Surgeon Tom Dougherty renovates a Centreville home into a comfortable country retreat
A surgeon turns an old brick home into a comfortable country retreat.
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Who Tom Dougherty
What A renovated brick house on seven acres
Tom Dougherty enjoys life in the country—especially when that peaceful, verdant slice of land is an easy drive from Wilmington.
He found seven idyllic acres that fit the bill, a lovely and secluded property in keeping with his affinity for the outdoors, a location that just happened to come with a two-story brick house built in 1941.
“The land was perfect,” he recalls. “The house, not so perfect.”
Dougherty briefly considered knocking down the house and starting from scratch. The existing interior was dark and cramped, with some passageways measuring a scant 21 inches in width. There wasn’t enough living space to entice his three grown children home for frequent visits.
But the house had endearing qualities, as well, including a large, handsome raised-panel front door and Colonial-style divided light windows. The brick facade was finished in the Flemish bond style, which alternates the headers—that’s the short end of the brick—with the stretchers—the long end. The result is a distinctive pattern created by the subtle contrast of the silvery header with the red stretcher.
Most of all, he was engaged by the home’s intimate relationship with the land.
“I wanted a house that is warm and welcoming, not huge and imposing,” he says. “Over the top is not my style.”
Dougherty, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, put together a plan to restore the home’s smile. He was confident he could take on the project with the knowledge he had gained from bringing back other vintage properties.
“I’ve never built a house,” he says. “I’ve rehabbed them all.”
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