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Family turns 1905 home into castle in front of social media audience |

Family turns 1905 home into castle in front of social media audience

CENTRAL — The Upstate is littered with century-old homes complete with caved in porches and chipping paint, and many people gaze at these diamonds in the rough with ideas of “maybe one day” in their heads. But Tripp and Katherine Brooks made that “one day” wish a reality with the purchase of their very own fixer-upper in Central.


The home dates back to the turn of the last century. It stands two stories tall with white rails along the porches, and boasts six bedrooms – and a lot of room for improvement.

Katherine Brooks said a friend emailed her the home listing last year and she and her husband, who lived in Greenville at the time, decided to take the plunge.

I thought I’d take a cue from some of my Insta-pals and do a little #fridayintroductions, so hey, friends 👋 , I’m Katherine, these are my two wild little ladies, and yes, I know we are nailing it in this pic 🙄 Not pictured is my handsome better half, Tripp {he had to take the picture because when we asked our neighbor to take one, he just started saying how much he hated hot weather and unions sooo ANYWAY..} We bought our house in Upstate SC on a whim last fall, did some initial renovations, and moved in this spring. The house was built in 1905 and still needs lots of work, but we are sloooooowy making progress. We love hearing your opinions, comments and feedback, mainly because we generally are just winging it 95% of the time 🤷🏼‍♀️ Thanks for following along, buds! Happy weekend! 🎉

A post shared by Katherine-Design Central (@design_central_project) on Jul 28, 2017 at 1:57pm PDT

 

“We weren’t really looking to move, but we liked the idea of a small-town environment. We went to see the house and it seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” she said.

Town of Central deputy clerk Mendy Fuller has admired the home for a long time. She said research on the home reveals it was built in 1905 by J.H. and Anna Rowland. 

The Brooks’ closed on the home in October 2016 and began the lengthy process of renovating it. The kitchen floor was covered with layers of miniature tiles, avocado green linoleum, and finally, original hardwoods. Several bedrooms also had cabinets and sinks, which left Brooks scratching her head in confusion.

“There were some strange things in the house, so I called the previous owner to see what she knew,” Brooks said.

According to Brooks, the previous owner said the home was built around the time of the big fire in Central that burned most of the town. A few theories are floating around about the use of the structure, especially given that each room has a sink and a number of cabinets. Brooks had been told it was used as a boarding house for railroad and mill workers. Another story is that it was used as a girls’ school and boarding house. 

“The Rowlands worked at the hotel before it burned and they were apparently famous for the food they cooked. So after the hotel burned down it made sense for their home to become some sort of boarding house, but I have no idea who for,” Fuller said of the home’s history.

The home remained in the family for several generations and wasn’t sold to a non-family member until later in the 20th century.

As with any renovation, the Brooks family has encountered a few hurdles. The lack of open floor plan has created some challenges, as well as seemingly erroneous doors and all the extra kitchen accessories that weren’t in the kitchen. But the biggest hurdle for Brookses has been fitting modern amenities into an older home.

“I had a hard time trying to find a place for things like the fridge and television. I want the layout to be comfortable, but things needed to fit right,” she said. 

Sharing a little #whenitwascleanwednesday (it’s a thing, guys). But also really sharing because I think this may be my favorite spot that we’ve renovated in our house so far. No more rotted out porch to swallow up my babies 👌🏻👌🏻 Now a helpful, functional mudroom 💪🏻💪🏻 Have a favorite renovated spot in your house? Don’t forget to share for this week’s #myrenovatedreality ! 🔨

A post shared by Katherine-Design Central (@design_central_project) on Sep 27, 2017 at 6:31am PDT

 

The project has garnered some attention for the family. Through Brooks’ blog and Instagram account, she has been documenting the home’s progress with thousands of followers looking and cheering her on. Employees at Central’s Town Hall gushed over the transformation. Social media followers love their attention to detail, the classic looks, and Brooks’ own witty repertoire. 

“It’s really cool that so many people are interested in seeing the changes in the house. I also have been trying to give them details and not just photos,” she said. 
Her Instagram photos often include paint colors, and where to get certain items for anyone else looking to renovate a historic home.

The Brookses, along with daughters Neely, 4, and Susanna, 1, moved into the house this spring, through the house is far from complete. The kitchen, living space, and bedrooms for family are livable, but the attic and exterior of the home have hardly been touched, she said.

“It’s far from finished, there are several rooms not done and the attic, and we really need to work on the exterior. That needs new everything,” she said as she sorted through her to-do list. 

Despite the hard work, Brooks said they are loving the house and loving the area around it as well. They think it’s a wonderful place for their children and it’s near where she grew up in Pickens. 

As they continue to work on the house, Brooks continues to update her renovation followers on her blog at www.designcentralproject.com and on Instagram at @design_central_project. 

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