Dawn Buckworth's Home, Called Leftovers, Is One of The Historic Houses of Odessa: A Community of Homes Preserved by H. Rodney Sharp
Here’s what happens when you respect tradition yet embrace innovation.
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A Perfect Fit
Yet the homeowner is very much a woman of the 21st century. She added a cheerful sunroom to the rear of the house, incorporating a brick archway from what once was a screened porch. Tradesmen used four kinds of bricks to seamlessly match the exterior of the existing structure.
Buckworth furnished the space in blue and su
nny yellow, with wicker furniture and cushions upholstered in a print fabric in a beach umbrella motif. It’s a favorite gathering space, with rocking chairs always at the ready for frequent guests.
The sunroom has a seamed tin roof, which enhances the Colonial vibe and provides an acoustical connection with nature.
“It sounds wonderful in the rain, listening to that soft drumming overhead,” Buckworth says.
When she bought the house, Leftovers boasted a formal front garden of mature boxwood hedges and a walkway paved with pea gravel. She meticulously restored the white picket fence, removing and sanding each picket before reassembling the fence and adding a fresh coat of paint.
She planted a climbing hydrangea on the house—much prettier and less invasive than ivy—and created a private retreat on the back of the property with a pea gravel patio beneath the shade of a towering magnolia tree.
Returning to Odessa proved a perfect fit for Buckworth, who now teaches fifth grade at Cedar Lane Elementary School in Middletown. She has adjusted to the sweet and soulful pace of Odessa time, antiquing with her mother, trading tools and pleasantries with neighbors, and kayaking on the Appoquinimink with friends.
“When I pull in the driveway, I feel a sense of instant peace,” she says. “I am truly home.”
Get the Look
Integrate the past. At Leftovers, four kinds of bricks were used to construct the sunroom addition to seamlessly match the existing structure.
Garden creatively. The grounds surrounding the Leftovers house include formal boxwood hedges in front and a casual entertaining space in back, with groundcovers of pea gravel and ivy. There is not a blade of grass to be mowed or watered in this low-maintenance, drought-tolerant setting.
Invest in the “wow” factor. The cedar shakes on the English-style gambrel roof are far more expensive than synthetic shingles but are an invaluable element of the home’s curb appeal.
Surround yourself with things you love. Dawn Buckworth brought in beachy fabrics in her sunroom, a table from a beloved aunt in her dining room and, in the kitchen, a collection of bell jars gathered from her travels.
Make over rather than tear down. In the kitchen, tired laminate counters were replaced with tile, and pine planks were installed on a damaged floor. But the original metal cabinets remain in place.
Page 4: Sharp Dressed House | Long before he became a philanthropist, H. Rodney Sharp was a 20-year-old schoolmaster in Odessa.