Inside Q102 radio host’s East Walnut Hills home renovation

Most of us have seen our fair share of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, House Hunters, etc. Well, Cincinnati has a renovation dream-team of their own — they even have a video series of their latest renovation titled, Renovation Time with Tim. But if you're not familiar with him from his videos, you may be familiar with Tim Timmerman from morning radio program The Jeff & Jenn Morning Show on Q102, which he co-hosts. 

Tim's partner, Chris Holtman, manages Cincinnati Children's Champion Program. Together, the two combined their vision to create a new home in East Walnut Hills, renovating a historic space to add bright, colorful rooms, unique pieces and personal accents. According to Chris, this cottage-style house ​was originally built in the 1920s and is a cozy 1,050 square feet. "Through Digging Cincinnati History, we found out that the original owner worked as a lawyer for Mabley & Carew Department Store, and his daughter was pianist for a dance company and played at Music Hall from time to time," Chris says. 

We recently chatted with the duo to learn more.

Names:

​Tim Timmerman and Chris Holtman​

Occupations:

Tim - ​Radio Host at Q102; Chris - Development at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center​

Neighborhood:

​East Walnut Hills​

Time lived in:

​6 months​

CityBeat: Tell me a little bit about yourselves: What do you in your free time? Are you both from Cincinnati? What brought you here and made you stay?

Tim Timmerman: Chris is a Cincinnati kid and I'm from Detroit, Michigan, but moved here 11 years ago for work. ​Work and family keep us busy, but in our free time we enjoy adventures around the city and breathing new life into old homes.

CB: What sparked your interest in home renovation and when did you begin?

​Chris Holtman: We've always been interested in the concept of home renovation and design, but we didn't make the jump into it until 2014 when we purchased an old two-family building on Prospect Hill in downtown Cincinnati. Everything about it was stuck in the '80s, so as soon as we moved in, we started renovation. 

CB: Why did you choose this neighborhood to make a home?

TT: ​What's not to love about East Walnut Hills? We really like the vibe of the neighborhood. It's only a short walk to a host of locally owned businesses, including restaurants, a brewery and parks. Plus it's close to everything — downtown, O'Bryonville, Hyde Park/Oakley, East End. ​The neighbors are pretty great, too.

CB: What are the top three places you sourced your furniture and decor?

​CH: We sourced a lot of really great furniture and decor from vintage shops around town​. They're chock full of unique items that bring character to the house. We purchased a few things from Everything But The House, and with IKEA so close, we did some damage there, too.

CB: What kind of “look” were you going for in terms of design? Contemporary, industrial, rustic, etc.

CH: ​When it came to designing the space, we just wanted it to feel comfortable and bright with pops of color throughout.​

CB: Tell me about Renovation Time with Tim. Where can people find the episodes? Do you have any plans for future shows or more renovations?

​TT: We attempted to blog about our first redesign project a few years ago, and while we had the best of intentions, it was tough to follow through while juggling the renovation. We had a lot of family and friends who had asked us about the process — everything from demo to design — so instead of going the traditional blog route, we opted for video this time around. We had a blast — so much so, that we're doing it again! You can catch past and future episodes at WKRQ.com.

CB: What is your favorite room in the house and why?

CH: We're split on this one. Tim loves lounging around the house after work, so his favorite is the living room. And while I can't cook to save my life, I really dig the kitchen. It's great for entertaining.



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Tim (left) and Chris with their beagle, Captain Steve
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Tim (left) and Chris with their beagle, Captain Steve
"We've picked up artwork from all over the place — some are from Cincinnati ​or Detroit ​artists, some came from old magazines​. ​Chris is a hoarder of prints; he collects anything Charley Harper ​and I'm a map and music nerd. The Lionel Richie album is the first album I got when I was a kid — now displayed prominently in this space. The kitchen cabinets are from IKEA and the counter tops​ ​are from Granite Transformations.​" — Tim
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
"We've picked up artwork from all over the place — some are from Cincinnati ​or Detroit ​artists, some came from old magazines​. ​Chris is a hoarder of prints; he collects anything Charley Harper ​and I'm a map and music nerd. The Lionel Richie album is the first album I got when I was a kid — now displayed prominently in this space. The kitchen cabinets are from IKEA and the counter tops​ ​are from Granite Transformations.​" — Tim
View from the opposite side of the kitchen. The duo says they couldn't have done the renovation without the help of their friends Patti and Neil.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
View from the opposite side of the kitchen. The duo says they couldn't have done the renovation without the help of their friends Patti and Neil.
"The sink is also from IKEA. ​We got an awesome deal on the faucet at Bargains & Buyouts ​in Western Hills.​ ​We built the shelves using ​butcher block boards that we cut and stained, and placed on top of ​handmade brackets ​from a seller on Etsy​. The cookbook holder was a handmade gift from Uncle Joe.​" — Chris​
"The sink is also from IKEA. ​We got an awesome deal on the faucet at Bargains & Buyouts ​in Western Hills.​ ​We built the shelves using ​butcher block boards that we cut and stained, and placed on top of ​handmade brackets ​from a seller on Etsy​. The cookbook holder was a handmade gift from Uncle Joe.​" — Chris​
View of the living room from the front door. "The mirror above the fireplace is one Tim's mom found in an old home in Detroit and had refinished for us. We think it's from the same time our house was built.​ Our shelves are filled with odds and ends we found at vintage shops and antique fairs around the country. We found the old whiskey bottles hidden in the floors of our last project. They are 'medicinal' bourbon bottles from the Prohibition era. Neat find after pulling up old wood floors for 5-plus hours." — Chris
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
View of the living room from the front door. "The mirror above the fireplace is one Tim's mom found in an old home in Detroit and had refinished for us. We think it's from the same time our house was built.​ Our shelves are filled with odds and ends we found at vintage shops and antique fairs around the country. We found the old whiskey bottles hidden in the floors of our last project. They are 'medicinal' bourbon bottles from the Prohibition era. Neat find after pulling up old wood floors for 5-plus hours." — Chris
​"Chris really wanted an accent wall using some fun wallpaper. We had a few picked out and narrowed it down to this one from Graham & Brown. We liked the geometric configuration and the pop of mint green throughout, which matched the mint Cranbrook fan we purchased from Hunter Fan Company." — Tim
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
​"Chris really wanted an accent wall using some fun wallpaper. We had a few picked out and narrowed it down to this one from Graham & Brown. We liked the geometric configuration and the pop of mint green throughout, which matched the mint Cranbrook fan we purchased from Hunter Fan Company." — Tim
​"We always joked that we need to find a 30-unit apartment building so we'd have a place to use this mailbox. We found this a few years ago at an antique shop in Lincoln, Arkansas.​ ​We never really had a plan for it, but it has usually been an end table. And the best part — it still has all the keys!" — Chris
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
​"We always joked that we need to find a 30-unit apartment building so we'd have a place to use this mailbox. We found this a few years ago at an antique shop in Lincoln, Arkansas.​ ​We never really had a plan for it, but it has usually been an end table. And the best part — it still has all the keys!" — Chris
Bathroom interior facing shower
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Bathroom interior facing shower
​"The scale came from the Burlington Antique Fair.​ It is off by 20 pounds or so...and not in the right direction. My favorite part of the bathroom is the really cool knobs and bathtub hardware." — Tim
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
​"The scale came from the Burlington Antique Fair.​ It is off by 20 pounds or so...and not in the right direction. My favorite part of the bathroom is the really cool knobs and bathtub hardware." — Tim
"The Queen City print is from a local Cincinnati artist, James Billiter. You've surely seen his artwork around town, including one of the murals inside Rhinegeist Brewery. The sconces on each side of the print came from Cincinnati-based Everything But The House. Chris is a big fan of Charley Harper — the dark pillow came from The Land of Nod, now called Crate and Kids." — Tim
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
"The Queen City print is from a local Cincinnati artist, James Billiter. You've surely seen his artwork around town, including one of the murals inside Rhinegeist Brewery. The sconces on each side of the print came from Cincinnati-based Everything But The House. Chris is a big fan of Charley Harper — the dark pillow came from The Land of Nod, now called Crate and Kids." — Tim