We’re Having a Love Affair with this Renovated Pendleton Row House

Purpose and intention keep one family going as they embrace the ups and downs of renovation.
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Year built: 1881; Style: Italianate Row House; Renovation Contractor: Mike Brown Construction; Project Date: November 2014-June 2015
Year built: 1881; Style: Italianate Row House; Renovation Contractor: Mike Brown Construction; Project Date: November 2014-June 2015

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

So was it destiny? Andrea and Tye Von Allmen would say yes. Their rehab story began with a chance sighting of a Craigslist posting eight years ago for a late-19th century Italianate row house in Pendleton. The place had great bones but was in dilapidated condition. Tye, an experience producer at Crossroads Church, and Andrea loved the place even though its price and extensive remodeling needs were beyond their financial reach.

Andrea and Tye Von Allmen and children
Andrea and Tye Von Allmen and children

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

They moved on and bought a house in Norwood, started a family, and lived happily for five years. But they never forgot the Pendleton house.

Fast forward a bit, and a chance conversation revealed that the home had never sold. The Von Allmens decided to meet with the owner. He was not keen on selling, and they still couldn’t really afford it, but they didn’t walk away. This is where destiny takes over.

The Von Allmens designed the spacious kitchen pairing original hardwood flooring with new quartz countertops and cabinetry from Profiles in Design.
The Von Allmens designed the spacious kitchen pairing original hardwood flooring with new quartz countertops and cabinetry from Profiles in Design.

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

When they finally explained their love and vision for the house, the owner began to soften. They felt drawn to renovating something old and forgotten, the couple explained, and most important, they wanted to welcome others into the home as a place to stay when there was nowhere else to go. The owner, impressed, decided to sell.

Contemporary furnishings mix with Victorian-era lighting in the living space.
Contemporary furnishings mix with Victorian-era lighting in the living space.

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

The map is dated 1881, the year the house was built, and is an IKEA find placed in a refurbished frame.
The map is dated 1881, the year the house was built, and is an IKEA find placed in a refurbished frame.

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

The Von Allmens’ open-door philosophy took shape through personal experience, Andrea says. They had both experienced the generosity of others when they needed a home—most recently when they sold their Norwood home in just a week and had to move themselves, a toddler, and a new baby in with a family they barely knew. (Luckily, the end result was a lasting friendship.) Andrea and Tye wanted to use this spacious restored house with six bedrooms as a way to pay it forward. Indeed, they have two new “roommates” now.

Upstairs the couple continued the mix of styles and mazimized the home's space by adding useful and fun touches.
Upstairs the couple continued the mix of styles and maximized the home’s space by adding useful and fun touches.

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

The kids' bedroom suite. Sherwin-Williams's "Reflection," a shade of light gray, is used throughout much of the interior space.
The kids’ bedroom suite. Sherwin-Williams’s “Reflection,” a shade of light gray, is used throughout much of the interior space.

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

“We are very normal people who set out to do the impossible,” Andrea says. “It was a huge calculated risk and involved overcoming a hundred different impossibilities. We had to plan in phases, scale back design, hunt for deals, DIY, and rely heavily on our community. But something in us just knew—this house, it was meant to be.”

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