Welcome to No. 139 Maplewood Avenue, our home. Let me tell you a story…
“That’s the most perfect house around here.” I said to our Realtor as she drove Gary and me away from the Maplewood Train Station. Only an hour before, we left our Brooklyn apartment in search of the suburban dream. Ha! I felt more like Carrie Bradshaw shopping for a wedding a dress during her Aidan phase than Trudy Campbell fawning all over her dream home in Cos Cob.
“That’s too bad”, she said. “It sold about six months ago.” Sigh. So we drove around. And around. And around. And then, we saw it…a gorgeous South Orange center hall colonial reminiscent of Southern-style homes with its large field stone front patio flanked by two sets of French doors and soaring columns. Miraculously, I was no longer hyperventilating. I was in love…for real.
FAST FORWARD seven years.
Remember that “perfect house” I mentioned? Well, it went on the market, we made an offer, and it was ours! Yep, we bought a Victorian known as “The Mayor of Maplewood” on a whim. It’s important to note that we were in the midst of planning a first floor renovation on our colonial – the plans were drawn up: soap stone counters, appliances, custom cabinetry – all ordered. We immediately cancelled everything and set a new course to get our South Orange home sold as soon as possible. It sold in less than a week.
And so here we are. Although our home was owned by only four families, No. 139 Maplewood Avenue was significantly altered over the years and was a flip at one point. It’s impossible to go for historical perfection in this house as much of the original moldings were ripped out and replaced with standard designs you can find at the Home Depot. And the updates that were made were done on the cheap.
But! We have plans to reimagine her, to bring back a few lost details, and to make her the showpiece she was always meant to be.
We recently hired René and Marvin Clawson of Clawson Architects to help us navigate a top to bottom restoration. From kitchen design to re-envisioning the entire central stair case as a whole unit with a single aesthetic.
I invite you to follow us on our adventures in No. 139 Maplewood Avenue over the next few months and perhaps years.