Workplace became a residence Man hired to rehabilitate house later bought it

Dream Home

October 26, 1997|By Bob Graham | Bob Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

When Anthony Workman's company was hired 2 1/2 years ago to rehabilitate a three-story Victorian house in Reservoir Hill, he immediately took a liking to the project because the house, which had fallen into disrepair, showed a great deal of promise.

"It was a shell of a house, not worth a whole lot, but it had potential," recalled Workman, owner of Workman Pyramid Builders. The owner of the 80-year-old house in the 2100 block of Bolton St. paid about $74,000 for Workman's crew of eight to spend an estimated six days a week, 14 hours a day for about six months to "get rid of all the little boxes of the old house. We needed to create open spaces," he said.

The result is a showpiece that through happenstance Workman bought in December. The woman who hired Workman fell behind on mortgage payments and had to sell it, and the bank contacted Workman after learning of his affection for the house.

"When I was doing the work, I was thinking about the things that I would like and want to have," said Workman, 44, who is employed full-time as a laboratory supervisor for the city's Back Water Treatment Plant. For the past 11 years, he has supervised his general contracting company's work, which is done during the day. He works nights and weekends on those projects.

When the work began in 1995, Workman and the owner agreed that the front bedroom on the second floor should be removed to make room for a loft. The result is an open living room with a 23-foot ceiling and a box-bay window, required for the removal of the second-story flooring of the front bedroom. Since he moved in, Workman has turned his original work into even more of what he wanted, making a house built in the 1920s into "the perfect bachelor's home."

The goal of his work has been to make it appear modern, but not too much so. "It's flashy like I want it to be, but it's subtle," Workman said.

The living room is a good example of Workman's plan in action. A contemporary style, white leather sofa and matching chair contrast sharply with bronze vertical blinds and the two bronze and glass sconces. The room is painted in an off-white hue. Throughout the first floor the lighting is soft, with recessed lights positioned in the dining room and kitchen, and some track

lighting used to brighten both rooms, when necessary. All of the first floor lighting can be controlled and dimmed from a switch located near the front door. The lights of the living room are the perfect complement to the fireplace, which didn't function before Workman's crew arrived in 1995.

New hardwood floors are in the living room and dining room areas, with green marble at the entrance to the house.

The kitchen is less subtle, with white lacquered cabinets, white appliances and a stove-top on an island placed across from the long wall of cabinets. Two white leather chairs sit on the outside of the island, giving Workman handy storage space and a convenient place to eat.

Despite the loss of a room on the second floor, the loft and remaining bedroom in the rear give the floor a warm feel, bathed during the day in sunlight from the large box-bay windows spanning two floors in the front of the house. The loft is designed as a sitting area with a black sofa where Workman can relax. The back bedroom is for guests, and the full bath is peach, a contrast to the black of the open area.

On the third floor is Workman's personal space, including a small room where a desk and computer serve as his office. The master bedroom, with its brown and white wallpapering, features a large working fireplace; the chimney area is covered in a mirror that Workman cut himself. The mirror and the skylight Workman installed light up the 10-by-13-foot room. Rays catch the wine and champagne glasses in the corner of the room where a small bar is located.

The master bathroom appears like that of a fine hotel. A Jacuzzi with bronze fixtures, his-and-her sinks, a stand-up shower and a commode are all neatly removed from one another in the 12-by-18-foot room. The bathroom also has a door opening up to the roof area, where Workman plans to install a second deck soon.

"I've already watched the fireworks from here and it is great," Workman said.

If the third floor is for classy encounters, the basement is just the opposite. Over a white tile floor, the long and narrow basement contains a pinball machine, a pool table and a large-screen television.

"This is the perfect home for me. Even though it's in the city, I think it offers me all the things that people out in the county have, plus all the things you can have in the city, like a great view of the skyline."

Pub Date: 10/26/97

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