This dreamy, light-filled home has come along way from its humble beginnings. Jenna Ogle, a independent social media consultant, and her husband Brian, an architect, took this outdated, drab home in upstate New York and turned that sinking ship around. The couple met and married in New York City and later moved 3 hours north of the city to Schenectady, a sleepy town in east-central New York state. The couple bought this 1930s gem, which they lovingly referred to as “50 Shades of Taupe,” and began to slowly rebuild it into their ideal family home for their four daughters and two Boston terriers, all while maintaining as much of its old character as possible. They are currently in the midst of a kitchen renovation that began at the start of 2019 and is now almost complete. They’ve managed to stay within their budget by taking their time with things and not being afraid to stop and ask for help during tricky renovation snags. The result is a light, bright, Mid-Century Modern stunner that feels cozy, and classically timeless.
We chat with Jenna about what the home means for her, the renovation process, and what advice she has for new homeowners Read on below + follow along their renovation diaries on Instagram @thejennaogle!
Hi! I’m Jenna Ogle.
When we first bought our home, it was very outdated and could best be described as “50 Shades of Taupe.” From the wall-to-wall carpet, to the walls, trim and ceilings, everything was one shade of taupe or another. In designing the new space, our goals were to eliminate all of the taupe and create a light, bright and modern space. To do this we removed the carpets and refinished the newly exposed original wood floors, while also giving the whole room a fresh coat of paint. We loved old architecture of the large trim, arched doorways and overall footprint of the room and wanted to maintain it rather than update.
I would define my personal style as mid-century eclectic. While most pieces in our home reflect our love for mid-century design, we have a few pieces that stray outside of that.
Our living room doubles as my home office and even studio at times. It is also the place where our family gathers in the evenings and on weekends to spend time listening to music, playing games and having family movie nights. The thing I love most about the space is the large windows and abundance of natural light they bring. It creates such a light, bright and motivating space to be in. In the evenings, it becomes a cozy place for time together as a family.
I could not live without the large windows. They are a beautiful feature while bringing in so much natural light. Since it’s an older home, many of the rooms do not have wired fixtures and without all of the natural light, the space would feel so dark and uninviting.
Some challenges we faced in design was accommodating the original architecture and large steam radiators. While we love the large archways and radiators, they limit our layout and what furniture and accent pieces work well in the space. We had to be thoughtful about the size and placement of each piece. This is something that has taken quite some time to figure out and we are just now slowly figuring out the space a year later.
One thing I would love to add to the home is a small addition to create a home office and studio. Working from home is so important to me but at times can be overwhelming while I balance work hours and family hours. Separate spaces would help so much to keep work “at work.”
Take your time, know your limits and budget carefully. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to create the perfect space. If you are doing all of the work yourself, don’t get carried away and remember to take a step back every so often to re-evaluate where you are with your space and if you are still heading in the desired direction. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Have fun with it and make it yours!
Kitchen Renovation Process Shots