A Buzz for Bungalows

Published in the Chevy Chaser Magazine on June 3, 2011
By Saraya Brewer

Read the original article at: http://chevychaser.com/2012/03/a-buzz-for-bungalows/

IMG_0491

Lexington, KY – For Kenwick neighborhood enthusiasts, the biennial Kenwick Bungalow Tour provides the perfect venue to show off the unique and eclectic collection of home and garden styles that make the neighborhood one of Lexington’s most distinct and beloved.

For first-time homeowners Andy and Lauren Hightower, whose home will be featured in the tour for the first time this month, the event offered another bonus: establishing a deadline for the DIY renovations they have tirelessly toiled over in the two years since they purchased their Preston Avenue home. “Events like this have really helped to pace everything we’ve done in the house,” Lauren said.

The couple hosted an engagement party for a friend soon after moving in, which helped set a deadline for their first round of renovations, and have hosted several other smaller events since.

“If you have the budget to work with a decorator, things probably get done a lot more quickly, but if you’re doing it yourself you have to pace yourself,” she said.

With some help from Lauren’s father, an engineer who “loves projects,” the couple has remodeled their kitchen, added a laundry room, repainted nearly every wall, replaced most light fixtures, and imparted their whimsical and assorted sense of design onto just about every corner of the house. Lauren, who chalks up much of her natural eye for design to working in the Chevy Chase boutique For Friends throughout college, is a collector at heart, and the home’s furniture and accessories are a mishmash of family hand-me-downs, Woodland Art Fair scores and purchases from antique stores, IKEA and hardware outlets.

“I like things that have a story,” she said. “I’m definitely not one to go in and buy a whole room (in one stop).”

Because the couple works from home, creating a comfortable and inviting space was of particular importance. Originally built in 1920, the home had been slightly amended from its original bungalow layout, with the upstairs attic space refinished into a living area with two bedrooms, and a terra-cotta tiled sitting room added to the back of the house in the mid-90s. The home offers enough space for both Lauren and Andy to have their own home office with a master bedroom and guest room as well.

The Kenwick location, with its proximity to downtown and to Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate, where the Hightowers’ dog, Malone, likes to spend his time, was also an essential element in their decision to purchase the Preston Avenue bungalow.

“When we first came to see the house, the neighbor came out from next door and immediately welcomed us,” Lauren said. The sense of community in Kenwick was a big seller for the couple, who had been looking for over six months before they found this home. Thanks to a tip from their realtor, they were able to see pictures of the home before it went on sale, and were viewing the home within a few hours of it going on the market. They put an offer in within the week.

The Hightowers have become active in the planning for the forthcoming bungalow tour, hosting many of the meetings at their home. They said they have enjoyed the opportunity to get to know their neighbors better in the process.

“We love the neighborhood and want to show it off,” Andy said.

Kenwick Bungalow Tour

Sunday, June 12

1 – 5 p.m.

Now a biennial event organized by a committee formed out of the Kenwick Neighborhood Association, the 2011 Kenwick Bungalow Tour will feature nine homes and/or gardens in the Kenwick neighborhood, on Owsley, Lincoln, Preston and Sherman Avenues, as well as Richmond Road. According to event organizers, while every house may not be a bungalow, each one will show a different aspect of Kenwick’s unique personality.

The tour will also feature refreshments on the lawn of the neighborhood’s oldest home, located at 116 Lincoln Ave., with many of the treats homemade by neighborhood residents who have volunteered their time to make the event possible.

“It turns out to be this little slice of Americana -
people eating cookies and drinking lemonade on the lawn,” said event organizer and Kenwick Neighborhood Association board member Kristin Ingwell Goode. “It’s very much a neighborhood effort.”

Tickets to the event are $5 and available the day of the event at Victory Christian Church, on the corner of Owsley and Kramer Avenues. A list of participating addresses will also be available at that time. Parking and restrooms are located at the church, and a painting by local artist Charles Jolly will be raffled there as well. The event is scheduled to take place rain or shine.