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After the fire

This 1929 Hutsell-designed home was almost lost

 

The home was damaged in a fire and has an addition, but it retains its original look. This photo, from the 1930s, is courtesy of Summer Loveland.

A fire 15 years ago nearly ruined a 1926 Spanish colonial home on Lakewood Boulevard.

“The other people who were looking at it when I was looking at it were going to tear it down,” says Carol Gantt, who bought the home in 1998.

Gantt repaired the fire damage and renovated the home, which was designed and built by architect Clifford D. Hutsell, and sold it last year.

The home, at 7031 Lakewood Blvd., is showcased in the Lakewood Home Festival Nov. 9-11.

Its new owners, Summer and David Loveland, relocated to Dallas from Pasadena, Calif., last year with their daughter, Truly, who is 2. They have family connections in Texas, but they also were able to get much more house for their money in Dallas.

“We moved from a thousand square feet to this,” says Summer, a CPA.

The fire started in a downstairs master bedroom. Unfortunately, the home’s second owner, who was 100 and had lived there since 1935, died in the fire.

Gantt turned that fire-damaged room into a den, where the Loveland family now keeps books, artwork and comfy furniture. A signature of Hutsell homes is thick plaster walls with swirly designs and crown molding. Gantt was able to copy that trait so well that it’s hard to tell the room has been renovated. She also added a fireplace to the room, copying the design of another Hutsell house down the street, and she pulled in colorful vintage tiles similar to those Hutsell would’ve used.

The room above the fire also was severely damaged, and Gantt turned that into the new master suite.

“We had to replace the ceiling and floor joists one by one because you didn’t really know which ones were good enough to salvage,” she says. “It was a really hard job. Much harder than I thought when I bought it.”

All the major work of renovating had been completed by the time the Lovelands moved in. But Summer has made the house her own by adding paint and wallpaper. She chose Orient-themed wallpaper in the master bath that matches the black-and-gold tile that typifies Hutsell’s use of eye-catching color.

Gantt also added a sunroom at the back of the house, which Summer uses as a home office, plus a hallway, laundry room and guest suite on the second floor.

The home’s living room contains the most Hutsell-esque details. The architect was known for including lively murals and frescoes in homes, and he employed Potter Art Metal Studios to create metalwork details.

Original murals in the Smith home were covered with white paint years ago. But the couple is restoring a fresco over their fireplace with the help of their next-door neighbor, artist Brian Boyd, whose home was Hutsell’s personal residence.

Original sconces were missing from the living room fireplace when Gantt bought the home. A friend alerted her one weekend to an estate sale where she’d found vintage Potter sconces, so Gantt drove right over and bought them. Months later, a daughter of the previous owners visited the house.

“She said, ‘Where did you find those?’ ” Gantt recalls.

The woman told Gantt they are identical to the original sconces, which her mother had put “on the trash pile.”

Summer says she is thankful that Gantt saved the house, where she plans to live with her family for many years to come.

“It still has so much of that Hutsell character,” she says.

Event details can be found in our out and about calendar.


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About the Author:

Rachel Stone
RACHEL STONE is the Oak Cliff editor. Email rstone@advocatemag.com or follow twitter.com/advocate_oc.