Giving a home new life

By Stephanie Weaver

Ron Tanner, professor of writing and author of From Animal House to Our House, explains how he maintained his personality in his renovated home.

In 2000, Tanner and his girlfriend of six months, Jill, bought a 4,500 square-foot Victorian brownstone in the Charles Village neighborhood of Baltimore with plans to repair and restore the property, which had nearly been destroyed by a fraternity.

Tanner and Jill were married in the house in 2003, after three years of working to restore their home. They put their furniture in the garage, rented chairs, and asked their guests to make a special dish in honor the day.

Although Tanner renovated the house to its original style, he added pieces that made the place feel like home. Simple things, like choosing lights, can make a difference, he said.

“We love flea markets and antique shops. We’re always looking for things that can enrich our daily lives and make our house feel homey,” Tanner said. “We’re not making a museum. It’s important to honor the aesthetics of the time period, but make it livable.”

Find photos and Tanner’s chronicles of the restoration project on his blog,

Read other stories from Loyola’s home issue here.

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