CITY / FAMILY: Exploring the things that transform a house, a place, and its people into a home.
Collin & Shelli Rowland live in an eclectic, restored home in Covington with their daughters, Amelie and Gianna. Their reasons for moving to the historic city are plentiful and relatable. This is their story.
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What are your names?
Collin and Shelli Rowland
Tell us a little bit about your family.
My wife, Shelli, and I have been married for nine years this month, and we have two beautiful daughters: Amelie (six) and Gianna (four and a half). We are in the process of adopting a little boy from China who will be close to two years old with some special needs when we bring him home. We are growing as a family and learning what that means to be adoptive parents. We value relationships, creativity and our faith, and so our lives are centered around those things.
What brought you to (or kept you in) Cincinnati?
I (Collin) moved to Cincinnati after high school from Maysville, KY, before moving to Covington where I bought my first property and laid down roots. What kept me here was mainly seeing consistent on-going development and growth along with invaluable relationships and friendships.
What do you do?
I am a mixed media commercial artist on my own (www.glowgallery.org), as well as, with my business partner Dan Augur (www.rowlandaugur.com) making metal art. I am also a landlord and property investor in addition to being a husband and father to two lovely girls. Shelli is an ophthalmic technician at Cincinnati Eye Institute in Edgewood, KY, and is the mother to our two girls. She is a musician and enjoys playing piano and singing in her free time.
What neighborhood do you live in and how long have you lived there?
We have lived in Wallace Woods in Covington for the past seven years.
Why did you pick your neighborhood? What do you love about living there?
Covington is a historic area with tremendous amounts of character, filled with beautiful architecture, and a great return on investment. It’s diverse, artistic, eclectic and filled with interesting people who care deeply about restoring and improving it. And it’s close to everything, including downtown Cincinnati. You can walk or ride your bike to limitless hotspots. There’s great dining, entertainment, art galleries, pubs, you name it! We love the Cov!
What are some challenges of living where you do?
It’s definitely urban living, which in general has it’s challenges (i.e. too much concrete and not enough green space). There are also historical guidelines which put limitations on the creative spirit, at least on the exterior of our property renovations. It really has not been too bad, though, given the benefits outweigh the negatives.
Have you done any major renovations on your home? What makes it yours?
Yes, we have primarily done cosmetic renovations, in addition to gutting and putting in a new second floor bathroom. The previous two owners did an outstanding job refinishing the woodwork, floors, sliding pocket doors, and trim throughout the whole house.
When I think of our home, I love the idea of our children running, playing, singing, laughing and dancing around the house. That’s what makes it ours. Our home is very lived in, and we are okay with that. One of the reasons we embrace color in each room is to have a vibrant and inspiring living environment. We feel color can help bring inspiration into a space. We enjoy the look of the home and the contrast between historical architecture and contemporary decor.
Do you have a favorite park or place to hang out?
Devou Park holds a special place in our hearts and relationship. That is where we became engaged under a tree of caterpillars, and where the adventures in our marital bliss began. We spend a lot of time there as a family. We also enjoy taking scenic walks in our neighborhood of Wallace Woods.
Is there anything specific you hope your kids will learn from living where you do?
Diversity is important to us, not just cultural and ethnic, but also economic differences. One of the best things about living in an urban environment is the realization that life is so much bigger than your own reality and comfortable existence that we can fall into. We hope our children can grasp hold of these truths.
What changes do you hope to see in your neighborhood in the next 10 or 20 years?
I hope to see continued development, increased value, and for people to recognize how incredible this city is (like what has been happening in Over-the-Rhine). I also hope to see streetcars make their way across the river as more of these developments continue to attract them.
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Scroll back to the top to get a peek inside the Rowland's home.