City.
Monica also enjoys gardening. Justin helped her design a pleasing concrete walkway in the front yard that leads to the colorful front door. She worked with her mom, a master gardener, to create the flower beds. Oakland Nursery was the source for the plants and fountain. The back yard is spacious and still has room for Monica to work on.
Even though they had no connections when they moved here, Monica and her family have been very happy living in Columbus. Taking on this huge remodeling project created many lasting friendships with the people she worked on it with. They have found the community here to be welcoming and supportive. It is an accessible place with a small town feel but with amazing art and people. Some of their favorite spots are Inniswood Metro Gardens, the Wexner Center, Farmers’ Markets and Pistacia Vera.
In 2008, Justin entered their home remodel in the annual National Association of Remodeling Industry (NARI) competition and the project won the 2008 CotY (Contractor of the Year) Award for best remodel under 100k. Click here to see more of the before photos.
At Home is a monthly column on Columbus Underground focused on urban home remodeling and style as well as older home renovations and unique homes in Columbus. If you would like to have your home featured in the At Home series, please send an email to me at Anne@columbusunderground.com.
[At Home is sponsored by The Hamilton Parker Company. Located in Columbus, Delaware and Cincinnati. The Columbus Showroom, open to the public and located at I-670 and Leonard Avenue, features brick & stone, ceramic tiles, garage doors and fireplaces for your home and landscaping projects. Click here for current promotions or stop by their showroom. Currently all Glass Tile is 20% off retail prices, offer expires 8/31/2011. M-F 8-5pm, Sat 8-noon, Extended hours Tue & Thur 5-7pm]