Dublin and Bexley residents open up their homes for good causes
In the next couple of months, 16 gracious homeowners will open their doors to friends, neighbors and hundreds of guests as two area women’s clubs host spring home and garden tours.
On Sunday, May 6, six homes in Dublin’s Tartan Communities will stand ready to inspire during the Dublin Women’s Club Spring Tour of Homes.
Then on Sunday, June 10, you get to spend time inside ten of Bexley’s most beautiful homes during the 5th Annual Bexley House and Garden Tour.
We feature a home from each of the tours. You’ll meet the gracious homeowners who have invited you in to possibly pick up a bit of inspiration.
Dublin - Tuscan feel in Tartan Fields
During the week, one homeowner admits that she and her husband don’t spend a lot of time cooking in the spacious kitchen that sits as the heart of their nearly 11,000-square-foot Tuscan home.
“We’re both pretty busy with our work schedules,” she says.
In their early thirties and forties respectively, both spend a good chunk of their days in the car—she’s in sales and he makes a daily 120-mile round-trip commute between work and home.
But on Saturday and Sunday, they make up for lost time. “We love to have our friends over on the weekend,” she says. This is when the house gets used and appreciated.
That’s what friends are for
Until about a year ago, the couple lived in Chillicothe, but the desire to be closer to a core group of friends in Columbus was a major factor in their decision to move. Plus, he is originally from New York and she’s from St. Louis, so they both were accustomed to a more cosmopolitan setting.
Entertaining was front and center when the two began planning the home with architect Lee Rumora and builder Tom Cua. This planning stage took a full year and was followed by two years of building. Since the couple didn’t live in town, Cua would update them on a regular basis by sending photos and text via e-mail.
“Tom was great,” she says. “You hear all these horror stories about building. We had none of that. Everything he promised us, we have. It was really easy for us.”
Cua says he really believes that building your dream home should be one of the most enjoyable experiences of your life, and he aims to keep stress levels low. Plus, he says that building a home on such a grand scale was a welcome challenge for his team.
Cua says that the craftsmen he works with enjoy the chance to showcase their skills on homes that have been designed for a particular client using a specific style of architecture.
Throughout the construction phase, Cua was in constant contact with Rumora and designer Pam Yost; both whom he credits as being critical to the end product.
In the zone
Ultimately, the stately residence would include five bedrooms, three half baths, five full baths, a decked out gym, a lower level bar area complete with an expansive wine cellar, a theater room and an outdoor entertainment zone.
It’s this outside space where the couple and their friends gravitate toward most often. A covered pavilion houses a kitchen, fireplace, television and plenty of comfortable seating, while an inviting pool beckons from beyond. This is where the fun takes place when the weather is inviting. And just because the kitchen hasn’t seen a lot of use, don’t think guests ever go hungry—the man in the house happens to be quite adept at cooking up dinner on the grill.
Bexley - Three generations on six floors
If someone mentions they live in a six-level home, your mind might go directly to a 1960s mid-century architectural mindset. That’s no surprise to Diane Gosser, who lives in a Bexley home built in 1938 that looks like an English cottage from the street, but causes visitors, once inside, to lose a bit of perspective.
Guests enter on the main floor, which includes a living room, dining room, kitchen, family room and half bath. Up a short flight of stairs, another level houses a bedroom, office and bath. Eight more stairs and you’ve reached two more bedrooms and baths. One more set up stairs and you arrive at the top level, Diane’s master suite.
Two lower levels include a laundry room, full bath, office/homework area, and a huge recreation room.
“I have no idea why they built the house the way they did,” she says. “It wasn’t the fashion in the thirties.” She wonders if the family that built the home just wanted to do something with the bonus space that was tucked underneath the structure’s steeply slanting roof.
About three years ago, Diane’s daughter Elizabeth and her family were ready to relocate to Columbus from Texas. During the house hunting process, Elizabeth and her husband Brian began to consider the idea of moving into her childhood home. Diane had been living alone in the house at the time, as her husband John had passed away nearly 10 years earlier, and she welcomed the idea, saying there was plenty of space for everyone. That is, at least in most of the rooms.
More room to cook
In the original kitchen, Diane says she could stand at the sink and, without moving, reach the stove and refrigerator. But when her two teenage grandsons, Parker and Grant, moved in, it became clear the extended family would need a bigger kitchen. “They are perpetually hungry and on the search for food,” their grandmother says.
Both boys are 6'5" tall and love to cook, Diane says. “When one would work in the kitchen, he would just swell up and take up the whole space.”
The kitchen addition off the rear of the home, featuring a classic tile backsplash, created by Imaginative Flooring, also allowed for an additional bedroom suite for Brian and Elizabeth, as well as a bump-out in Diane’s bedroom area that allows for a charming sitting space.
On the move
The addition of two adults, two teens and two dogs into her previously quiet household certainly has boosted the activity level inside. “We should have a swinging door,” Diane says. Whether it’s a sporting event, a school debate or a church function, someone is always coming or going.
Sometimes the going is to faraway places thanks to Diane’s passion for travel and her desire to pass that trait on to her grandchildren. When the boys were relatively young she began by taking them on a cruise. Shortly after that the ventures became international, yet not typical travel fare. Diane wants to visit the more distant and exotic locals while she is in good health and quite mobile.
The boys, and frequently Elizabeth, join her on journeys to out of the way places. Elizabeth reports the group has stayed with families in China; had Yak butter tea in a Tibetan’s family home; celebrated the World Cup with local Italians; eaten local food including scorpions from the night market in China; slept in the Amazon in a long house with no water or electricity; swam in the Galapagos; and hiked Mt. Olympus and Machu Picchu.
It’s no surprise, Elizabeth says, that both boys have been geography bee champions and have a love of history.
“Traveling is a priority for us,” Diane says. “You can’t always get your education from a book.”
Souvenir t-shirts from the trips have been incorporated into Keepsake Theme Quilts made for the boys’ beds by the Columbus-based organization, Deaf Initiatives (deafinitiatives.org).
Just as they’ve learned to adapt while traveling, this extended family has learned about the give and take of living together.
“I would not say I am a neatnik,” Diane says. “But I’m sure my grandsons would.”
Regardless of a bit of added clutter, she says, “It’s be delightful having them here.”
Builder: Tom Cua, Cua Builders; Architect: Lee Rumora, Rumora Associates Architects; Designer: Pamela Yost, Grand Design Group; Custom electronics: Digital Home Designs; Lighting: Ferguson Enterprises; Wine room: W&M Carpentry, Darby Creek Millworks, Wyman Woodworking; Flooring: Marble Compositions & Flooring; Kitchen cabinetry: Schlabach Wood Design; Kitchen countertops: Solazzo Marble and Granite Imports; Kitchen backsplash: Marble Compositions & Flooring; Kitchen sinks and faucets: Carr Plumbing Supply; Appliances: hhgregg; Painting/wall treatments: Grand Design Group, Constance Mengel; Furniture: Grand Design Group; Landscaping: Cua Builders; Windows: Andersen Windows & Doors, A&D Building Materials; Front door: Darby Creek Millworks; All other doors: Andersen Windows & Doors, A&D Building Materials; Wrought iron and aluminum railing: Suburban Steel Supply; Roof tile: Ludowici Roof Tile Co., New Lexington, Ohio; Foundation and concrete flat work: Shepherd Excavating; Lumber and exterior trim: Cellar Lumber; Interior trim: Capital City Millworks; W&M Carpentry; Swimming pool: Envision Pool Co.; Stone and stucco: Queen Custom Exteriors; Limestone: Karlsson Design