Jennifer Jorgensen loves a good challenge.
So when a home she had been eyeing in her Kingfield neighborhood went into foreclosure, she jumped on it. Jorgensen, founder of J. Jorgensen Design, made an offer—sight unseen—over the asking price, with no inspection. “I got it, but it was basically like I bought a shed,” she says.
The craftsman-style bungalow, which was in serious disrepair, didn’t have a functioning boiler system, the windowsills were rotted, and the yard was a tangle of overgrown weeds. Plus there was a horde of box elder bugs living in the dining room ceiling. “It was unlivable,” she says. “It turned into a much bigger project than I anticipated.”
But Jorgensen loved the neighborhood and was looking to upgrade from the duplex she was sharing with her boyfriend, Steve Imhoff, owner of the specialty brokerage firm Rare Form Properties. “We were either going to break up or we needed to find a larger space,” she says. So construction began.
With Imhoff’s help, the two went to work on restoring the home, careful to keep the bones intact. “Steve hates the idea of tearing down a house built in the 1920s,” she says. “We just needed to adapt it to our more modern lifestyle.”
Within just a couple of months, they had running water, newly painted walls, a gutted kitchen, and meticulously reconditioned woodwork. Imhoff, who also restores boats in his free time, appreciates quality woodworking, so he stripped off the existing wood stain to better showcase the original millwork.
Once the main floor was inhabitable, the couple began formulating plans to transform the attic into a master suite. “We did it in stages,” Jorgensen says. “It was hidden from our living space, so we could just shut the door and act like it wasn’t going on.” They started by ripping off the roof to add a dormer. Then they insulated the space so it could function as a livable bed and bath. Slowly they began to add similar materials from the main floor to the reconditioned attic space, maintaining their design style: a mix of modern and vintage. “It’s a cool mix of old and new,” Jorgensen says.
Modern fixtures adorn a clawfoot tub in the master bath, while vintage Milo Baughman nightstands accent a sleek Pianca Impunto bed from Italy. “We decided if we were going to do it, we were going to do it right,” she says.
With the master complete, Imhoff and Jorgensen’s “shed” is now a place they’re proud to call home. “Projects like this are Steve’s passion,” Jorgensen says. “He brings them back to life.”