It’s what’s inside that counts most
Less Can Be More
by Matt Edens
I'll be honest: from the street this house isn’t all that remarkable—a wood-frame, two-bedroom, circa-1920 bungalow not all that different from hundreds of others around Knoxville’s center city. Granted, it’s better maintained and more lovingly landscaped than a lot of homes inside the I-640 loop, but this quaint, comfortable cottage is not the sort of place you’d give more than a passing glance if you passed it on the street.
But its very ordinariness is precisely why I find this house on Walker Boulevard in the Emoriland-Fairmont area so interesting. To see what I mean, all you have to do is step inside. Once you walk in the front door, it’s obvious that Knoxville’s center-city housing stock is currently living, for the most part, far short of its potential. Because, from a design and architectural standpoint, even the most mundane of historic homes has lots more going for it than a similarly priced house in the suburbs.
With this house, the owners had several things going for them—original oak floors and Craftsman-style, three-over-one windows (the numbers refer to how the muntins divide the sash), common elements in even the smallest homes of the era. Building on those good bones they wound up with a home whose stylish interior stacks up well against anything you’d find in Fourth and Gill or even on Gay Street. To complement those golden oak floors, they added patterned anaglyptic ceiling papers in most of the rooms, accented by fine light fixtures and a rich palette of wall colors. The kitchen comes complete with wainscoting, stainless-steel appliances, black and white tile and a period “schoolhouse” style light fixture.
And the house is only half of it. Out back there’s a large covered patio and off-street parking. Plus there’s an original garage that, in addition to a large storage/workshop area, has been converted into a charming space (whose fit and finish, including Berber carpet, is comparable to the main house) that would make a great guesthouse or an attractive efficiency apartment. m
4304 Walker Blvd.
Approx. 800 sq ft
2 bdrm/1 bath
Plus 1 bdrm/1bath guest cottage
Contact: Jennifer Montgomery
Coldwell Banker: 693-111