Peloton Instructor Christine D’Ercole Is Completely Overhauling Her Dutch Colonial in Pennsylvania

·4 min read
Christine D’Ercole’s recently purchased Dutch Colonial in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is in the process of a DIY facelift.
Christine D’Ercole’s recently purchased Dutch Colonial in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is in the process of a DIY facelift.
Photo: Christine D'Ercole
Christine D’Ercole at the bike.
Christine D’Ercole at the bike.
Photo: Peloton

Veteran Peloton cycling instructor Christine D’Ercole, who’s been with the company since 2014, may live in Manhattan, but as of late, the cyclist and her fiancé are spending quite a bit of time in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The couple, who got engaged on D’Ercole’s 50th birthday, purchased their centuries-old Dutch Colonial home in July of this year and are happily in the throes of some serious DIY renovations.

The duo wasn’t necessarily planning on buying a second home, but because D’Ercole was spending at least two nights in Allentown for training and races, she figured buying a fixer-upper may be more economical (and comfortable) than sleeping in a hotel. “I thought, ‘Let’s look at actual houses we would want to want to live in,’” she says, “And we came across an amazing, beautiful old house with a wraparound porch. It needed work, but we fell in love with it instantly.” And the pair got to work on upgrades relatively quickly.

D’Ercole purchased the Dutch Colonial home in July of 2021.
D’Ercole purchased the Dutch Colonial home in July of 2021.
Photo: Christine D'Ercole

D’Ercole is starting in the mudroom, where she’s planning on stripping the paint on walls and restoring the historic house’s original shiplap. She’ll do the same on the windows, which currently don’t even open because they’ve been painted shut. “The glass is original, so we want to preserve the panes and may need to have them rebuilt,” she explains.

She may be wearing gloves, but she isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty.
She may be wearing gloves, but she isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty.
Photo: Christine D'Ercole

A few rooms over, in the foyer, the powder room is shaping up to be more exciting than stressful: “This will be a super fun and much easier project. I’m searching for wallpaper to give the unique under-stairwell bathroom a big wow factor. I’m currently looking for something vintage that features women on bicycles. And maybe a saucy toilet,” D’Ercole shares.

Another room getting a significant facelift? The guest bathroom, which will say goodbye to its current cabinets, soffit, glass doors, old tub, and sink in lieu of replacements with an Art Nouveau look.

D’Ercole and her partner have taken it upon themselves to do all of the painting and repainting.
D’Ercole and her partner have taken it upon themselves to do all of the painting and repainting.
Photo: Christine D'Ercole

When it comes to the overhauls, D’Ercole and her partner are more than prepared. They plan on redoing most of the house with their own four hands, and they’re learning a few valuable lessons along the way.

Christine D’Ercole’s DIY Tips

1. Keep yourself safe: “Safety is the biggest priority. Take the time to read instructions and follow safety protocols. No DIY project is worth paint stripped in the eye.”

2. Be patient: “Allow the time required for specific processes to take place. Let the paint dry and wait until the weather is ideal.”

3. Plan: “Look at the big picture and get your plan in place. Depending on the project’s scope, there may be multiple factors that all [need to harmonize] to create the desired outcome. Take all the elements—and how they fit together in a space—into consideration before putting that hammer to the drywall.”

4. Explore: “We mounted a TV to the wall in our new house and suspected that we may have secured it to a pocket door hidden within the wall. It didn’t occur to us until it felt like we were drilling into a dense wood. After the TV was hung, it dawned on us that the walls were thick enough to contain pocket doors. We removed the outlets from the baseboard and lo and behold…it sure looks like there’s a door in there! So, poke around. See what you can gather from your basement, knee walls, and outlets about what’s in and on your walls.”

5. Think outside the box: “Remember that you can entirely reimagine a space. As you plan, play a little game and reverse everything. Turn things around on paper into the most unlikely arrangement and visualize how they would function. You may open up your mind to an unexpected and delightful result. Take a risk with your ideas.”

Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest

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