Deb and I purchased our condo in 2009 and bought it primarily for the location in the Haymarket. It was a great decision that allowed us the freedom of condo living in an area full of entertainment.

Moving to a condo meant selling the home we had built and raised our family in for 24 years. There were a lot of memories there. The decision became easier when Lindsey and Joe Reinke, our daughter and son-in-law, asked if they could purchase our home. That meant we could continue visiting our home and build even more family memories.

Our condo was already finished as the model home when we purchased it, so we were stuck with a lower-quality finish that was kind of boring and lacked personality. We were like so many that knew there are better options available.

We became even more discontent as time passed as we watched HGTV religiously and saw how major remodels could add personality to a home. It’s probably safe to say those remodel shows tend to change expectations, don’t they? Eventually, we decided our condo needed to have more Haymarket warehouse character and be more open.

The challenge was Deb, and I had a lot of ideas, but we kept reverting to our conservative choices in products and colors.

We agreed it was time to call in an expert to help us with “a few design questions”. We reached out to Lisa Coffey, owner of Coffey & Co. House of Interiors because she had offered some design advice previously on a family room remodel that turned out great.

Lisa patiently led us through the entire design process that naturally grew in size. We learned quickly, that design experts are well worth the extra cost. Lisa looked professionally at ways to provide a more open look by getting rid of drywall to open up areas.

Lisa advised us the drywall enclosed stairwell needed to go and designed an open staircase. Then Lisa suggested getting rid of the pantry that blocked the openness and showed us kitchen cupboards would more than make up the difference. True design experts have a great vision.

A kitchen is often the heart of a home, so a lot of focus was put into that area. Lisa made the cabinet decisions so much easier. After a lifetime of Formica countertops, Deb and I found the granite looks especially great and is durable.

We chose a drop-in style one compartment kitchen sink with a touchless Moen faucet. Touchless faucets save time and are so much easier to use.

A second faucet on the kitchen sink supplies Reverse Osmosis (R.O.) drinking water and hot water from the hot water dispenser mounted under the counter.

Since Deb and I have an extensive plumbing background, it was easy to pick out the fixtures and faucets for the entire project. We took the route I always recommend to customers, which is going to the best plumbing showrooms at Lincoln Winnelson (700 Pioneers) or Briggs (1741 Cushman Drive).

Both showrooms have an incredible selection of plumbing fixtures and faucets displayed, plus design experts. Just tell them John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical’s sent you!

Deb and I have our bathrooms, so that allowed us to choose exactly what we liked. Deb’s bathroom has a nice area with a chair so she can do whatever ladies do with the cosmetic thing that makes them look beautiful.

My bathroom is more basic except for the steam shower. A steam shower may sound like a luxury, but it’s great for comfort after being outside on a cold day. Steam showers are good for the skin and lungs.

Lisa designed built in cabinets in our living room to display family heirlooms. A central focal point is a large copper kettle that was used by Deb’s parents at Russell Stovers to make candy until the plant closed in 1980. Russell Stovers was located two blocks from our condo so that Haymarket piece has meaning. It is a special reminder of Deb’s dad, that meant so much to us.

Deb and I had remodeled many homes and rental properties through the years. We could have attacked another one, but it was time to turn this one over to an expert since we hope to live there the rest of our lives.

Speaking of advice from experts, the HBAL Home Show is at the Lancaster Event Center on Saturday and Sunday. Feel free to stop by and ask John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical’s experts for their advice!

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