A House unbungled
Old House Journal|January - February 2021
A couple embarks on the restoration of a diminutive house, aiming to reverse a mid-century Colonial style remodeling. Replacing one wall with a period colonnade lets light flow front to back.
REGINA COLE

THIS town of 4,000 people, about 20 miles southeast of Cleveland, has the storybook name, Chagrin Falls. Before they bought this now-charming bungalow, Sam and Kathleen already lived in the neighbor-hood. “Kathleen would say, ‘That’s the house we’re going to retire in’,” Sam remembers. “She works as a registered nurse, but she should have been an interior designer. She was moving furniture around when she was eight years old, she knows what colors go with what and she has a great eye for design.” (Sam, for his part, is an emergency-room doctor.)

Kathleen’s eye had been drawn repeatedly to the little cottage surrounded by an overgrown garden. In 2006, when it went on the market, the couple bought the house and rented it out. But by 2013 they’d sold the bigger house where they’d raised their kids, and moved into the cottage, which sits in a historic district. Turns out, it was a Sears kit house, later remodeled.

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