Season 2, Episode 5: Room to grow in Dayton, KY

Creative and scrappy, the owner of this cottage has a designer’s mind and a green thumb. Join us for the tour to see all her inspiring projects, inside and out.

The success of her garden even inspired a delicious side business.

Homeowner Susan Beresford moved to Kentucky from Brooklyn. She was looking for a friendly, walkable neighborhood and a “blank slate” house and garden. She found what she wanted in Dayton, KY.

To complement the warm, weathered oak floors in the 1901 home, Susan built a color palette for the rooms that is both dramatic and welcoming. Her interesting collections—old wooden boxes, South American textiles and vintage saws—further personalize the spaces.

Susan is a textile designer who is inspired by the organic forms of plants and flowers. She took this love outdoors, planting a picturesque landscape of flowers and vegetables. Her robust harvest of tomatoes and peppers led her to start a side business, called Farm to Hangover. She makes and sells flavorful Bloody Mary mixes. She often hosts brunches in her lush backyard, inviting friends and customers to enjoy the setting (and the beverages).

This year, Susan is scaling up her produce production with the addition of a vacant lot leased from the City of Dayton. She has turned the land into an urban farm to grow even more Bloody Mary ingredients.

With her pretty house, flourishing gardens and cute neighborhood, this New York transplant has been able to grow and blossom in Northern Kentucky.


Thank you to the exclusive sponsor of this episode:

This episode is sponsored by Keating, Meuthing and Klekamp. KMK Law is a nationally recognized law firm of approximately 120 lawyers in Cincinnati, Ohio.  They deliver sophisticated legal solutions to businesses of all sizes – from start-up companies to Fortune 50 corporations.


More information about the property

Learn more about the City of Dayton here.
Learn more about Farm to Hangover here.

Additional photos of the property (slide show)

Watch more episodes

If you’d rather read than watch, here is a transcript of the episode:

Jill Morenz, host: Hi, thank you for joining me for another episode of Beyond the Curb: River City Living. I’m Jill Morenz with the Catalytic Fund. Today, I’m going to show you the inside and outside of this urban gardener’s cottage in Dayton, Kentucky. Let’s take a look!

The exclusive sponsor of this episode is Keating Muething and Klekamp. KMK Law is a nationally recognized law firm of approximately 120 lawyers in Cincinnati, Ohio. They deliver sophisticated legal solutions to businesses of all sizes, from startup companies to Fortune 50 corporations.

This cottage was built in 1901 and has 840 square feet of interior space. The living room has a dramatic green wall with a stenciled paint treatment on the fireplace bump out. The mantle was stripped down and left unstained for contrast and to emphasize the pretty green tile surround. The homeowner, Susan Beresford, is a textile designer, whose wallpaper will soon enliven the hallway. She also designed the bedding.

Susan Beresford, homeowner: I had been looking for a while and I had moved back to Cincinnati, was here for about three years living in Hyde Park in an apartment, started looking around and really wanted to be close to the city, but wanted to be in a house, and started looking in Northern Kentucky. I liked the location of it and found it online, was looking for different houses, they were going pretty quickly and it went on the market at 8:00 in the morning, I was in the house by noon and offer by three and got the house by six. One of my favorite features of the house is the original floors. They’re stunning. How in the world does a hundred year old house have original floors that look that good? I mean, they’re just, they’re warm, they’re inviting, they’re lived-in, they have scuff marks, and I built my whole palette of the house around the floors. Everything was inspired by them.

Jill: The dark green color is carried into the dining room. Susan designed and built the table and bench. Susan loves the way her vintage saw collection introduces a little bit of an element of danger into her decor. She told me it teaches a lesson about being more aware of your surroundings, which I love. Susan loves the farmhouse simplicity of the kitchen, which was renovated by the previous owner.

Susan: My side business is called Farm to Hangover and I love it. It a bloody mary mix company. I started by growing vegetables here. I had not really done much growing, I’d lived in Brooklyn in an apartment, so never owned a house, always loved growing and maybe doing something on the porch, but nothing to this scale. And my first year, grew a whole bunch of veggies. And I mean, they took off. I mean, I’m telling you, Northern Kentucky has the best soil ever. I expanded into different neighbors yards and took over their yards, then got introduced to the mayor of Dayton and he came over to my yard and I just fed them a whole bunch of pico de gallo and gave him bloody marys and said, “Are there any vacant lots in Dayton?” And he’s like, “Yes, there are.” So he leased me a plot that wasn’t being used in an industrial area, but still residential, and I have turned the whole, it’s about a quarter of an acre, into a mini farm or our mini urban farm, and so it’s now Farm to Hangover so I’ll have a bigger area to produce more bloody marys.

This particular house was a blank slate with the yard, which was exciting for me, and something in my price range. But also, I had lived in Brooklyn for a long time, and I think that that was really kind of the motivator for me, or the drive, was to find something that felt like Brooklyn for me, walkability, community, families around, stores, going to different things like that. When I found Dayton and then really started like nestling into my house, but then started understanding or getting to know my neighbors and then getting to know the people that are in our city council and the mayor and how passionate they are, and I see them at a local events and we see each other and they want the city to be exciting. They live here, they love it, and so, that for me was everything.

Jill: Thank you so much for joining me on our tour of this cultivated home in Dayton, Kentucky, where she really does have room to grow. I invite you to take a look at our other episodes at our website, On behalf of our sponsors in the Catalytic Fund, I’m Jill Morenz. Thanks for coming beyond the curb with us.