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One of a Kind

Circa 1927 romantic bungalow in Cooper-Young.

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A lot of houses on the market are stripped of character on the assumption that it's the best way to appeal to the widest possible audience, much like the idea that every apartment must be painted off-white and have beige carpeting. This house ignores such preconceptions to grand effect.

The owners have been in residence 10 years, and it feels like they were busy the whole time. In the front yard, an iron fence made of recycled metal elements embodies the unconventional attitude often expressed in Cooper-Young.

Inside shows the same artistic attention. Each room has its own touch, whether it be a hand-stippled border at the ceiling, a painted "wallpaper" stripe, or a rug stenciled on the floor. All work together to create a harmonious and most distinctive interior.

The living room has a rough-cut fireplace with a bracketed stone mantel shelf. Bookcases flank the fireplace with small paned-glass doors. An elegant pair of French doors with antique glass are set opposite the fireplace as entry to the den. This room offers both a quiet getaway or great overflow space when the hordes descend.

Five-panel pocket doors connect the living and dining rooms. An exquisite collection of period light fixtures adorn the 10-foot ceilings. Heart-pine floors run throughout the ground floor, imparting their rich color to the interior.

The full bath has its original small, white ceramic floor in impeccable condition, along with a beautifully reglazed, footed tub. An antique wooden sideboard converted to use as a vanity adds the perfect eclectic touch.

Two of the three bedrooms are downstairs. The one in the attic is the largest, and there's also a nicely sized bonus room upstairs. The rear bedroom on the ground floor has a large walk-in closet that could easily become a second full bath and French doors out to a deck. It also has one wall of Elvis paneling from the 1970s, imprinted with images of the King. There's a new workshop that would be a perfect art studio out back behind the detached two-car garage.

The kitchen is the major highlight. It's composed in the English, unfitted style with freestanding sculptural elements. A long, porcelain-on-cast-iron sink with two integral drain boards is the central focus with custom beadboard cabinets above. A unique, double pot rack is composed of two iron-spoked wheels connected by a curving run of copper pipe. All of this plays off a wall of corrugated, galvanized aluminum that rolls sinuously up and across the ceiling.

This house is not a cookie-cutter bungalow. It's quite the romantic — clearly a labor of love.

1831 Oliver

Approximately 2,140 sq. ft.

3 bedrooms, 1 bath; $189,000

Realtor: Crye-Leike, 276-8800

Agent: Paige Arnold, 870-7653

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