neighborhood

Old North Knoxville Home Tour

Image from  Victorian Holiday Home Tour  505 East Scott Ave.

Image from Victorian Holiday Home Tour 505 East Scott Ave.

Each month we try to feature a home tour on our blog. We love being able to hear about what "home" means to different people and we treasure the relational aspect of being invited into someones house. This month we offer you something a little different. If you have never attended the Old North Knoxville Home Tour, we highly recommend it. We attended this past weekend and have pictures and ideas to share with you. Although each of these homes was built around the same time period, in the same Victorian style, it was neat to see how each homeowner's personal taste and style came out in the decor.

303 Oklahoma Ave

303 Oklahoma Ave

302 E. Scott Ave

302 E. Scott Ave

We asked each home owner two questions,  "What do you love about your home?" and "What makes your home unique?". We got a wide variety of answers and loved hearing about the many renovation experiences and processes of restoring historic homes. Below are a few of our favorite responses. Enjoy!

"What we love most about our home is that we were able to take something neglected and dirty that most people would turn away from and rehab it into the gorgeous home it was intended to be. " (Leslie M.)

Photo by Alan Sims : Inside Knoxville 204 E. Oklahoma St.

Photo by Alan Sims : Inside Knoxville 204 E. Oklahoma St.

"Our home is unique because it has a distinct juxtaposition of modern and traditional features. We kept the rooms in our house segmented (vs. an hgtv-esque open concept) because each room in our house serves a specific purpose. All of our doorways are very tall and wide, so our rooms still feel open without sacrificing purpose. We believe that old homes should be maintained to serve their original purpose, and at the time of construction, our home would have been very modern and featured the best of the best. We tried to echo this in our renovations and do a modern interpretation of a Victorian home- we put new light fixtures where original light fixtures were placed, moved walls and doorways to original locations, and designed the home so that the purpose of each room was consistent with the original design. Maintaining historical features was very important to us, and we kept this in mind as we gave modern interpretations and new life to our home." (Leslie M.)

"We rarely ever turn a light on during the day. The huge windows let natural light abound and breathe such life into these old walls and hardwoods. That's what I love most." (Jenna V.)

302 E. Scott Ave

302 E. Scott Ave

302 E. Scott Ave

302 E. Scott Ave

302 E. Scott Ave.

302 E. Scott Ave.

"The thing we love most about our home is the neighborhood! Old North, with its gracious front porches and proximity to Happy Holler businesses means that you are always meeting a friend or neighbor as you walk down the street. Everyone here is so friendly and we love having impromptu dinner and drinks on our front porch with friends.  (Cat S.)

221 E. Oklahoma

221 E. Oklahoma

221 E Oklahoma

221 E Oklahoma

221 E. Oklahoma

221 E. Oklahoma

"Our house is filled with art and antiques, made by and gifted by family and friends. We also have many souvenirs of our travels together as a family. We think that these personal touches bring warmth to the space, and remind us of our favorite people and places every day. Our house is unique in that it hasn't been "remuddled" like some Victorians--we enjoy the original fireplaces and woodwork of the home and all of its original bones. We are also lucky to have an unusually wide front porch, which means that it can function as an extra room in our home--we have a "living room" with a sectional and a dining area out there that we use all the time when the weather is nice!" (Cat S.)

225 E. Oklahoma St

225 E. Oklahoma St

225 E. Oklahoma St

225 E. Oklahoma St

225 E. Oklahoma St.

225 E. Oklahoma St.

We loved seeing how creative people were able to get with their space. Some of our favorite ideas were using old mantels to create faux fireplaces, making great use out of porches and outdoor areas to extend living spaces, using a ladder as vertical (and pretty) storage to hang blankets, and utilizing architectural salvage as art and decor.

If you would like a home by home review of the tour, check out Inside of Knoxville's blog. Pt. 1Pt.2

"Mi casa es su casa"

hancockhouse.jpg

This month Help You Dwell sat down with Becky Hancock to get her two cents about creating a home and the process of bringing old things back to life.

Steve and Becky bought their historic home in June of 2004 and have taken on several projects and renovations to make it their own.

One of their favorite projects to date is their kitchen. Using vintage 1950's metal cabinets rescued from a tear down of another building, a kitchen table that belonged to Becky's grandmother, and a light fixture that Becky found at The Salvage Shop, as the style reference, they were able to formulate a plan for a retro kitchen design. In a record breaking 7 weeks, (with front end loading) they totally redid their kitchen and ended up with an absolute gem.

kitchenshelf
vintagebreadbox
builtinkitchenshelves

Upon walking into the house you feel a mixed sense of walking back in time (or down memory lane) and feeling totally at home. No doubt, the items chosen in the Hancock home evoke a sense of nostalgia to everyone who comes by. Becky's decorating and home making philosophy stems from the fact that she is drawn to things that represent a happy memory; things that remind her of people, old times, or things that tell stories. Because of this, she is naturally drawn to vintage items. Every item I asked about during the tour had a story behind it and naturally served as a conversation starter. Along with nostalgic items, it's clear that both Steve and Becky are musicians and long time music lovers by the instruments and music paraphernalia that also adorn the home.

Dining Room built-in

Dining Room built-in

Master bathroom extension

Master bathroom extension

Dining room

Dining room

Old family photos throughout the house create a kind of "walking photo album" cataloging multiple generations.

Old family photos throughout the house create a kind of "walking photo album" cataloging multiple generations.

When asked about living in a downtown neighborhood, Becky explained that her time living in New York created in her an appreciation for living near people of all different nationalities and walks of life. The downtown neighborhoods in Knoxville provide a diversity that much of the city doesn't offer.  Becky talked fondly about getting to know many of her neighbors and the value in building community with all kinds of people. Aside from being able to walk downtown and being close to work, Becky loves old homes and loves being able to be a part of restoring the home she and Steve own.

Becky and Steve Hancock

Becky and Steve Hancock

Becky and Steve are hospitality driven and have opened their home multiple times to friends and family who need a place to call home for various seasons of life. In the spirit of hospitality, Becky says her philosophy of home is "Mi casa es su casa. I want people to feel at home when they are here, that our house is always open; a safe, welcoming, authentic space when you need it."

Thanks Becky and Steve for showing us around your beautiful home!