Joe Gallo knew exactly what he was looking for.
The interior designer was still living in South Florida with his partner, architect Tim Hall, when months of fruitless Zillow-stalking finally paid off. The design duo had been looking for a very specific project—a Cincinnati Victorian with renovation potential. And they’d struck gold. It would just take a little polishing. “The home was unlivable when we purchased it,” Gallo says. But the bones were good. The couple flew to Cincinnati the very next day to put in an offer.
“The restoration process,” Gallo readily admits, “was a bit rough.” Shortly after the couple closed on the home in late 2019, the pandemic hit. But Gallo and Hall are a bona-fide dream team with 20-plus-years of experience and a list of high-profile clients to show for it. Taking all necessary precautions—which included vacating the house for six months—they brought in a team of craftsmen to painstakingly restore the five-bedroom house to its former glory.
“The home has so many amazing details that survived almost 120 years of many owners and terrible renovations,” Gallo says. The house is floor-to-ceiling drama (seriously, don’t miss the painted ceilings), anchored in rich, moody tones, and full of stained-glass windows and original moldings that have been carefully preserved to showcase centuries of character. “We wanted the home to retain its historical details but have a modern vibe to it,” Gallo says. “We didn’t want to live in our grandmothers’ Victorian.”
Blink and you might just miss one of the thoughtfully placed features, from the detailing in the grand staircase banister to the pergola in the garden to the cozy nooks nestled into the turret.
Upstairs, the emerald library is a personal museum of sorts—a collection of artifacts from the couple’s global travels. Gallo and Hall will be adding to that collection soon, as this house is on the market and they move on to their next adventure.