Oftentimes, people think that they need bigger spaces as their kids get older — which means putting a beloved city row home up for sale and moving to the burbs. Architects Kirsten and Mark Lapointe love life in Charm City, so they decided to make their existing space work for their growing family. Creative details and space planning helped them create a tween-friendly Butcher’s Hill home for the two of them and children Indy (12) and Rosy (10)

Located right off of the north west corner of Patterson Park, Butchers Hill includes some of the oldest homes downtown with construction dates starting as early as 1850. Often times, homes are grand in size.  Some even feature backyards with grass!

urban spaces: living in butcher's hill with tweens - (cool) progeny

Kirsten & Mark met and fell in love while attending Syracuse University. When they graduated in 1994, they were torn between settling in DC and Baltimore. Ultimately, they chose a home in Butcher’s Hill due to its size, economics, and the unique Baltimore culture. Baltimore home ownership became very attractive. They began renting the upper floors, but ultimately undertook a complete renovation which was finished four years ago.

Although homes in Butcher’s Hill are grand in size,  kids take up space! What things have you done to your home to take advantage of every square inch?
I wanted to keep my guest room so the kids share a bedroom. The room is large, and we separated their room with furniture, closed the doorway and made an entryway through the closet so the kids have room for all of their stuff.

urban spaces: living in butcher's hill with tweens - (cool) progeny

Where are your favorite spaces in the home to spend time as a family?
The kids really enjoy the front room on the first floor. We added a faux tin ceiling, a gas fireplace and the mantel to bring back some of the early charm. This room is for homework, music and game nights. We put up our Christmas tree there as well.

As is the case in most households, family time is in the kitchen. We used a sustainable cork for the floor and added a back splash and light fixtures. As a family, we like bake and cook together. A skylight brings warmth to morning breakfast at the table. Marble countertops are very good for rolling out dough. The kids love our personalized wall that has the faux old lemonade ad.

So Rosy, what do you enjoy doing in the city?
I enjoy biking, concerts in the park, the Lantern Parade, fishing at the boat lake, and gardening my food plot at Patterson Park.

urban spaces: living in butcher's hill with tweens - (cool) progeny

How about you, Indy? What do you enjoy?
I love that I can visit many friends without a long drive. When the mood strikes, I can walk to sushi, pizza and mexican restaurants (The pizza place even has skee ball!). I like to walk around in Fell’s Point. I can also walk to Game Stop. I play all sorts of sports in the park, including Rec center soccer. I can fish and sled in the park.

City life with tweens must be fun! What types of things do you like to do together?
We have a food plot at Patterson Park. It’s a space you can rent to grow your own fruits and veggies. We grow tomatoes, peppers, grapes, and asparagus. Getting to know the other gardeners as well as trade produce was an additional bonus.

urban spaces: living in butcher's hill with tweens - (cool) progeny

Images courtesy of Mary Gardella, Modern Life Portraits.