Photo by: Kevin Meechan
Brevard is a small town nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina. It was developed around a combination of industry and tourism, and today, it’s a thriving community rich in outdoor recreation and the arts.
Our home is in the Railroad Avenue district, the neighborhood developed around the town’s depot, originally home to essential businesses such as a livery, an icehouse, a cotton mill, and a lumber company. The houses built in this area were a mixture of merchants’ homes and boardinghouses that served visitors arriving from the depot.
Our Craftsman-style bungalow was built in 1910, and a small boardinghouse was added to the property a few years after that. When we purchased both houses in 2009, they had been abandoned for years. We bought our houses as part of a collection of seven abandoned houses. All have been or are currently being renovated, as the neighborhood has become the focus of public and private revitalization planning and investment.
There is a lot we like about our old houses. They are small and well built. The detailing is simple but strong. As we found them, the houses were shells with great maple floors, 10-ft.-tall ceilings, large windows and doors, and elegant trim and molding details that we’ve largely kept intact. Overall, the general layout of the main house was good, but it lacked adequate storage, comfortable bathroom space, a modern kitchen, and the general amenities and functional areas a modern lifestyle demands. The revitalization of this house was an exploration in space planning. We removed, moved, and added walls to carve better spaces within the old footprint. When our design goals exceeded the capacity of the old structure—as was the case with our desire for a master suite, for instance—we added on.
The changes we made to our home are not necessarily bungalow specific. Many houses share similar attributes, and they need similar design improvements to make them practical, comfortable, and pleasing places to live.
Bedrooms: main house, 2; guest house, 1
Bathrooms: main house, 2; guest house, 1
Size: main house, 1488 sq. ft.; guest house, 648 sq. ft.
Cost: $150 per sq. ft.
Location: Brevard, N.C.
Architect: Parker Platt
Builder: Anthony Randolph