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River City Living: Artsy Studio in Ludlow

The popular Beyond the Curb urban living tours that typically take place twice a year in Northern Kentucky's river cities, is virtual this year.

The Catalytic Fund, which produces the tours and aids in urban development projects, moved to a video tour series this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

An artsy studio in Ludlow is the focus of the latest installment in the video series.

Jeff and John Winkle operate an art studio and gallery on Elm Street and the twins also own this property's original carriage house.

The Winkles recently turned the top floor into a modern studio apartment and staged it with their paintings and colorful, quirky furnishings. The project is showcased on this week’s episode of Beyond the Curb: River City Living.

“The apartment was a complete disaster when we bought it,” said John Winkle.

The leaking roof had collapsed part of the ceiling, none of the plumbing worked, and the carpeted floors were “disgusting. It was uninhabitable,” he explained.

According to John, the two-month renovation process was “actually kind of fun.”

The brothers collaborated to design the space to reflect their aesthetic, which he described as “a hybrid of what was there (like the original wood floors and brickwork) with contemporary details, and our resourceful process of reclaiming materials from other projects.”

The staging brings it all full circle, using the Winkles’ art as the centerpiece of the décor. Jeff Winkle described the purpose of their art as “breathing life and positive vibes into any space.” They feel is exactly what happened when they hung their paintings in the apartment.

“The artwork set the tone for the rest of the design,” John said. 

The apartment is now home to the owner of Ludlow’s newest business, Ludlow Parlor. Described as purveyors of “ice cream, coffee, and cookie dough,” it is the Northern Kentucky version of Pendleton Parlor, which opened in 2018 and has two additional Ohio locations. The owner wanted to live nearby as the shop gets ready to open its doors and felt this apartment was the perfect solution.

The Catalytic Fund created this video home tour series as an alternative to its typical in-person tours. The first 7 episodes are available at, with a new episode released each Friday.

-Staff report