Mediterranean revival, French Caribbean, Great Gatsby glamour — however you want to classify the pretty house with the canary yellow door at 5638 Gaston Ave., you’re probably only touching on one aspect of this incredible historic property. The stucco-clad 1920s jewel is listed for $519,999 with Elizabeth Mast of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, and it’s got a rags-to-riches tale.
When Jamaican Vlora Alberga bought the three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom home in 2006, she had to quickly renovate and live in the 640-square-foot guest cottage before tackling the main property’s vast restoration. Those guest quarters now come in handy for extra income, with a full bath, full kitchen, and washer and dryer.
Once inside, you’ll notice that the double-pained, insulated windows block the street noise from the neighborhood of Swiss Avenue and Munger Place. New roofs for both the main and guest houses and the detached two-car garage are made even better with the 75-year warranty that comes with the custom-fired Ludowici terra cotta tiles.
Other updates include new HVAC ductwork, an alarm system, new gutters and refinished hardwood floors. Look down in the living and dining rooms to admire the original wood floors, which feature stained inlays.
Instead of gutting and starting over with the dilapidated home, Alberga restored its timeless charm with wide moulding, gilded trim and beveled glass in the pocket doors. Inspired by her heritage, Alberga infused the house with vibrant paint colors and art; some of the treasures she picked up on her travels as a pilot.
Its 2,242 square feet is a mix of updated construction and original character. Chandeliers — most imported from Italy — abound (even in the powder bath), while brass stair rods leading to the second floor up the glam factor.
All three spacious bedrooms are on the second floor, with the shared second bath hiding a wonderful secret: a stackable washer and dryer. The master bath is the true standout, however, with three stained glass windows that surround the claw-foot soaking tub.
Antique brass hardware on the tub is a perfect match for the home and one of many thoughtful details. There is also a full-size shower to the right of the bathroom door, complete with frameless glass surround and beautiful brass rainshower head. The vanity features antiqued cabinetry and vintage faucets with a gilded mirror floating above. Travertine tile coats the floors and shower walls, making the room feel warm and insulated.
Natural light is a big theme throughout the home, especially in the sunroom, where three bays of double French doors line the sides and back of the room, and there are gorgeous arched atrium doors that lead to the front patio. The galley kitchen also is quite sunny, with antiqued cabinets and granite countertops. There is not an inch of wasted space.
Just like the yellow front door, the pink dining room makes an impression. Add in the gold leaf trim, sheer curtains and a statement-making chandelier with tall bobeches (the glass that surrounds the light bulbs), and you’ve got one memorable dwelling.
A version of this story was originally published on Candy’s Dirt.