New Digs: From House of Mirrors to Family Home

From the moment they first walked inside, Deirdre and Elliot Garland could literally see themselves in their new home–the interior was covered with mirrors! After a breezy purchasing process with Solo, a few renovations, and some mirror removal, they are happily situated in the perfect family home.

Deirdre and Elliot knew what they wanted: a house large enough for their family of four, in the Wynnefield neighborhood, where Elliot grew up and his father still resides. Deirdre saw a promising prospect pop up in a notification from the Zillow app; an hour later, it was gone.

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Elliot, Deirdre, and their sons Desmond and William (top), and their perfect family home (bottom)

 

Solo’s Alex Franqui looked into the property and found out the listing had been removed so the owner could make some unexpected repairs. He was able to communicate with the seller’s agent and ensure that the Garlands were the first people to see the property once it was relisted.

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The living room before (top), complete with mirror, and after (bottom), with freshly painted walls, polyurethaned floors, and new recessed lighting
The living room before (top), complete with mirror, and after (bottom), with freshly painted walls, polyurethaned floors, and new recessed lighting

 

“We had seen other houses that we said ‘we could make this work, if we had to,’” recounts Deirdre. “But when we walked into this house, we knew it was perfect.” With its spacious 2600 square feet, large rear yard, and well-maintained parquet flooring, the Garlands were savvy enough to see past the mirrored surfaces. Alex submitted their offer right away. “I think we were the only prospective buyers who saw the house!” Deirdre posits.

The Garlands' youngest son William enjoys the calming paint hue in the master bedroom
The Garlands’ youngest son William enjoys the calming paint hue in the master bedroom

The offer was accepted and they closed little over a month later, making their entire homebuying process last a mere two and half months. The next step? Removing the mirrors, updating the kitchen, and “a lot of skim coating,” Elliot recalls. He tackled all the repairs single-handedly, as Deirdre was late into her pregnancy with their second son William, otherwise she would have been right alongside him. “I was working 20 hours a day between my day job and working on the house,” Elliot describes.

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The kitchen before (top), and after (bottom), featuring new cabinets from the company Deirdre works for, new flooring, and appliances
The kitchen before (top), and after (bottom), featuring new cabinets from the company Deirdre works for, new flooring, and appliances

 

While Elliot skim coated away, Deirdre became the lighting visionary for the property. She hired professionals to remove the knob-and-tube wiring and update all the fixtures—“with LED whenever possible”—except for the art deco-chic globe pendant in the front hall.

The art deco style pendant lamp that Deirdre preserved while redoing the house's lighting
The art deco style pendant lamp that Deirdre preserved while redoing the house’s lighting

 

As every new homeowner since the beginning of time has discovered, the repairs took longer than they thought. William was born before they were able to move into the house, but soon after they settled into their carnival-spectacle-turned-family-friendly home. And they left in a few mirrors, for memory’s sake.

This checkered, mirrored powder room door remains--at least for now!
This checkered, mirrored powder room door remains–at least for now!