Realtor Randy Cernohorsky and his partner John Causby, who owns a sound studio in Charlotte, say Uptown is right where they want to be.

“We’ve pretty much always lived downtown,” says Cernohorsky. “We decided to build a house up in University. We moved up there and didn’t like it. This was more our lifestyle.”

The couple has lived in Historic Fourth Ward since 1999. The home they purchased, originally built in 1894, was once on Caldwell St. In the 1960s, it was saved and moved to Fourth Ward.

Causby and Cernohorsky worked hard to make the house their home, including the challenging work of correcting some structural issues.

“I was parked in the driveway and I was looking at the Bank of America tower here and the house here,” Cernohorsky recounts. “There was a gap that was wider at the bottom that got narrower at the top, so one of them was leaning and it wasn’t Bank of America. It was the house.”

One side of the house was jacked up and leveled off. And, with that work done, the couple set about crafting their private utopia in Uptown.

Inside their home, Cernohorsky and Causby have invested most in their favorite space — the kitchen. “We both like to cook,” Cernohorsky says.

When they moved in, the kitchen was workable, having last been updated in the 1980s. They’d planned on building an addition to the home, but later decided against it. Instead, they put in nicer kitchen appliances.

“It had cobalt blue countertops,” Cernohorsky says. “It was kind of stuck in the ‘80s. We lived with that up until last year and we just recently redid the cabinets.”

Cernohosky says the backyard, a private, walled-off garden, had already been landscaped when the couple moved in. A shed was already in place and the pond was also present. Plant choices, though, weren’t up to snuff.

“It looked good — it was on the Mint Musuem tour,” Cernohorsky says. “But the problem was [the former owner] planted one of everything without thinking of size. She planted one of every tree you could get. It didn’t make sense. There was no structure.”

The front yard, too, needed work. “The front was overgrown with ivy and a cedar tree was actually growing up into the front porch,” Cernohorsky says.

It took some time for the couple to craft their space, and though it’s always an evolving work in progress, Cernohorsky says they are happy with it.

“The backyard is private, quiet, secluded,” he says. “If you want to just hang out and not be social, this is the place to do it. If you want to sit out on the front porch, you’ll have people stopping by. It’s very social on the front porch.” : :

Stroll along winding paths amidst a garden walk.
Stroll along winding paths amidst a garden walk.
Adding a fish pond to a garden can give it amazing charm.
Even situated within towering building, a lovely outdoor garden, complete with eating area and benches, can bring about a sense of welcome relaxation.
A well-landscaped yard can add beauty to an urban home.

For more garden ideas, visit

Photos copyright: Jimmie Cobb/JC Digital Photography Works.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.