Remember the TV sitcom, “Designing Women” (1986-1993) staring Delta Burke, Dixie Carter, Annie Potts, Jean Smart and Meshach Taylor? The show centered around a design firm that was run out of Julia Sugarbaker’s (Dixie Carter) home in Atlanta. The two women that turned this property into something extraordinary remind me of the talented women on that program. Kelsey Gabus and her mother Lynne Gabus are definitely designing women.
Kelsey bought the 61-year-old house at 512 N. 13th St. in 2012. The house had been vacant for four years and was in bad need of major repairs inside and out. Kelsey’s mother, Lynne, lives nearby in Wildwood so the two took on the difficult challenge of completely restoring the house. Kelsey and Lynne put their talent, imagination, skill and experience to work and came up with a creative solution to the project.
They started with clean up and repairs in the proper order. Gutting the entire house was the simplest way to start rehabbing along with cleaning out years of interior and exterior debris. A new roof and replacement windows were added and all the mechanicals were upgraded. Next on the agenda were new insulated walls, new ceilings with molding and light fixtures that added aesthetic beauty. Tile flooring was laid in the kitchen and bathroom and carpet in the bedrooms and upstairs. The original hardwood flooring in the living room and dining area was sanded and refinished. Kelsey chose a fairly uniform palette for the entire house but varied textures and finishes imbuing it with richness and warmth plus adding some good pieces of furniture. A 12×12 addition to the back of the house resulted in a master bedroom and a broom closet taken out of the bathroom enlarged the bathroom space by several feet. The basement has a living area with a wet bar and another bath. The restained cedar siding, an added front porch and a back deck both with flowering plants, add a welcome and fresh touch to this ranch home. A breezeway through the two-car garage eliminates walking through the house to the backyard when guests arrive for a party around the newly-built fire pit. This house was like an old trophy that needed to be polished The goal was to make the house as perfect as possible not as big as possible and to make it blend into the neighborhood.