17461 Shelburne Road (2000)


This brick, stone and stucco Tudor was built in 1928 for the Smayda family, whose well-known bakery products stocked many a Cleveland pantry. The present owners have lived here for almost thirty years and the house has grown into a treasure trove of family heirlooms — some of them from the days of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire -- as well as artwork and artifacts collected from all over the world. While the house is Tudor on the outside, the interior layout is almost like a center hall colonial, and is, according to the owner "very modern, very efficient."


The very large, very airy front hallway is flooded with light from the arched and leaded windows over the staircase landing. The delicately wrought metal balustrades and railings add to this feeling of lightness. High up on the walls are a series of plates from such various spots as Austria-Hungary, Yugoslavia, Persia, Japan, and France. A 17th-century brass plate was a wedding present to the owners.


In the living room, most of the furniture is from Austria. The heavily gilded and ornate clock on the south wall played Serbian tunes when it was built 150 years ago, but has since lost its voice. The painting of the family on the north wall was done in Paris in 1974. Note the crown molding here and in the dining room. The beautiful crystal chandelier in the dining room is original to the house, and the prints of Paris, all by the same artist, were done in the early 1700s. The two woodblock prints of Vienna and Budapest date from the 15th century.


A fire in 1999 smoldered in the walls behind the study for six hours before it was noticed. It destroyed the bookcases, which have since been restored, and the books and inlaid table suffered water damage. The kitchen has been modernized, with a built-in commercial-type refrigerator and new stove and stainless steel counter, but the original stainless steel double sink and counter remain, as well as the wall tile. During World War II, the clay pots on top of the refrigerator were used for jam making in Serbia, and the black jug carried water from a mineral spring.


Upstairs there are six bedrooms, the two over the garage originally intended as servants' quarters. From almost every window there is a view of the magnificent gardens, which are described on the opposite page.