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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Where We Live: Lakewood home was meant to be

Despite the giant boat in the front yard, the overgrown garden beds and the heavy drapery covering up the windows, Kathy and Bruce Williamson fell in love with the brick Cape Cod in the Lakewood neighborhood as soon as they saw it.

“We just felt it in our bellies,” recalled Kathy.

Looking to downsize and reduce debt after the last of their children moved out of the house, the Williamsons began searching for a new home in 2012.

“We really wanted to start debting down and move into something half the size of what we had,” she said. “We were in no way looking for our dream home.”

At the time, the market was hot, and it was hard to find a house that didn’t already have a contract on it.

“We looked at so many cute houses,” said Kathy.

Then one day, the Williamsons decided to take a leisurely drive around town to check out neighborhoods, and they cruised past a house that caught their attention — but it wasn’t because it was cute.

“It was in ridiculous neglect,” said Kathy.

But something about the home spoke to them.

“We just had a vision, and we felt it,” said Kathy. “We could just tell it had so much charm.”

When they made an offer, they discovered they were competing against three other prospective buyers. But Kathy wasn’t too shook up about it.

“I knew in my heart it was meant to be ours,” she said. “But, I was still a little nervous.”

So, against her realtor’s wishes, she went to walk the property one last time — and she prayed.

Because the property was unoccupied at the time, she didn’t expect to run into anyone. But the owner, who had moved to North Carolina, happened to be there.

Kathy recalled their chance encounter with fondness. “He was so friendly, and he had so many things he wanted to tell me about the property and the house.”

Later that day the Williamsons found out their offer (though lower than the others) was accepted.

When the couple moved in that December, they slowly began bringing the home and property, which sits up a hill overlooking Lake Powell, back to life. Once the draperies were pulled off the windows, the natural light took over the rooms and highlighted all the beautiful woodwork and trim that before was hidden by dust and cobwebs. Once all the old furniture was taken out, the wood flooring shined. It was though they were unearthing the natural beauty of the home.

“The house needed a lot of love — like lots and lots and lots of love,” laughed Kathy. “We just jumped in, and it was one of the most incredible seasons of our lives.”

The Williamsons did a lot of work to the house themselves, including painting, landscaping and refinishing the basement. Kathy found fun new light fixtures and accent pieces at the local ReStore and consignment shops. She’s big on repurposing.

It’s amazing what a can of spray paint can do.

There are many fun things about the home, which makes it unique: A quirky staircase headed up to the second floor, a retro blue-tiled bathroom with vintage mirrors, a 1970s-vintage kitchen.

In the yard, the couple got to work — once again — unearthing many hidden gems such as gardens and water fountains. With a little love and attention, the fountains were brought back to life. The waterfalls create an oasis for the Williamsons, who spend a lot of time outdoors with their dog, Bud.

Another fun thing about the home is a holiday tradition the previous homeowner instituted that he asked Kathy and Bruce to continue.

If you’ve ever driven down Jamestown Road heading toward the ferry during of December, you’ve probably noticed a small tree decorated with strings of lights as soon as you see Lake Powell.

“The previous owner asked us very nicely if we would continue that for him, and I just felt like we really needed to do that,” said Kathy.

“The past six years have been such a labor of love, and this has become so much more than just a house — it’s our dream home.”



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