Four years ago, Matt and Emily Walters got married and started searching for their first home together. At the time, Matt was renting his boyhood home in Brookside from his parents.
Matt and his roommate had turned the nearly century-old home into a double-decker man cave. As in, there was a Foosball table in the breakfast nook. But Emily looked past that Foosball table and saw potential in the home’s handsome woodwork, classic architecture and screened-in porch overlooking tree-lined streets.
When Matt’s parents announced they were considering selling the property, the newlyweds quickly decided to buy it and make it their own.
Emily, an artistic type who designs floral arrangements for weddings and events, went to work picking out vibrant paint colors (Violet! Grass green! Powder blue!) and moving in her collections of heirloom furniture, antique glassware and art.
“She turned the house into a home,” says Matt, a patent attorney.
Then they took on a major home improvement project: turn the dungeonlike basement into an inspiring workspace for Emily.
“We wanted to make it really bright and fun,” she says.
After contractors installed Sheetrock, ceramic tile floors and a full bathroom, the couple painted the walls a cheery robin’s egg blue and added loads of built-in shelves where Emily could stash the tablecloths, milk-glass vases and Mason jars she uses in her floral arrangements. They also hired a contractor to construct a substantial workbench using one of the basement’s doors as the tabletop.
Now Emily has a space in the house that’s all her own. And Matt still has his Foosball table — on the screened-in porch.