Wonder Rooms

Museum director's home gets a kitchen, bath remodel and family room addition.

Nannette Maciejunes’ home, complete with a white rabbit, is a wonderland worthy of Alice’s curiosity. As the Columbus Museum of Art’s executive director, Nannette spends busy days surrounded by great works of art. When not working, she retreats to her circa 1910 home to relax, recharge and reflect. Like the woman herself, Nannette’s home is full of life, whimsy, and a sense of wonder.

Nannette is a collector of art, both professionally at the museum and personally. Her interests are wide ranging and her collections are eclectic, covering folk art, photography, lithographs and sculptures like Rabbit Boy by glass artist Janusz Walentynowicz. “I dabble enough to be dangerous,” she observes with good humor.

Designer John Wilson kept collections together by category.
The family room is home to the folk art.

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop

Assembling a talented team is part of an executive director’s job. It’s a skill Nannette tapped when she and her husband George recently renovated their home. The project was completed with the help of architect Steve Hurtt of urbanorder, contractor Travis Ketron of Ketron Custom Builders, and designer John Wilson of CRI Interiors. They renovated the kitchen and added a family room, and on the second floor added a master bath and library, all while keeping to the home’s existing footprint.

“My responsibility was to create a backdrop for her collections,” Wilson explains. He used the same wall color throughout the home and assigned categories of collections to separate spaces. Sometimes even individual shelves have different themes. “The goal was to make each room clean and simple and let the artwork speak for itself.”

Wilson also played the role of editor. “He knew just where to make changes and what to let us keep,” says Nannette. “This project was unique in that I dealt with the accessories first,” Wilson notes.

“Nannette is traditional and so is her furniture. We wanted to maintain the historical aspect, so every new piece has a look of age,” Wilson says.

Cobalt blue glass pendants accent the airy and open kitchen.

Tea and tarts

The remodeled kitchen provides plenty of room for entertaining and storage. “The traditional design is appropriate to the house,” Wilson explains. A subway tile backsplash and granite countertops closely match the wall color used throughout.

According to Ketron, the biggest construction challenge was building the support necessary for the new space above the kitchen. The 9-foot ceiling height and red oak floors in the kitchen match the rest of the house.

Pocket doors between the kitchen and dining rooms can be closed for privacy but also help conserve heat. George Maciejunes designed the Franklin Art Glass panes on the doors. Cobalt blue pendant lights add a splash of color to the kitchen.

Earlier in her career, Nannette found herself on curatorial trips around the world. She began picking up “floaty” pens as souvenirs. “It was something I could collect that fit my budget,” she explains. The colorful collection representing twenty years of travel is displayed in glass canisters in her kitchen.

Just off the kitchen is the family room, which houses her folk art collection from numerous American artists including Leroy Almon and Aminah Robinson. There is international folk art too. “We have a touch of Slavic items,” Nannette says, pointing to a statue of Saint Isidore, The Farmer. “We bought him from a dealer in Santa Fe who would pick up these religious shrine figures which had been forbidden in Eastern Europe. My husband likes them because he is of Slavic heritage,” she adds.

Wainscoting, pedestal sinks and glass-front cabinets lend a 1910s feel to the master bath according to Ketron. The heated floor, Rohl tub and HansGrohe shower are a nod to modern luxury. Ketron noted they conserved by using a slab of leftover granite from the kitchen island for the bathroom counter.

The library is a quiet spot for Nannette to recharge her batteries.
It holds numerous books and a whimsical windup toy collection.

What is the use of a book, without pictures or conversations?

Nannette is a voracious reader and in fact, leads a book group at the Columbus Museum of Art. Her new home library provides ample space for her varied book collection.

The library is home to another collection—windup toys. “I have an obsession with windups,” Nannette confesses.

“It all started because I love antique toys, which can be expensive. My husband has teased me that we’ll go broke if I collect those, so I’ve focused on the less expensive windups,” she explains. She has agreed to certain parameters for the collection: no more than a few inches tall and, while she prefers vintage pieces, they have to be in working order, and cost no more than $10.

Some of the photography displayed in the library includes American cabinet cards. Cabinet cards were popular in the late 19th century and are photographic prints mounted on card stock in order to be displayed in parlor cabinets.

Nannette also collects “yard-longs” which are panoramic photos from the late 1800s to early 1900s that are about 36 inches wide. She buys them at antique stores and especially values those depicting Ohio scenes.

Their heads are safe

Nannette’s home is fit for a queen, but she’s no Queen of Hearts. “This project was very much a team effort,” she says of her architect, designer and building contractor. “Very few people talk to their contractors after the job is finished, but we still talk to all of them!”


Designer: John Wilson, CRI Interiors; Architect: Steve Hurtt, urbanorder; Contractor: Travis Ketron, Ketron Custom Builders; Flooring: Mountain Lumber Company
KITCHEN Cabinets: Yorktowne Cabinetry, Specialty North American; Juperana Arandis; Countertops: Granite, Chester A. Smith, Inc.; Backsplash: San Mateo tile, The Hamilton Parker Company; Sink: Kohler; Faucets: Blanco Medallion in Antique
POWDER ROOM Cabinetry: Custom designed by CRI, built by Ketron; Sink: Roma Stone Forest vessel sink; Faucets: Newport Brass; Paint: Door—faux painted by Curtis Goldstein; wall and ceiling—Sherwin Williams Smoky Topaz
MASTER BATH Cabinets: Yorktowne cabinetry from Specialty North American; Sinks: Kohler Memoirs; Faucets: Rohl tub and sink faucets; HansGrohe shower faucet
FAMILY ROOM Lighting: Pharmacy Lamp and Torchiere from Robert Abbey; Rugs: Masland Soumak Collection; Bookcase grass cloth from Surface Materials; Fireplace screen: Fortin Ironworks

To see this article as it appeared in the magazine, please visit our Digital Edition, pages 54-61.

Center for Creativity

Shortly after Nanette Maciejunes completed her own home’s renovation, she donned a hard hat once again when the Columbus Museum of Art began a three-year long renovation project funded by the Art Matters Endowment and Capital Campaign.

In January, the museum unveiled its renovated Elizabeth M. and Richard M. Ross Building and dynamic, new Center for Creativity. Improvements include:

♦ Transforming Derby Court by raising the floor to improve accessibility, installing a luminous skylight, and improving acoustics

♦ Reimagining the entire first floor as a Center for Creativity

♦ Renovating, installing new seating, and improving acoustics in the auditorium

♦ Performing upgrades to make the building more accessible for all visitors and air-conditioning systems

♦ Upgrading heating, ventilation, humidity control,

♦ Upgrading lighting throughout, especially in the galleries

♦ Reconditioning all hardwood, terrazzo, and marble walls, ceilings, and floors

♦ Restoring original decorative building features

To date, the campaign has raised more than $54 million, which will help ensure that the CMA’s extraordinary collection, compelling exhibitions, and vibrant programs will inspire generations to come. The final phase of the capital project is the addition of a 45,000-square-foot wing slated to break ground soon. Major priorities for the new wing include creating a new entry and lobby experience and expanded spaces for the permanent collection, special events and special exhibition spaces.

Information courtesy of the Columbus Museum of Art, www.columbusmuseum.org



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