Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

SEP-OCT 2017

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As suburbanites flock back into the city to enjoy a revitalized urban experience, architects and builders are being called upon to replace traditional home layouts with more contemporary open-plan designs. e Victorians favored an insular kind of living, and their influence extended well into the last century, manifesting in rigorously maintained, compartmentalized homes where everything and everyone had its place. Such layouts are now widely thought to be antiquated and ill-suited to modern lifestyles in which multi-use functions and open spaces would appear to be a necessity. In this issue, we visit a home from the 1920s that the owners have carefully restored to its original beauty without a single wall moved, ceiling raised or closet repurposed. Up until a couple of years ago, the owners had been on the lookout for a home in Meridian-Kessler. ey longed for a house that would reflect their love of tradition and architecture. e couple's patience was rewarded when, through a fortuitous series of events, they were able to purchase a home that had barely been altered over the previous 90 years. Flying in the face of conventional wisdom, they were adamant from the outset about preserving the integrity of the original structure. "We hired an architect and builder to keep us true to the period," one of the owners said. Mark Demerly of Demerly Architects and Rob Froelich of Corinthian Fine Homes played those key roles. "is was built as a spec home in 1927, and Mark told us what we should and shouldn't do." "When you preserve plaster, it means a lot of fishing," explained the husband. "e electrical, HVAC and plumbing were nightmares, but we had some great vendors. Premier Electronic Lifestyles and Howald Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing went above and beyond. It would have been a lot easier if we'd gutted the place, but then you lose charm." Out of practical necessity, the modestly sized kitchen required extensive work. This was the only room that was torn out, but in keeping with the theme, no walls were moved. Dating back to the 40s or 50s and known as a "World's Fair Kitchen," the entire interior was Formica — including the ceiling — that had arrived in a kit. e new owners took a fleeting liking to it and briefly toyed with the idea of keeping it, but since the husband and wife are both avid cooks, they opted for an updated, fully functioning modern kitchen within the context of the existing space. "I knew the look I wanted, to take the kitchen back to 1927 or so," the wife said. "at meant white Shaker-style inset cabinets, latches and the traditional black-and-white-checkered marble floor." 70

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