1506 Maple Road (2005)

With the eastward extension of the Mayfield inter-urban streetcar line, the Crestwood subdivision, just east of the Severance estate, opened up for development and this spacious double-gabled bungalow was built there in 1920. In 1951 the city reclassified it as a “legal double” to accommodate the owner’s blind daughter; the house has since reverted to its single status. The second-floor apartment is now a large master bedroom suite complete with art room, while the two downstairs bedrooms have been converted to separate offices for the owners.

The house is, to quote one owner, “large enough to accommodate parties of 100 and small enough never to have to downsize.” Having lived there since 1981, with the intention of staying permanently, the owners did not consider resale value when they enlarged the kitchen by eliminating a closet in one of the bedrooms-turned-offices. They remodeled the kitchen themselves, using cabinets from the Kraftmaid warehouse in Lordstown. One of the owners did the faux painting found in many of the rooms. She also collects and re-creates castoffs from tree lawns and garage sales. The round table in the living room is in fact a department store display piece layered with paint representing every color used throughout the house during the three-year renovation. Once dry, the layers were burnished with a sanding disk to bring out the different colors and then rubbed with a copper glaze.

Form follows function is a principle clearly evident throughout the house. Nothing is done without a purpose. For instance, most chairs and the dining room table (custom-made from paulope wood) are on wheels so they can be easily rearranged to fit the needs of different types of gatherings. The perfection of deliberate imperfection is another design principle the owners follow when innovatively dealing with problems. For example, two blemishes remained on the ceiling of the front office after the roof was reshingled but were masked with a curlicue design. When a contractor spilled three cans of stain in the foyer, the owners decided they could not endure another bout of dust from sanding new drywall. Therefore, the stained wall was disguised using hand-made paper backed with wallpaper lining, then torn and adhered in overlapping rough-edged pieces.

The many witty creations in every room carry out the injunction inscribed on a sign in the garden that says simply: LAUGH! The welcoming front porch and the lovely back deck, with trellised sides for privacy, take advantage of the amazing gardens.


Watch For:

  • Framed love letter written in 1911 by owner’s grandfather, a graphic artist working in Cleveland, to her grandmother in Chicago during their courting days in which he characterizes Cleveland as “quite a boisterous town” where “things are allowed…that would not be tolerated in Chicago
  • Palindrome written in calligraphy above doorway in kitchen
  • Dining room carpet, designed by owner and created by Jan Arbogast-Treadable Art, allows for off-center furniture placement; remnants were used to carpet hallway, foyer and stairs


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