Memphis is in short supply of good mid-20th-century houses. Who wanted contemporary when you could have a Colonial-styled ranch with shutters? But the Goulds, of the hair-salon chain, appear to have had a preference for the modern and built this distinctive house.
The site was carefully designed, with a circular drive sweeping behind a low brick wall and enormous crape myrtles sheltering the entry from the street. Theatrically up-lighted, hardy windmill and pindo palms add a tropical touch. High ribbon windows admit lots of light while maintaining privacy.
The entry foyer has a marble floor. The living and dining rooms are off to one side. A Colonial Revival mantle is the only traditional element; remodeling with a wall of limestone or marble tiles would add a more contemporary treatment.
The kitchen has windows over the sink and breakfast area, looking into a carport that has been enclosed. Installing sun tunnels through the roof would be an economical way to introduce natural light into the space. The kitchen work area is both ample and well laid out.
Across the foyer, a sleeping wing has four bedrooms and two all-white-tile baths that look timeless. A spacious den/sunroom has a beamed ceiling and an entire wall of narrow, stacked stone that is the period-perfect fireplace surround.
A glassed passage leads out to the half-acre lot and a rear wing with a fifth bedroom and a big laundry room, too, but only a half-bath. Fortunately, the laundry could easily be reduced and a full bath installed.
This bedroom is the largest and most contemporary of the five, and with its vaulted ceiling and great views of the back yard and pool, it should be the master suite.
Just outside the sunroom passage is a spacious patio. And a little farther up the hill is another terrace with a fountain, adjacent to the pool — all providing a perfect backdrop for cool pursuits in this modern Memphis pad. •
4549 Laurelwood Dr.
Approximately 3,830 sq. ft.
2 full and 2 half-baths
Realtor: Sowell &Co., 278-4380
Agent: Steve Soloman, 454-1931