Home & Design

A Capitol Hill Renovation

A LOT HAS happened since Mark and Laurie Gillman’s Capitol Hill home renovation was featured on Houzz.com in 2013 (see slideshow below). The story that accompanied these pictures pointed out that this was the smallest house the  family of five had ever lived in. But now, several years later, two daughters are away at college, and a third is at boarding school. As Laurie said in a recent email, “It is certainly more than enough space for 2 people and a cat!”

Here’s probably the most important thing the Gillmans did leading up to the renovation, according to Laurie: “I think because we lived in the house for about a year before renovating, and worked with an architect and really gave a lot of thought to the way we all used the space together, we really provided for what we need to be comfortable and to put everything away.”

The Gillmans also made excellent use of their garage, which, when providing other storage, was too small for their car. In half of the garage, “we were able to create a decent-sized laundry room.” They kept the other half for storage of bikes, garden supplies and tools. In the house proper, they were able to add a linen closet, a coat closet and a powder room on the main floor; closets in the bedrooms, and small but usable baths for each of the upstairs bedrooms. The Gillmans’ eldest daughter staked out the basement guest room as her own, and it now has a small bath of its own.

With the house emptying out (except for holidays and summers, when happily it fills right back up again), Laurie took a flyer and opened East City Bookshop over six months ago, a general, community, indie bookstore, with books for kids and adults. “We have lots of author events, book clubs, staged play readings,” she points out.

All in all, things are looking good. The house works well for everyone, Laurie is pleased to report, adding, “I love this house! It’s also the fourth house we’ve re-modeled to various degrees, so I think we’re getting pretty good at it.”

—Nancy McKeon

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