In the beginning and up until 2007, we had three apartments above the shop (oh what stories I could tell - but I won't). In 2008 and I ceased being a landlord and we converted the upstairs into our home. We knocked down walls, put in French doors, new windows, new floors, added functional space, but still must contend with a small kitchen - the work was labor intense and thank goodness my husband is a plumber. We love living here,and earlier this year we gave the front of the shop a face lift. Though we still have some work to do, such as restoring the back of the shop for my writers workshop and studio, the changes have really been an improvement.
The building was built in the late 1940's as a grocery store and apartments. Over the years it has been an antique shop, cabinetmakers shop, wicker shop, toy and hobby shop, and always apartments.
For many years people used our drive as a short cut to the back lane. The back has grass, bushes, and trees along with boulders and other landscaping. We added a deck and put up decorative criss-cross fencing that one day I hope to train vines to go up. It is private though and we can sit out doors and not feel like we are in a fish bowl. Zach and Zoie, our Yorkies in training can run and play freely - along with their friend Mr. Wiggles and his big black Lab companion who like to come and visit.
This month - September - marks the beginning of my 14th year. I think the shop has evolved in many ways, besides being a front for my writing and I love being here, even more so now because the building is also our home. I am surrounded by inspiration and can immerse myself in history on a daily basis - what more can anyone ask for?