Long before Jesse and Carolina were thinking of owning a home, they were dear friends of Mark and Jen McClung. What started as a great friendship, led to Mark helping them find their first home, and has even led to Carolina working with the Love Your Hood team for a few years. This is the story of the life behind Jesse and Carolina’s home in Englewood.
What made you fall in love with this house?
We have so many favorites. Jesse would say that it is structurally-sound home. He says, “this just makes sense.” But of course, he is an engineer. My (Carolina’s) favorite part would be our windows and how much light we receive in our bedroom and family room. But, I think we could both agree that our absolute favorite part is our backyard. It is spacious and we have five beautiful pine trees that provide a lot of shade — it makes you feel like you are in the mountains.
What prompted you to move here?
We started our journey as a married couple living in a two-bedroom apartment near Wash Park. We lived close to city amenities, but knew that we wanted to start a family and own a house not far from where we were. One that had access to parks and the mountains.
That’s when our friend Mark helped us find a new home! We fell in love with our 1950’s brick ranch. It is perfect for us! It’s only a 15 minute drive to downtown and not far from US-285, which is an easy way to get to the mountains. It’s also close to some great parks and local shops and restaurants, like South Pearl Street, which we visit most weekends.
Have any special life occasions happened while living here?
Last summer, we threw a big party with our family and friends to celebrate our son’s first birthday. We had a BBQ in the backyard and hung a Harley Davidson motorcycle piñata from one of our pine trees. The kids all had a blast with the piñata and we decided that it would become a family tradition!
What do you love most about your neighborhood?
We love that it is a family-oriented neighborhood. Every morning we see our neighbors jogging along the sidewalks with their pets or moms taking their kids for a stroll around the neighborhood. It is a beautiful area with lots of parks, mature trees, and nice homes. We love that we have made great connections with our neighbors.
Have you made any changes to your home since you bought it?
We like to say that this home is our second baby. It has been more of a life journey than just a project to us!
Our vision and end goal is to have a craftsman home with warm details such as copper fixtures and warm colors. The process has been long but rewarding. We have been building our home just the way we like it. We’re working from the inside out, one day at a time. It’s very rewarding to see what you can accomplish as a team.
Editor’s note: The changes to their home truly did start as a project (albeit a big one at that). Over dinner and margs at Benny’s Restaurant, Jesse and Carolina told us (Mark and Jen) they had decided to completely remodel their kitchen, which would be done “in a couple weeks.” <queue giggling> This kitchen renovation, quickly took on a life of it’s own and morphed into a complete gut of their home… down to studs. Needless to say, a few weeks turned into a few months, which has turned into a few years of beautifully piecing their home back together in a way they love.
Is there anything about your neighborhood that reminds you of your hometown?
Carolina: I am originally from Managua, Nicaragua so our current neighborhood is much different than where I grew up (and definitely less humid)!
Jesse: I grew up in Denver, so this neighborhood reminds me a lot of my childhood. I can’t wait to take lil’ Jesse for bike rides to explore Harvard Gulch park. He already loves the parks, so we go pretty often.
Who would you love to connect with in your neighborhood?
We have been getting to know young families in our neighborhood with similar interests. About a year ago, we joined a small bible study group through Denver United Church and have met other families with young kids. We are very happy and blessed that we have gotten to know them.
What are some of your neighborhood favs?
One of the perks of where we live is that we’re only a few minutes away from Denver, which is where some of our favorite places are!
Restaurant: We love going out for brunch after church, and our usual places are Maddie’s or Lucile’s. We also went to the Copper Pot a lot during our kitchen remodel (thank you Jose for welcoming us and catering our moving-in party!). We are close to South Pearl Street and enjoy going there for date nights.
Pizza: Kaos Pizzeria! We’re patio people and this place is hard to beat.
Baked Goods: Maria Empanada! They have the best mushroom and spinach Argentinian empanadas around town.