Some homes are worth a second look. That’s how Jon Arenstein, the current owner of a Bexley bungalow felt when he first walked past it over six years ago with his dog, Mickey. The draw was so strong, that he rang the doorbell and asked the owners to call him if they ever decided to sell.
That’s also how Florence Murphy felt when she served as a tour guide for the home in this year’s House and Garden Tour in Bexley. As Housetrends publisher, Florence had seen a taste of the home Jon and his wife Dianne eventually purchased in a show preview. But after spending a spring afternoon there, she wanted to share a bit more of the couple’s charming spaces.
A rarity of this century-old home was that it sat on a double lot which allowed space for a first-floor owners’ suite addition (seen to the right in this photo). Construction began before the couple moved in and took about six months. They are especially pleased with how the contractor, Rick Wieland, was able to match the roof tile and exterior brick of the original structure.
A FLOOD OF SUNSHINE
When she first toured the home, the abundance of windows spoke to Dianne. “The minute I walked in, the windows were what grabbed me,” she says. One light-drenched room that is a favorite spot for relaxing is the sunroom. During renovations the couple widened what had been a small doorway leading to this room to create one big open space encompassing the kitchen, dining room and living room.
While the kitchen still stands on its original footprint, gleaming white Amish-built cabinetry and the newly-widened access to the sunroom combine to create a crisp, yet inviting, space. A dedicated ice maker is a favorite among the couple’s grandchildren, and even their daughter Abby, who lives nearby. “My daughter will come over here and fill up baggies with crushed ice to take home,” Dianne says.
Bridging the area between the original part of the home and the new addition are built-in bookshelves which house Dianne’s collection of antique French Confit Pots. Also, near the kitchen area, the couple carved out space for a back entry with its glass-paned door where Mickey, a beagle mix, occasionally soaks up the sunshine. Outside this door you catch a glimpse of the residence’s new, oversized two-car garage.
Abby lives just two streets away with her family, and the couple’s son David’s family lives not too far away in Granville. So, this Bexley base becomes a gathering spot. An empty backyard expanse has been replaced with multiple conversation areas providing a lush space for family and guests to relax—while the grandchildren and the couple’s dog run about the fenced-in yard.
When the couple is in the mood to watch life go by, they can head to the generously-sized front porch with its trio of tapered columns and ponder the good fortune they had when they discovered this home five years ago. “It’s just so different,” Dianne says. “It’s like a little gem hidden in Bexley. We both fell in love with it.”
Contractor Wieland Building and Remodeling; Roof The Slate and Tile Roofing Co.; Landscape design Oakland Nursery; Cabinets H&S Custom Cabinets; Windows Pella Windows and Doors; Drapery Kris Lape Design; Area Rug K.A. Menendian Rug Gallery
Article by Karen Bradner | Photos by Dale Clark/Arc Photography
Article originally appeared in September 2022