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Pound Puppy

Circa 1928 Craftsman/Colonial Revival in VECA.

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It looks familiar — like a basset hound and spaniel mix that's very attractive but just a little different. This house looks at first like a Craftsman four-square, but it's not, exactly. That style generally has a square floor plan. They are also two-story and therefore very cubic in volume. This house looks that way from the front, but move around to the side, and you realize that the plan is not square, but more broad than deep.

This happy hybrid sits on a street that has mainly Tudors with a few Craftsman-style houses — good, solid 1920s stock built on an old pecan orchard, and this side of the street is in the Snowden school district. That's almost as good as AKC standard!

The exterior materials are classic Craftsman: dark-red brick above the ground-floor windows and a limestone belt course set at the sill line of the windows with Arkansas fieldstone to the ground. Fieldstone is also used for the tapered columns framing the screened front porch and porte cochère.

The entry door is on center and has sidelights. Inside, a broad staircase rises on center to the second floor. Even though the exterior has all the usual Craftsman materials, the interior has a more Colonial Revival floor plan. The living room runs down one side with a central fireplace backed up to the staircase. The mantel is pure Arts and Crafts with a perfectly half-round (semicircular) arch in the brick surround framing the gas logs in the firebox. Similar arches are atop a built-in bookcase in the room and across the entry into the dining room. Ceiling heights are a pleasant nine feet, both downstairs and up.

The other side of the ground floor has the typical Colonial Revival layout of dining room in front of kitchen. Both rooms have two pairs of windows and are light-filled all day. The kitchen sink faces east with a view across a rear deck and deep rear yard with a one-car garage, so the kitchen is a great spot to start the day.

At some point, a large opening was cut between the kitchen and the dining room and a breakfast room installed. This not only opens up both rooms but serves as a prep and service area. The kitchen cabinets are hand-built of tongue-and-groove pine, and the same material was used as a wainscot around the kitchen, all of which is now painted white. Countertops are plastic laminate, but an economical and appropriate upgrade would be hard-rock maple butcher block.

There is a rear ground-floor wing with a half-bath and a bedroom, which could also be a den/study. The original radiators keep the place cozy in winter, and dual AC systems take over for summer.

Upstairs is the full bath with all its original fixtures set against subway tile wainscot and a white hexagonal tile floor. The remaining bedrooms are up here, but it's the master that is particularly noteworthy. Running above the living room, as it often does in Colonial Revivals, it is the biggest room in the house (and thus most appealing). With windows on three sides, it's light and breezy. This room breaks nicely into two spaces with a sleeping area and a home office/exercise/sitting area.

Like a good pound hound, this house is an interesting blend of styles. The changes and upgrades have been thoughtful, and there's room out back for more if you wanted to make this puppy your own.

920 University

1,640 square feet

3 bedrooms, 1-1/2 baths; $149,000

Realtor: Crye-Leike, 276-8800

Agent: Bill Malone, 359-4000

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