This house was so thoroughly renovated in the mid-20th century that there is no evidence of its original incarnation. The tax rolls show it was built in 1939, and its location just south of Central Avenue across from Chickasaw Gardens certainly suggests that the early date is appropriate.
The house probably began as a one-bedroom, one-bath cottage, since the front bath has creamy gold ceramic tile edged in black, something typical of the 1930s and 1940s. It was obviously not a low-end job, when you note that a built-in storage cabinet in the original bath has a native Tennessee marble top — evidence that attention to detail was a priority.
A very generously sized living room looks forward through a broad, shed-roofed bay window. A robust limestone-faced firebox and chimney comprise the room's focal point. Behind this room is a big dining room that flows out of the living room via a large cased opening and overlooks a quiet corner of the nicely landscaped backyard.
The scale of the rooms makes furniture placement and entertaining easy. This dining room is probably a late-1950s or early-1960s addition, done at the same time the outside was restyled and the master suite was added. Vertical cypress siding installed as a shadowbox gives the exterior a lot of punch.
The kitchen is outfitted in white-painted planked cabinets that echo the verticality of the exterior siding. This sort of planking is a hallmark of mid-century California architecture.
The basement is also nicely finished. It has one large room that provides a great getaway spot for a media room or other family activities and, of course, could do double duty as a third bedroom. The space has a handy storage room as well.
The backyard is a major feature of this property. French doors from the master bedroom and a door from the kitchen open onto a large slate patio with an oval swimming pool beyond. The original carport has a garage door added at the front for privacy and security, but the back wall is still open to the patio. Since the garage is also paved with slate, it makes a perfect shady entertaining space.
Someone with foresight installed several fine plantings that have now reached specimen size. The front yard is dominated by a big chestnut tree, and a broad Japanese maple is the accent near the pool. Dogwoods run down the rear fence line under the neighbor's oaks.
This spacious, easy-living, ranch-style house is focused on a patio made for entertaining — definitely California dreaming! •
Approximately 1,650 square feet
3 bedrooms, 2 baths; $205,000
Realtor: Remax on Track, 758-1200
Agent: Larry Alexander, 454-0858