Love For Sale
It is not often a person can combine education, family, housing, design and a deep love for all into one project, but that is exactly what has happened at ADDRESS with Aref Shafik and his family. He has agreed to give the Lakewood Observer a brief look at his work, his family and share his love that will soon be on the market for the next loving family to acquire and take over.
Aref arrived in the Cleveland area over 21 years ago. His father was a surgeon with the Clveland Clinic and he moved here to study business as a major and interior design as a minor at Cleveland State University.
While looking for a place to live, even though many friends suggested the East Side, Aref fell in love with the ambiance, and the community of Lakewood, so picked it as his home. Soon he realized his love and future were in interior design, and switched the majors around, and went to work in designing interiors and working with contractors.
Not finding true satisfaction in some of the partnerships, he started to work on his own and build his own team: people he loved to work with, on projects that he hand-picked and loved to do. It was around this time he fell madly in love with his wife Erin Spangler and they joined together in marriage, building a family and work.
Much of it had become blur, and then a unique historical property entered the scene about 5 years ago. One of Lakewood’s magnificent doubles, with a massive porch, and so much potential. His decades of interior design, contracting work, and conversations with friends and his wife and family made him think this might be the perfect place to let it all hang out and build a home for his family in a way very few have a chance to realize. A chance to look at what they need and what they love, and take the opportunity to make it a reality.
Over a decade ago the LO did a series of articles on turning doubles into singles in which we could not envision the long term benefits. All of that changed the moment I walked through the doors at ADDRESS.
What had been a side-by-side was turned into a massive stately home, with an amazing and well-thought-out layout, that not only made sense but was breathtaking. As Aref and his family showed off the house, I just had to ask, after putting so much of himself, his dreams and hard work into the house, why sell?
He admitted it was hard, the perfect house, in a great location, in a great city but some of the kids had gone on to college, and the house is way larger than anything they need. The house built with so much attention to detail and love was more than needed.
He has plans to stay in the neighborhood, but in a smaller house. When I asked about starting over, he said, “No this was enough, but you know Erin and I have a couple ideas, and we could...” And it is not hard to see this dynamic family starting over on yet another dream home for the wife and family he loves so much.
The house will be listed later this month by Howard Hanna, and if you want to see a double that became a stunning single, or what love and hard work can accomplish, check it out. It is now a Lakewood treasure.
See all the photos online, and check for Howard Hanna listings to see the home in person. Thank you for the walkthrough!
Publisher, Lakewood Observer, Inc.