Decoration of Independence
A well-traveled pair boldly display their eclectic and artistic style in a renovated Colonial Revival.
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“We don’t know how to do home renovations,” says Chuck. “We would be completely lost in a home that needed to be fixed up.”
Here’s the rub: Linda loves old houses. So when the Dormans moved to Wilmington when Chuck became CEO of the Veterans Administration’s healthcare system, they set their sights on a vintage home that had been restored and was ready for them to decorate in their own artistic and eclectic style.
Their previous home was a 5,000-square-foot 1898 Queen Anne Victorian in California. In Wilmington, the Dormans were captivated by a house of the same era, but a different style, an elegant four-story Colonial Revival built in 1897 in the city’s Cool Spring community.
“I love the atmosphere. I love the architecture,” Linda says. “I’m a city person, not a suburban person.”
On the exterior, the bricks are laid in a glazed-headed Flemish bond pattern, in which the exposed headers are burned until they develop a black, slightly crackled surface that contrasts with the red brick.
Inside, there are 3,700 square feet of space, plenty of room to roam for the couple and their three cats, Hazel, AJ and Smoky. The way the Dormans see it, a house is built to be enjoyed room by room, from top to bottom.
In the elegant foyer, a fireplace is flanked by built-in bookcases where Linda displays her collection of brightly colored glass and pottery. The oil painting over the mantel in the foyer is titled “Two Fat Ladies,” a pale portrait of women who exude friendship and joy. “It makes me happy,” says Chuck. “I love art that makes me happy.”
The Dormans were immediately smitten by the home’s gracious turned staircase in the foyer, a second back staircase, hardwood floors and large windows. Other original features, including a butler’s pantry and a pocket door between the parlor and the dining room, had been meticulously restored.
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