From Condemned to Restored

Modern Supply help owners to bring a historic home back to life.

It takes passion to oversee a condemned, partially burnt house transformed back into a work of art. That’s what drove five neighbors including Lauren Rider, Lawrence Eaton and Ernie Roberts to purchase and restore an 1895 Queen Anne cottage in Historic Old North Knoxville.

Cornelia Project Before

Historic Queen Anne cottage condemned

The partners were not renovation rookies as all had tackled their own homes. They formed Old North Restorations, LLC and purchased a blighted property at 1417 Cornelia Street known as the Cornelia Project.

In 2010, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported on the problems of blighted homes in Knoxville of which the Cornelia property was featured. A follow up story on the Cornelia purchase and renovation caught the attention of a national cable home improvement channel.  The whirlwind escalated as renovation filming began.

Cornelia Project After

The Cornelia historic home renovation complete

Modern Supply was contacted about helping with kitchen and bath products. “We’re excited to be a part of the Cornelia Project,” states Pace Robinson, Modern Supply CEO. “It’s great to see people taking action in their community and preserving a piece of history.”

Working with Lauren and team, Armstrong Cabinetry was selected for the kitchen. Debbie Johnson, Modern Supply Sales Manager, refined the kitchen design adding an island, two glass doors and varied cabinet heights for an upscale look.

Cornelia kitchen completed

Armstrong cabinets in expresso, Armstrong knobs & pulls, granite tops & dazzling pendant showcase the kitchen.

“Selecting kitchen cabinetry was a major decision with several parameters to work around,” explains Rider. “We wanted to maintain the period of the house but add a contemporary touch. Of course, budget was a consideration as well as the delivery time. Debbie made suggestions, improved our design and included an island which was a plus.”

Deciding on lighting, plumbing and a water heater from American Water Heater was next. To save time and maximize budget, the Cornelia owners chose in-stock lighting and plumbing fixtures or selected items that could meet their delivery dates. Adding another twist, the Cornelia team elected to pursue LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and EnergyStar certified construction meaning aspects of the house must be energy efficient and sustainable.

Cornelia Project Chandelier

The dining room chandelier complements the kitchen pendant.

Modern Supply and the HVAC contractor worked together to provide a RHEEM heating and cooling system that met LEED specifications.

After months of dirty, hard work and sleepless nights, the project is coming to an end. You can almost see the house smile knowing that it’s loved again. The house is under contract and nearing completion. Ask if they would do it again, Rider replies, “Probably.”

Cornelia Project WaterSense bath

The upstairs bath features WaterSense American Standard toilet & Delta fixtures.

Cornelia Project Mud Room Cabinet

Mud room cabinetry has cubbies for shoes & mail.

Cornelia Project transom stained glass

Stained glass adds charm to the historical door’s transom.