“We knew we wanted to downsize,” says John Bertram. “We decided to either buy or build a house half the size of what we had.” He and his wife, Becky, had been in the family home they built in Broadview Heights for 20 years. Once their two sons were on their own, they were ready to move. Wanting to be closer to the city, they looked in Tremont, Ohio City and the Edgewater neighborhood. All the older homes they saw, “needed tons of work.”
When they became aware of One Seventeen, the Brickhaus project at W. 117th and Lake, they were the first to buy! “We don’t like contemporary, but the classic brownstone design of the exterior appealed to us,” says John. Their residence is an end unit with windows on three sides and extra square footage thanks to a bump-out. They look out towards the leafy streets of the Edgewater neighborhood. They were thrilled to get one of the four carved sandstone panels recovered from the site’s former historic church mounted on the side of their home.
Becky and John loved being able to totally customize the interior. “We could make a home that looks like it was made just for us,” says Becky. Every room included upgrades. “All the vendors Brickhaus uses were very easy to work with,” says John. “Jaron and Vince bent over backwards. Any little thing that needed taking care of – they did it.”
The couple’s taste is eclectic, mixing antiques with traditional elements and top of the line finishes and appliances. Inside the front door, the area has a gorgeous, classic, black and white checkerboard marble floor crowned by a grand piano. The next level features a spacious and open living/dining/kitchen. A brick-lined wall and hardwood floors make the space feel cozy. They purchased an antique French walnut hutch from the early 1900’s that is now used as a bar. For their bedroom, they found a perfectly-proportioned art deco-style suite of furniture, as their old bedroom set was much too large. They are truly happy with the new home that they share with Lucy, their 12-year-old beagle. ”We had a vision and it was realized.” Becky and John recently hosted their annual Kentucky Derby party with 50 friends in attendance. Many of them were from their old neighborhood. “Everyone loved coming to our new urban home and being able to see the lake from the rooftop deck,” says Becky.
John is originally from Flushing, NY. He is an electrical engineer who works as a consultant for an electronics manufacturer. Becky hails from Fort Thomas, KY. The couple met at the University of Kentucky. She is Director of Talent Acquisition for The NRP Group. They like to head south to Savannah where they own two condos in a 175-year-old house that was turned into vacation rentals.
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