About catherine
Catherine is a CPA-turned-creative entrepreneur. She is the founder of Beginning in the Middle. an interior designer, photographer, writer, and business schemer.  She loves being cozy at home, miniature everything, and has a not-so-secret dream of living on an island one day.
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Before & After

New Property Tour: The Pearl St. Project

Pearl St.

Guys!  We are so excited about our new property (we’ve been referring to as #thepearlstproject on Instagram).  It’s a 1900 duplex located on the edge of Brewery District, an up and coming neighborhood, and German Village, one of the most charming neighborhoods of Columbus.  It’s walking distance to everything – grocery store, pretty parks, restaurants, coffee shops, bars and the free Cbus.  Each side of the duplex is about ~1100-1200 sq ft.  One side has 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths and the other side has 2 bedrooms, 1 bath.  Both sides have a good sized living room, dining room, and kitchen.  Not huge, but comfortable.  Added bonus: there’s a large asphalt backyard area that we’re going to transform into a fun, low maintenance outdoor oasis for each side.

Aside from the fact that we had to evict one of the tenants in the property (story for another time), we love this property.  The plan is to make it a really nice executive rental, or list it on Airbnb / HomeAway / VRBO like we did with our first home.   We want to make each side a super chic, comfy home that has a mixture of lots of design elements and DIY projects, aka the Bryan and Catherine Mashup.  It’s going to be fun to see all of our grand ideas come to life!

The plan is to do one side at a time.  Here’s a little tour of the first side that we’re working on.

The kitchen – like a lot of old houses in the area, the kitchen is in the back of the house so this is what you see when you walk in the back door.  We’ve gotten started on the kitchen and will share a more detailed post soon with plans and progress photos (check Instagram in the meantime!)



Basement entrance




From the kitchen, you walk into the dining room and then into the living room.  Both rooms have a pretty decent amount of space.  We think there might be pocket doors hiding in that wall between the two rooms because the wall is really thick.  Our favorite part, though, is the fireplace.  It’s kind of fun that it’s in the corner, and we are in love with that grate!






Upstairs – these stairs are so quirky!  You walk up 15 stairs to a landing, at which point you can either turn left and go up a few more stairs to the bathroom, or right toward the two bedrooms.  We can tell the stairs are original because the flooring is the same as some of the other rooms (pine subfloor).  We toyed with the idea of moving the stairs to make the layout more open but we just don’t have the budget to do that on this side.




Bathroom – Oh the plans we have for this bathroom.  We’re hoping to expand and reconfigure it, add a tiled shower and find a spot for the clawfoot tub we have leftover from our brick duplex renovation.  We also want to get rid of the tiny vanity in the corner and add a nice, big double vanity, and find a spot for laundry.




Bedroom #1 – the master.  This room is really not bad at all!  We’ll probably refinish the hardwood floors, add curtains and paint, and do something to the wall on the right.  It’ll make a perfect accent wall.  We’ll also need to figure out what to do about the lack of closet in here.  Either we build one, or add some fun armoires to the space.



Bedroom #2 / Office – We’re hoping to make this into a super cute guest bedroom that also functions as an office/sitting room.


We can’t even fit hangers in this closet, so we’ll need to either make it deeper or just move the close to another area of the room.  If we do move it, we could open up the space and use it as a desk nook.



Backyard & Exterior – The backyard is a super large space that had previously been used as a parking lot, so it’s all asphalt.  Even if we split it in half so that each side of the duplex has its own private outdoor space, we still have a large space to work with.  It needs a big face lift (and lots of dejunking), but on the bright side… no weeds?  We’re hoping we can work some magic out here without jacking up the asphalt, but time will tell.  We’re hoping to add a deck, concrete paver/gravel patio area (like we did in our first home) covered with a pergola, a fire pit area, shrubs along the exterior, and lots of fun string lights.


We will also have to figure out what to do about the vinyl siding on here without spending a fortune.  It sticks out like a sore thumb in this all brick neighborhood!



More to come soon!

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Catherine & Bryan Williamson moved from NYC to Columbus, OH in 2013.  Beginning in the Middle is a journal of the couple's design and renovation projects, real estate investment and Airbnb hosting journey, travel, and other life happenings.



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I grew up in New Jersey and always had a dream of living in New York.  There was something about the energy of the city that drew me inOur journey started unexpectedly in 2012, when we decided to make a big move from New York to Columbus. The glamour of climbing the corporate ladder was wearing off, and we knew that renting an expensive small apartment and dealing with crowded subways everyday was not going to work forever. We wanted to start creating something for ourselves, and although we didn’t know exactly what that something was, we knew NYC wasn’t the place for it.

We decided on Columbus because Bryan grew up here, and we were intrigued by all of the development going on in the downtown area at the time. We drove through many of the neighborhoods and admired the boarded up old houses, most of which were built in the early 1900s, and started dreaming about the things we could do here.

I'm Catherine, and I'm the founder of Beginning in the Middle.

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