HOME TOUR: A renovated Fletcher Place Victorian is now a work of art

Renee Harness and Dennis Carr got into Fountain Square before the recent modern housing boom.

They bought what could have cost them $300,000 or $400,000 in recent months for much less in 2014.

The 3,000 square foot home nearby the Holy Rosary Church is in an area known for its Italian heritage, but the ethnic influence from other countries shines through.

The Victorian-style home was built in 1882 and houses three bedrooms and 2 full baths, with a library/den, upstairs family room and a full laundry set in the mudroom.

What the house used to look like

Simplicity is couple's biggest inspiration. When they purchased the home, it had been renovated to reflect its Victorian style. That included purple and blue paint, inside and out, giving it the nickname "The Purple House."

The interior had royal blue trim on the doors, windows and stairwell and purple trim throughout the second floor.

They have collected a lot of artwork over the years and didn’t think hanging it was going to work with all of the wallpaper in the house.

"Plus, who wants that much wallpaper,” said Renee.

They had wallpaper removed from six rooms, replacing it with a more neutral plain scheme and then went about the major renovations: Kitchen in 2015, master bath in 2016, exterior in 2017.

They love the floor plan with the central living space and the rooms surrounding it.

"It’s much different than the standard Four Square homes we lived in when we were in Meridian Kessler,” said Renee.

The biggest challenge was what to do in a big kitchen with multiple doors. A central island is nice, but they felt they'd be constantly walking around it with no “thru” space. A movable island is definitely an option in the future, but they opted for a small eat-in-kitchen space instead.

Another challenge was the configuration of the master bathroom. There is only one bathroom upstairs so they wanted to make it a “family bath” by adding another door. The former bathroom seemed much smaller than the new configuration. They removed a linen closet for the second door, added a double sink and doubled the size of the shower without really losing much storage.

They don’t DIY, but they did design both the kitchen and the bathroom. The master bath is high on the list of favorites because they opened up the space so much without moving any walls. They also used encaustic tiles, which were their biggest indulgence. 

"Buy original artwork that you love. It doesn’t have to be expensive (less than replacing your cell phone every couple of years), but a variety of styles, sizes and mediums gives your home personality.” said Renee. "Of course, art does not have to go with your couch. Throw out the couch before the art, or have a few good pieces to swap in and out of rooms when needed.”

They enjoy shopping at art and antique fairs/shops. They try to resist the urge to over-purchase stuff that they won’t love in 6 months.

Fletcher Place is the best neighborhood they have ever lived in. They spent years in Meridian Kessler and Butler Tarkington, and when they moved to Fletcher Place they felt they were welcomed whole-heartedly into the neighborhood.

People here reach out to neighbors and the Fletcher Place Neighborhood Association (FPNA) is great at hosting social events like game nights, dinner at neighborhood restaurants and picnics (And home tours!).

Dennis and Renee have gotten involved in the FPNA and Renee is a board member and Dennis is the chair of the membership committee.

By day, Renee is a leadership consultant & coach and Dennis is a certified financial planner.

You can visit their home this Saturday, April 29, 2017 as part of The Fletcher Place Home Tour from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm. Tickets are available on the tour day at 642 Virginia Avenue (home tour headquarters) for $20.

If you have a unique home you would like to share with the RTV6 Friday Home Tour audience place contact Lora Olive at olive@iquest.net.

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