718 Dumas/Buzzbrews owner Ernest Belmore bought his 1932, Craftsman-planned, Queen Anne-embellished home in the Junius Heights Historic District from the second owner. It lay vacant for approximately a year and a half, its interior doors kicked in and one room filled with junk.
AFTER/ Belmore now lives here with Megan Eastep after an approximate $180,000 remodel, including an additional 700 square feet, a first floor gut, an attic renovation and a new nursery for Belmore’s and Eastep’s newborn. “My goal was to, of course, update it, bring into the 21st century, but still have it retain that original grandeur of when it was built,” Belmore says. Acting in conjunction with Lee Main of SOS Services as co-general contractors, he wanted to keep as much of the original detailing as possible. For instance, he salvaged the unusually tall 12-inch baseboards from the original walls, and re-installed them on the new ones. Because he is trained in the French culinary tradition, he installed a professional-grade kitchen — oak floors stained to match existing floors, “chocolate coffee” granite as a nod to his java-slinging business, Sub Zero refrigerator and wine cooler, Dacor oven and microwave, and glass cabinet doors. He describes the texture of the glass as “kind of like liquid, so it flows in with the granite.” During the attic renovation, which included the master suite, the existing floor joists had to be reinforced to handle the additional load of the master bathroom, tiled in travertine and glass accents. The unique shower is tucked beneath the sloping roof and is big enough for Belmore to share bathtime with his chocolate lab, Decker. “Wherever I go, he goes,” he says. The shower and bathroom are such that Decker can be showered and dried without fear of him wetting or dirtying the rest of the house. Belmore is happy with his decision to spend the time, money and energy to rehabilitate his home and brighten the Junius Heights Historic District. “A lot of people told me, ‘Don’t do it; it’s not worth the money,’ for resale or whatever. That really wasn’t my main objective.”
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