Home Renovation Adventures on Quality Row

before entrance

Last week we posted about some of Newburgh’s finest rowhomes, Quality Row. A reader, Merridith Ingram, recently sent in photos of the before, middle, and after renovation process of updating her home. She thought that other Newburgh Restoration readers might like to see what a Quality Row home looks like on the inside.



They removed A LOT of lead paint and refinished many surfaces, as you will be able to see through the progression of photos.

Before Quality Row

Quality Collage 2

The Ingram’s tried to stay as true to the layout as possible. The only adjustment made to the blueprint was to add a closet. They also added a new kitchen using Newburgh City’s own Royal Fine Woodworking.


The results of the renovation are gorgeous, elegant, and compliment the historical character of the home.



The kitchen looks amazing, and we love how they left the original fireplace in tact.



Merridith wants people to know that families DO live in the City of Newburgh. They have three children, and their house is definitely a family house. One special spaced they carved out for their daughter is an art studio in the basement. As she said, “These big, old houses give kids a LOT of room for creativity.” My childhood self is drooling with jealousy!




A hard lesson the Ingram’s learned about lead paint that they would like to share, “Regardless of how many surfaces you rehab or replace, you should always test it before exposing small children or pregnant women to the building.  It’s actually pretty easy to keep your kids safe if you follow some simple steps with renovations, and are aware of what should be cleaned frequently.  (http://www2.epa.gov/lead/protect-your-family).”

Thank you Merridith for such a wonderful tour! Hopefully this will inspire other families to restore a house and make Newburgh their home.

If you would like to share your own home renovation adventure photos, please email me.

12 Comment

  • what a gorgeous house!

  • What a beautiful job! Amazing!

  • Absolutely gorgeous!!

  • Beautiful…great work

  • Truly beautiful…hope it makes it to a national magazine!

  • What a loving and beautiful restoration! And a real teaser: Would the Ingrams be willing to detail how long it took them to complete the house, where did they live in the interim, are they from Newburgh, did they do all the work themselves or have an architect/designer/contractor? And, of course, where did they get all their period-appropriate furniture?
    As for Quality Row: would the owners consider a House Tour? How wonderful it would be to see the interiors of the complete row!
    And Cher, re your new–congratulations!–blog, considering the NR family, and the wonderful work your readers are doing, what about creating a NR Angie’s list–something Newburgh Nubies (including myself, six years ago) could certainly use?

  • I’m impressed. Congrats on making the most of a worthy residence!

  • Suzanne,
    We are originally from NYC, and began coming to the Hudson Valley in the summers starting in the late 90s. For several years we rented the old billard hall on the Vanderbilt Estate in Hyde Park, which had been converted to a loft. After a year of that we loved the area so much we extended our rental year-round and just went back and forth to the city almost every weekend for another two years. Finally, we decided to commit to the Valley permanently, and began looking in Putnam County. We loved Garrison but couldn’t find any architecture we thought was worth the high price tag. Eventually, we ended up looking in Newburgh b/c we were so drawn to the beautiful old houses.

    We bought the John Brown house in 2003, and began renovations shortly thereafter. We lived with my parents (who had relocated to Newburgh from New Mexico that year) while renovating.

    Renovations should have only taken around 2-3 months, max, but unbeknownst to us we hired a contractor who was completely incompetant. We knew we wanted someone who was trained in lead safe work practices, and hired him straight out of the Lead Safe Orange Program. Long story short, he ended up doing the one thing you are not supposed to do in old houses: he torched all the paint off the woodwork. This atomizes the lead and makes it extremely difficult to clean up. We had requested the paint be disturbed as little as possible and sealed where needed. He said he felt he couldn’t guarantee the job if he didn’t remove it all.

    It took around 18 months, $20,000 and a full team of Hazmat specialists to clean up the mess. Ultimately, we passed all lead tests with flying colors, but only after doing about 10 Hazmat level cleanings. I don’t know if I would do it again, but I do know my house is lead free at this point (we continued to have the house and kids tested regularly for years afterward) so that’s a plus. We finally moved in in late 2004 (the irony is that we ended up relocating to London just 10 months later, so my parents stayed in the house until we moved back in early 2007).

    In terms of design, we didn’t use an architect b/c we really weren’t changing anything structurally significant. Design is a hobby, so we did all of that ourselves, including the kitchen (though the idea for the hood between the windows was partially cribbed from a layout in an Architectural Digest feature). We’ve been pretty happy w/ most of the design decisions we made. Our furniture has been collected over the years through, primarily, places in the city like ABC Carpet & Home, a lot of ebay, local auctions and little Ikea. We haven’t focused as much on being period appropriate as we did, initially, on what “felt” right, though I have to admit that since these pictures were taken (early 2007) I decided the interiors felt way too traditional and we ended up redoing some rooms. Things are now more colorful, funky and modern, which feels more “us” and better in a house full of kids.

    We have been on two house tours w/ the Historic Society since 2007 (several neighbors have particpated as well). It’s a ton of work to prep and host, but we’ve loved doing it both times (both to meet people and to see their reaction to the house), We will likely do it again in a couple of years if they ask!

    We would certainly love to meet you! 🙂

    – Merridith

  • Suzanne, such a beautiful home and tasteful renovation. I would love to talk more about living in Newburgh with children, I have two young ones.
    lizzie M.

  • makes me want to move back to Newburgh!!

  • What a beautiful home.

  • Thank you to Cher for doing the first article, and thank you to Meredith for generously sharing these images of your beautiful home. I first saw the houses of Quality Row pictured in the book, “Old Orange Houses” (by Mildred Parker Seese) when I was a kid, and I’ve always been curious about them. I never thought I’d get to see inside one, so this has been a real treat. Thanks again!