Textbook Reno 

Circa-1948 Colonial Revival in East Buntyn.

This house near the University of Memphis has just had a very thorough renovation inside and out. It had been inhabited, but the yard was completely neglected. Suffice it to say, there was no lawn. The adjoining neighbors refused to even trim their hedges, because it was just too depressing to look next door. After the recent renovation, they didn't just trim the hedges, they removed them to enjoy the view. Need I say more?

The current owner started this renovation from the top down just two years ago. There's a new roof, new storm windows, and new electrical and water services. The water heater and central heat and air are new, as is the large deck out back. There're also a new privacy fence around the backyard topped with lattice on the Southern Avenue side and a white picket fence along that street in the front yard. There's even new evergreen plantings, which, as they mature, will buffer the street noise. The real treat is the half-dozen mature shade trees that keep the house decidedly cooler in summer. The light that falls through them now dances across a newly planted lawn.

The house itself has a symmetrical facade with two shuttered windows flanking a central-pedimented front porch. The porch isn't one of those vestigial things but large enough to hold a porch swing and two chairs, creating an inviting entry. Since this is a Colonial Revival home, the square wooden columns are appropriate, but it would be more fun to beef them up a bit. Either a pair this size at each corner or two larger columns would add even more architectural interest.

Inside's received equal treatment. Two doors to the kitchen were relocated so that counter and cabinet space could be doubled. A pair of windows in the middle bedroom were converted to French doors onto the new deck. This allows more light and makes this room perfect for a den or home office.

There are two master-bedroom options here. The one downstairs is in the back corner and doesn't connect to the main bath but is immediately adjoining. The ample lot, however, would make an addition to this room for more closets and a private bath a cinch.

Upstairs holds another option for the master. There, a brand-new bath and closet do connect to the bedroom. The new bath has the added touches of a travertine vanity top and glass block, which lets light into the new tub/shower. The glass blocks are set flush with the ceramic tile around the tub so there is no future problem of water standing here.

All the quartersawn oak floors in the house have been freshly sanded and refinished. The interior and exterior are newly painted, and an antique oak overmantel with mirror has been installed above the wood-burning fireplace in the living room. New fans and lights are the final touch in this textbook reno.

597 S. Holmes St.

1,300 square feet

3 bedrooms, 2 baths; $124,900

Realtor: Sowell & Company, 278-4380

Agent: Steve Solomon, 454-1931

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