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At Home: A House With a Treehouse in Clintonville

Anne Evans Anne Evans At Home: A House With a Treehouse in ClintonvilleA backyard treehouse gives this Clintonville home extra space to enjoy the outdoors.
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Mike and Jamie O'Leary.

Mike and Jamie O’Leary with their daughter, inside their home in Clintonville.

A treehouse fulfills a lot of kid’s (and adults!) dreams. Finding one in an urban setting? Now, that’s magical. You need the right sized yard, and a large, old tree, and your dreams of being outside, high in the sky can come true. Mike and Jamie O’Leary were just so lucky to find this kind of property along a street lined with beautiful old shade trees, and sidewalks, in Clintonville.

“I do yoga up there occasionally,” says Jamie. “I feel like I’m surrounded by nature.”






In addition to the treehouse and amazing outdoor patio space, their home has two full baths, three bedrooms, an attic, and a finished basement within its 2,000 square-feet.

“We had heard really good things about Clintonville,” says Jamie. “We were living in Italian Village in a 1200 square-foot industrial loft in the MetalWorks and wanted something more family friendly.”

“It was very impractical for kids, even though we loved it there,” adds Mike.

Looking for a place that kept them near to the things they liked – proximity to parks, farmers’ markets, libraries – made Clintonville a sound place to house-hunt. They spent about a year figuring out what they did and didn’t want in their new home.

“This was the first house we saw and then we saw about three more, just to be sure,” says Jamie. “We loved the finished basement and with the extra bathroom, we were sold.”

The couple keeps their television in the basement and while they do spend time down there, “It makes you more mindful of tv watching,” says Jamie.

Jaime often works from home and has spaces set up in the living room for her daughter to play. The teepee playhouse is a favorite hideout for her daughter.










For décor, the couple likes to shop Grandview Mercantile for unique pieces, IKEA for basics like shelving, Clintonville online Facebook groups for accessories, and Etsy and Wholly Craft for items with an artistic flair.

“There’s also a lot of good thrift stores here,” says Mike. “I love to find records at street sales and yard sales.”

Mike joined the band We Are The Movies, playing guitar and vocals. “I’ve been in a band since I was thirteen,” he says. He enjoys the support the music community has here for each other.




The O’Learys lived in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and New York before coming to Columbus to be closer to both of their families.

“We didn’t know what to expect of Columbus,” says Jamie. “We were just floored by the food and beer scenes.”

“You’re on the ground floor of something really big here,” adds Mike. “People really care about what they do. Everybody is rooting for each other.”

Mike would like to some day soundproof the garage into a practice space for the band. Other things they would like to do to the home is turn the porch space into an art room for their daughter, finish the attic, make improvements to the basement, and do some landscaping.

“This is our first house with a yard,” says Mike.

They’ve been very happy with their move to Clintonville. After all, the neighborhood did just top Columbus Underground’s reader poll as Best Neighborhood of 2014.

“I love how kid-friendly Clintonville is,” says Jamie. “We’re never without options for an outing with our daughter.”


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 [email protected].


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