North Carolina natives Abby and Trey Brothers are now a little over a year in renovating the Page Mansion in Aberdeen, a massive brick manor that for years has been hidden behind an overgrown landscape.
The couple was in the market for a home, but not in Moore County. Abby happened to expand her search on a whim, and discovered the Page Mansion on April 1, 2018. It was love at first sight — but it wasn’t livable until this May. (See what it looked like before here.)
The two had no intentions of changing the character of the home, and “when we bought the house, we wanted all the furniture to stay with the house,” Abby says. The tables, shown, were refinished and put right back in place. Other pieces, like a buffet in the hall, were left from the original inhabitants and date back to the 1800s.
The interest from the community, and from home renovators all over the country who have found the project via social media, has been overwhelming at times.
“We get a lot of people who just sit at the end of the driveway and stop there for a while — we’ll be sitting there watching TV, and you’ll get that feeling that someone is looking at you,” Abby laughs. “But we went into this knowing it was going to be a big deal. It’s such a big part of the community.”
The coolest part of the project was meeting people who spent time in the past as children — like a woman in her 80s who stopped by and identified her initials scrawled on one of the upstairs bedrooms, which was hers as a child.
In the library, built-ins have been put in place to hide necessary HVAC installations. And the ladder? That’s just a bonus.
“There have definitely been times when it’s been stressful, but a good kind of stressful,” Trey says. “It’s never been oh, why did we do this. I don’t think we ever questioned our choices. We went into it knowing it was going to be a big deal.”
The kitchen, dining and pantry were originally split up into three rooms — a plan that the two originally hoped to keep, but as Abby says “having a big ‘ol house with a tiny kitchen doesn’t make sense.” Oh, and there was the fact that water had been pouring down one of the interior walls for years, and everything behind where the island sits now was sinking into the basement.
The staircase is definitely a showstopper — and all the rooms flow off of it like a dream.
As all the bathrooms are connected to a bedroom, the space under the stairs is being turned into a half bath for guests. That space used to be a phone room — and the doorframe, which was used for years to jot notes and numbers, is being preserved.
In the bedrooms, the two have worked to find appropriate furniture. And all over the house, they’ve replaced glass knobs and other little fixtures that were removed over the years that the home was vacant.
But even though they’re trying to keep historically appropriate touches, the two have plenty of modern plans — like turning this second-story sunroom into a family sized entertainment center.