CITY / FAMILY
Exploring the things that transform a house, a place, and its people into a home.
Meet Tye & Andrea Summer VonAllmen. After exploring the wide world a bit, this pair of musicians/ born-and-bred Cincinnatians decided there's just no place like home. The couple (along with their two boys, Wilco Brave and Ellis Wilde) are once again rooted into the Cincy community and are breathing new life into an old home in Pendleton/OTR. Here's a peek into their story.
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Tell us a little bit about your family.
Both from the Cincinnati area, Tye & I met in college playing music, and then later married in 2006. In the last 10 years, we've been in bands, made records, career swapped, lived in South Africa, and had two awesome kids. We believe in generosity, adventure, and making life beautiful.
What brought you to (or kept you in) Cincinnati?
I grew up in NKY; Tye's a West Sider. But we feel like downtown is home. I'd say that family kept us here, and that's true... but food has been just as influential. Between the art scene, the ever-blossoming city, and our friendships at Crossroads church, why go anywhere else? We've both lived in other cities and had done a bit of traveling, but there truly is no place like home.
What neighborhood do you live in and how long have you lived there?
We just moved to Pendleton/OTR this past spring.
Why did you pick your neighborhood? What do you love about living there?
7+ years ago, we saw this house in Pendleton and fell in love with it. We had a vision for it to one day hold our family, with enough room to take others under our roof. ... But it was too much for us to take on at the time. Fast-forward five years and, by some miracle, the house fell into our laps again. This time, we weren't going to walk away. Acquiring and renovating the place was a huge risk, but we felt it was worth it.
What are some challenges of living where you do?
The biggest challenge was simply acquiring the building. Even with all willing parties, it was still hard as hell to make it happen. It felt impossible, but once it did happen, designing and renovating was a welcome challenge. We have felt very welcomed in the neighborhood -- the biggest challenge is simply finding a parking space. But that's not a big deal.
What makes your home yours? Have you done any major renovations on your home?
YES, absolutely! When we bought it, there were no real finished rooms. A few toilet closets & vintage treasures, but all within empty, crumbling rooms. The previous owner did a great job at uncovering its beautiful bones, but it was still a total mess. We (with Mike Brown Construction) demo'd a back addition for a larger patio space, gave the home all new walls, ceilings, systems, bathrooms, kitchen, refinished floors & The list goes on.
We've finished 2.5 of the four floors. It is such a gift to feel like your home is a true expression of your family. And as a design nerd, it was a dream of mine to restore something old back to its intended beauty. There's plenty more to do as we finish the rest of the home and make more room for friends/ family in need of a welcoming home.
Do you have a favorite park or place to hang out?
Our kids love the fountains at Washington Park -- that's a staple. And when Tye & I can get away, we just stroll on down to Nation (a killer new burger joint/ bar dangerously close to our house).
Is there anything specific you hope your kids will learn from living where you do?
We both grew up in towns void of diversity, so we are excited about our kids experiencing a variety of faces, backgrounds, and stories growing up. And in a culture that is hell-bent on comfort we like to chase challenge. Walking instead of driving, engaging instead of withdrawing, pioneering instead of settling... These are values we want our kids to know.
What changes do you hope to see in your neighborhood in the next 10 or 20 years?
Oh man... New life, beauty restored. Cincinnati is SO beautiful -- inside and out. There are corners where the beauty is not lost, but simply forgotten. I hope this trend of beauty restored just continues. Beauty outside -- on restored buildings & parks, yes. But beauty inside as well -- racial reconciliation, unified efforts, peace, neighborhoods and families made whole. Also a coffee shop on my block... please.
What do you do?
Tye, an experience producer, is a family man & avid Reds fan. Andrea is a singer/musician. She is currently working on, raising funds for, and rallying support around an exciting new solo record. All info about the record can be found at www.wanderlustrecord.tumblr.com.
CITY / FAMILY