Setting Up a Home in a Once Abandoned Building

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

Name: Julie
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma

In 2012, we bought a basically abandoned three story brick building through our family real estate company. Over the next three years, we (along with a team of professionals) renovated the building while doing everything we could to preserve its character. The end result is 24 apartments that combine the charm of 100+ year-old brick walls with the warmth of solid oak cabinets and hand-built custom finishes.

When we moved in, we were downsizing from a much larger house. Our style is a blend of things we have collected on trips, pieces of furniture and art that we’ve inherited from family, and a (very few) staple pieces of furniture that we have saved up to buy ourselves. I loved editing what we owned until we were left with only our best and most functional pieces. In the end, I’m really proud of how much we make this space work for us and how each item has a place.

My husband is the chef in our family and in our house, he’d had a true chef’s kitchen and used the grill a lot. But moving into the apartment meant he had to get more creative with his recipes. As it turned out, he has enjoyed the challenge and I have enjoyed the food. As the resident dish-doer, the restaurant-style deep stainless steel sink and power spray faucet are two of my favorite features.

My favorite moments in this apartment have happened when I have opened our big wall of windows, when we’ve gone to the roof to watch a passing parade, or when we’ve spent the night with friends around the table for a wine tasting or card game. Every inch of this 900 square foot apartment represents a decision we made, a memory of a trip we took, and evidence of the hours (and days and months and years) we worked. Participating in the renaissance of downtown Tulsa has been a longtime dream. Now we are glad to be home.

Thanks, Julie!

• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour & House Call Submission Form.