Season 3, Episode 1: Jolly Green Giant in Covington, KY

Peek inside this gorgeous renovated home to see how an empty nester couple has embraced urban living.

You’ll love the details, both original and new.

Downsizing from a larger home, Mary and Scott Smith found exactly what they needed in this renovated condo.

Orleans Development had reworked the floorplan of this two-family house to create 4 condos: a pair of two-story units on the lower two levels with two more tucked into the third floor. During this thoughtful renovation, original features like the beautiful staircase, inglenook, sleeping porch and three fireplaces were saved.

Contrasting the antique wood and tile details are three sleek new bathrooms and an open kitchen, along with convenient amenities like a butler’s pantry and large mudroom. All the condo owners share the charming backyard and off-street parking.

With a great coffee shop across the street, bars and restaurants a short walk away and Cincinnati and Newport right over a bridge, this is the urban living experience Mary and Scott envisioned for their empty nester lifestyle.

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Thank you to our sponsors:

The Presenting Sponsor for Season 3 is The Boardwalk Residences at Ovation. These premier condos on Newport’s riverfront offer stunning views and luxury amenities, nestled within the Ovation development. Learn more at OvationOnTheRiver.com.
This episode is sponsored by Orleans Development, specializing in historic and urban development in Northern Kentucky’s river cities. Orleans has developed 300 residential units and 80,000 sf of commercial space in the region. Their upcoming projects include Deagan Square and Orchard Row in Covington and the Burton Building in Dayton, KY. Learn more here.
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More information about the property

Learn more about the historic Licking Riverside neighborhood here.
Learn more about the City of Covington here.
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Additional photos of the property (slide show)

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

[Jill Morenz, host] Hi, welcome to another episode of “Beyond the Curb: “River City Living.” I’m Jill Morenz with The Catalytic Fund. Today, I’m going to show you this 120-year-old house in Dayton, Kentucky. The young couple who owns it has decorated with a little bit of boho and a lot of flowers. So come on in!

The exclusive sponsor of this episode is Keating Muething & 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.

At some point, this house had been turned into four apartments, but the previous owners recreated the single family home. We’ll start our tour up the original staircase on the second floor, where this sunny seating area is set up on the landing. This fireplace is one of four in the house and is in the guest room. I love the plants hanging from the modern bed frame in the master bedroom. The dressing room used to be the kitchen in one of the apartments.

Going back downstairs I’ll show you the flower room. Sarina has a floral design business and she uses this first floor room to create her arrangements. As you can imagine, it smells amazing in here. The living room has wonderful, warm colors with dried floral arrangements and more plants. In the dining room, the table and benches were made by a friend. Those are tin tiles covering the wall above the mantle. The tin tiles are repeated in the kitchen as the backsplash.

Here’s the backyard party space with seating, shuffleboard and darts, garden beds, and a grassy spot for games and a mural wall. Owners, Sarina and Harrison Bigney, tell us how they found the house.

[Harrison Bigney, homeowner] Well, we were living in Covington for about four years, and once I got a job at UC, we decided to start looking and we knew we wanted to live in the Bellevue-Dayton area and we found this house.

[Sarina Bigney, homeowner] Some of my favorite features are the large windows, the wooden floors, and just how large it is, I love it.

[Harrison] I love just the older feel that it’s not a newer house and that the person that fixed it up left a lot of the original historical fireplaces, et cetera, and that we can give it like that new vibe but still keep that old feel.

[Sarina] I have my own business that I run out of my home. It’s super fun, a little chaotic, sometimes it gets a little messy, but yeah, it’s exciting. And I love working from home, I love being able to make my own schedule, work my own hours. Before we even bought the house, when we walked in here I knew that, that was going to be my flower room because it was down here and it was hard floors it’s not carpet, and it just was the perfect size.

I unfortunately also use this dining room table a lot for my arrangements, so we’ve only eaten on this table a few times because it’s usually filled with flowers, but that’s okay, that’s what it’s about running a business out of your home. I started about three years ago just doing it on the side, and I worked a full-time job during all of that. I lost my job this past year with COVID and just kind of decided to jump right into it full time. I was getting really busy. My Mother’s Day last year is what really set it off and just kind of exploded. And honestly, it’s just like word of mouth, I’m very thankful for all of my friends and all of my followers, everything is on Instagram, so I’m very grateful for that. And it’s just kind of grown since then.

[Harrison] Me and my friend, Tanner Ziese who owns Nomad, a restaurant down the road, he came over and we built a deck in the backyard about a month ago, and that kind of opened up the space for us to be able to put some of the games and the grill and all that stuff out there. I’m also an artist, I love doing murals in my free time that I get away from UC. So I put up some big eight foot by four plywood and painted that and it’s just a little space that I have in the backyard and to use to be creative, and right now I have like a kind of desert theme mural back there. Sarina is always taking lots of pictures for her business, and Instagram is a big part of what got her started and where she does a lot of her business, and I keep telling her that she needs new backgrounds to use for flowers so I thought that I would create that wall and do different murals there for her to take pictures in front of.

[Sarina] We love this community. We have the sweetest neighbors, we’re so lucky. Someone even just moved in next door and they’re also amazing. We just love this whole neighborhood, all the local businesses that are right down the street that we frequent often, Unataza Coffee is one of my favorite places to go to. Yeah, we just love this area.

[Harrison] Yeah, Sarina and I, we love the city, but we also love hiking and doing things outdoors. So it’s nice to be in a place that’s, Cincinnati is right in our backyard, but you can go 15, 20 minutes to Hebron or somewhere like that and be outdoors. We just love the area and the history of it, the older houses, our houses over a hundred years old, so we enjoy it.

[Jill] Thanks so much for joining me on our tour of this charming, hardworking, and hard playing house in Dayton, Kentucky. I invite you to take a look at our website, beyondthecurb.org, for other episodes, and to learn about our in-person tours. On behalf of our sponsors and The Catalytic Fund, I’m Jill Morenz. Thanks for coming “Beyond the Curb” with us.

“Beyond the Curb” is presented by The Catalytic Fund, a company that through its investments and real estate expertise, executes high impact real estate projects in Northern Kentucky and creates new spaces for living, working and entertainment.