Ingrid Abramovitch

House Proud – The Blog


Greetings and welcome to House Proud, a blog that I am launching in connection with the October 22, 2009 publication date of my book, Restoring a House in the City. The book features 21 houses in ten North American cities, from Montreal to San Francisco. While the focus is on renovating antique town houses, brownstones, and row houses, there is plenty of inspiration–along with hard information–relevant to anyone who is restoring and decorating an older home or pre-war apartment. In fact, several people who live in none of the above (from loft dwellers to suburbanites) have told me that they, too, have found lots of ideas to steal from the book. I’ll be using this blog to share behind-the-scenes information and stories about Restoring a House in the City, as well as to provide updates, articles (both my own–I write for several design magazines–as well as links to others that catch my eye), restoring and decorating sources, and observations that I hope will be of interest.

One question I’ve been getting about the book relates to the striking cover image by the photographer Brian Park (, who shot the majority of the images in the book. Whose doorbell is that? And where is it? The brass buzzer graces the Brooklyn Heights brownstone belonging to interior designer Kathryn Scott ( and her husband, the incredible Shanghai-born conceptual artist Wenda Gu ( But while the doorbell is antique, it’s not original to the house. Scott found the buzzer in an antique shop and saved it for several years until she had a front door of her own where it could be installed. An electrician friend spent many hours figuring out how to hook it up to their phone and computer, so when a buzzer is pulled, no bell is activated. Instead, the telephone rings and the visitor’s face pops up on a computer screen. Old School meets High Tech: It’s an apt metaphor for the homes in Restoring a House in the City, in which the past is respectfully preserved, but never at the expense of modern life.

Until my next post, I want to thank you for visiting my website. Just pull one of those worn buzzers on the cover and step inside. And feel free to contact me via this website if you have any questions about the book or about your own homes.

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