4 In Interiors

Francois Renovates: A Duplex

On Friday, July 17th it became official; Ken and I kicked off our first home buying experience by also simultaneously becoming landlords. Yep, we bought a duplex! As you may or may not know, we’d casually been considering buying a house for several years now, only semi-seriously looking for about a year, and only “let’s-make-this-happen-now” looking for about a month before we found THE place.

We Bought A Duplex | Francois et Moi It became pretty clear to us this year as we hit MLS with our game faces on in May, that we were in the market for a duplex property. With this being our first purchase, we knew it probably wouldn’t be our forever home, so the idea of buying a property that could pay 1/2 our monthly mortgage in the short term, and give us a bit more financial freedom and options down the road, it was a move we couldn’t help but get excited about.

The home we landed on is a 1934 Tudor-style duplex that has the appearance of a single family home from the street (a rare gem!). Then as you enter the foyer, the units split off into two. We plan to live on the first floor which has 3 bedrooms (on one floor!), one bath and 1400 sf in total. The stairs in the foyer lead upstairs to the 900 sf 1 bedroom/1 bath + den income suite.

One of the things I fell in love with about this home are all the 1930’s details. Ornamented archways, cove ceilings, glass doorknobs, original mosaic bathroom floor tiles, etc. If only you had all day, because I could go on! Kitchen Finishes | Francois et Moi Finishes (Left to Right, Top to Bottom): Stacked Subway Tiles | Schoolhouse Electric Northwestern 6 Shade | Honed Carrara Marble | Schoolhouse Electric Natural Brass Pull | Benjamin Moore, Color: White | Existing Oak Flooring | Martha Stewart Ox Hill Door Style

I also love that it still had the original kitchens from 1934. We wanted a home that needed a bit of work. Ken is a commercial contractor and grew up framing houses, and my background is interior design, so between the two of us, we knew we’d probably need to make a few modifications in the home no matter how new or old the updates were.

This past weekend we started demo on the kitchen, so I don’t have a ton of photos to show you just yet. But we do have the finishes selected for the kitchen: Clean and classic materials with lines that speak to the time period of the home + accents of unfinished brass and blue.

Living Room Before | Francois et Moi We’ve also been painting up a storm in the rest of the house. Here’s a BEFORE shot of the dining room leading into the living room. The entire house was painted this dark pinky beige. It was okay, but a little dreary, so we gave it a fresh coat of Benjamin Moore ‘White’ in an eggshell finish. It feels so much lighter, brighter, more modern, and much more us. Stay tuned for more updates as things progress! Untitled-1



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  • Tasha
    August 18, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    I love it so much already.. Can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  • Miranda @ Miranda Writes
    August 19, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Congratulations! The place looks so charming. I love all the details and character.

  • Zografia
    August 19, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Congratulations! It’s lovely!

  • Emily Wignall Design
    August 21, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    so exciting! I love the fresh white paint, and your finishes are so beautiful…can’t wait to see you transform this space!

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