You can’t help but fall for this two-story Shaw 2 BR plus den townhouse. If the exposed brick and bigger-than-it-looks interior don’t grab you, the exquisitely renovated kitchen will. Perfect for both quiet contemplation and regular entertaining.
When Isaac George moved into his Shaw/East Logan townhouse six years ago, things were a little different. Now, with lots of remodeling and a revitalized neighborhood, his home is sitting pretty.
ISSAC GEORGE: When I started looking for a house I realized that I couldn’t afford stuff right in Logan or Dupont. I looked for about six months and started to get a little frustrated. I decided I was going to take a step back and regroup. My realtor said, “I’ve got one more property to show you.” And it was this one. As soon as I walked in I said, “I really like this place.”
[In the living room] I sit and entertain in here, have drinks. There’s no TV or stereo in here. I like it to be just about conversation. I’m beginning to entertain more. When I was in a relationship he always wanted to entertain. It’s a great deal of work, and he always brought it all together. I was always the lazy one who enjoyed it. Now that I’m doing it myself, it’s like, “Oh, shit, there’s a lot to do.”
I have three different styles going on in the house. You’ll see more of the traditional style in the dining room and upstairs. I also really like art deco and I’m trying to collect more pieces of that. And I definitely have some Asian influences.
[In the dining room] This was a chimney — I had [the front bricks] cut out. I’m going to have my carpenter build a custom cabinet in there because I would like to store some wine down there and display some glass. I’m into art deco glass lately so I’d like to display one or two pieces in there.
A lot of people tell me how big this house is. They see it from the street and it looks fairly small but once you get into it it’s bigger than it looks. It does have a nice flow.
[In the kitchen] This was the biggest undertaking in remodeling the house. It took me four years before I even started with the kitchen. But I am definitely pleased with how it all turned out. Everything really went together well, from the floor to the counter top to the back splash. The back splash is actually from the garden section at Lowe’s. You could put this in your patio basically, but I thought it would look nice here. The stove’s not a Viking like every other gay man in the city has, or a Sub-Zero refrigerator. They’re nice, but $4,000 for a stove? But hey, if you’ve got the money, I guess.
[On the patio] Rebuilding the deck is the project for this year. I wanted to do this last year and I started taking it apart but it didn’t quite happen. I’ll wrap it up this year. I’m basically going to take off all the flooring and put in that new composite decking material where it will never warp or you’ll never get splinters. I’ve tried to carry some of the Asian theme into the back yard as well. I want to do some more outside lighting because it’s quite dark back here at night. I have the lantern there but that’s about it.
[In the guest room] I took all these floors up and put the crown molding throughout the upstairs. But this was my roommate’s when he lived here but when he moved out it was like, “let me make use of this room.” I was going to make it a study, but I definitely needed a spare room. Plus Madeline [the dog] likes to hang out here. I got this desk at an antique store in Virginia. It’s quite nice. I just love how the drawers are bowed and it has storage for everything.
[In the bedroom] This [steamer trunk] is one of my older pieces. It’s labeled “#6 of 20” — these people who would travel all over Europe back then would have 15 or 20 of these things with them. So it’s just a piece of history I found in an antique store. I use the bedroom pretty much for sleep only. I do read in here sometimes. But when the weather changes I like to be outside in the backyard reading or in the living room.
I think I’ll keep this house for a long time. I really don’t see any need to move right now, especially after all the blood, sweat and tears. I really enjoy my house. It’s peaceful coming home after work or just having people over and relaxing. I’ve got a great neighborhood, great neighbors — there are quite a few gay couples on the street. I’m very fortunate.
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