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290 Concord Ave
Cambridge, MA, 02138
United States


Interior Designer, Cambridge, Boston, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  


We bought a home!

Elizabeth Tobin

pinney house.jpg

I’ve shared this news on my Instagram stories and also want to share it here. My husband Brad and I recently bought a home! It's a two-family and we'll continue to rent out the first floor unit and live on the upper two floors. I wouldn’t say it’s our dream home but its exactly what we’ve been looking for, so it’s close to it. We’ve been looking for a home for 3 years! No joke. For those of you unfamiliar with the housing market in our area - houses are on the market for days, not weeks or months like they are in other parts of the state let alone the country.

The house is a two-family in a great neighborhood in Belmont. Which is close to work and has a small town feel - something this New Hampshire native loves. (I have a dream of joining the board of selectmen, but that’s another blog post :).) The house comes with a renter on the first floor unit whom we plan to keep and we’ll live on the top two floors. I would say the floor plan is very typical for a two-family in this area but the set of stairs from the second to third floor is in the center of the apartment making it feel more like a single family home than most two-families. It’s also got a semi-secret set of stairs going to the third floor, which has my 8 year old self all :) :) :) and my new mother set of mind loving it for safety.

The house has great period details from when it was built 100 years ago that have not been ruined by past owners. However it’s also got an awful kitchen and bathrooms that need some serious loving. I don’t want to ever be in the category of someone who ruined the house so we’re planning to keep the awesome period deals and give new life into the areas that are gross. The style we’re going for is Transitional which is a much cleaner design than your typical Traditional. In rooms that have heavy details from 1918 we will be using a lot of bright colors and furniture with clean lines. I’ll be using solid fabrics and keep it really simple.

Below I’ve posted pictures that I’ve been pulling as inspiration. I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally be getting to design the home for my family. I said above that it’s not our dream home. So with that in mind there are certain limitations that exist because we know we might not be there forever. And since it’s a two-family the idea is that if we leave it, we’ll keep it as a rental. So with every decision we make, I have to keep in the back of my mind that some day we might rent it out. It's important thorughout the project that I make practical design selections with a renter in mind.

I’m super excited for this project. We have a budget and a quick move in schedule. I want to be in for Toby’s first birthday - but he won’t know if his birthday party is a month late… right?! The goal is April 1 - but it’s already feeling more like May 1. I’m going to post monthly updates here on the blog, for more (updates) and site happenings follow along on our Instagram stories. Be sure to click through the photos below for an inside look at the inspiration i'm pulling for this home on our Pinterest board!