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 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.
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.