Sunday, July 3, 2022

Where We Live: A colonial comes back to life

After more than a decade of sitting empty, a former “dream home” was given new life.

Here’s how it started.

In the early 1960s, the late Alec and Luna Morgan built their dream home on two acres of land in Queens Lake.

While the exterior reflected pre-Georgian southern architecture, the house became known for its Colonial New England-inspired interior. From the glazed brick kitchen floors to the wooden shutters and exposed Oregon pine beams, it was a period home through and through. Its excellent craftsmanship, décor and lush landscaping even catapulted the Morgans into the limelight briefly with the house being featured in both the Family Circle magazine and Colonial Homes magazine in the late eighties.

Then, as life moved on, the house became empty and sat for 13 years uninhabited except for weeds, ivy and the occasional critter – that is, until Lynn Maltinsky and his wife Jeanne Wilson came along.

Lynn was actually trying to see a different house across the lake, but he couldn’t get past the realtor’s lockbox. Since he was already in the area, he decided to drive around and look at other properties.

That’s when he came across the Morgans’ dream home, though it no longer looked so dreamy.

“Most people would’ve taken one look at the place and said ‘We’re out of here,’” said Lynn.

And most did.

But Lynn and Jeanne are “doers.” They enjoy projects, renovations and re-imaginings. And although some couples can get caught up in the stress that a home renovation brings, Lynn and Jeanne go with the flow.

“We have a lot of patience,” Lynn said.

After a couple months of consideration, the couple purchased the home in 2012, which at that time was completely overgrown with ivy and weeds.

But Lynn and Jeanne saw something others didn’t. Structurally the house was in great condition, and its location overlooking Queens Lake was exactly what they had been looking for.

Since they moved in almost five years ago, they have undertaken a number of projects. After clearing out the landscaping, they focused on renovating the kitchen, which was so “colonial” it didn’t even have a refrigerator in it (It was in the garage). They then expanded the square footage of the living room and added a spacious screened-in porch with vaulted ceilings.

Although they liked the colonial New England style, the pair agreed that it needed a little toning down — Maybe not quite so much wood.

The bones of the house are strong, so nothing was warped, cracked or molded. The original exposed beams look as if they were made yesterday, and the hand-made doors easily open and close. While the Morgans invested in a new heating and air system and new windows, the plumbing didn’t require upgrading.

The next project they plan to tackle is turning the two bedrooms downstairs into a master bedroom with an en-suite bathroom.

“We’re going to fast track that one,” laughed Lynn.

Though some days Jeanne admits she wonders what they have gotten themselves into, it all becomes worth it when they watch the sun set over the lake and the wildlife in the backyard.

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