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Renovated Huntsville Five Points bungalow is open, spacious home (Cool Spaces) (Photos, Video)
When their girls were growing up, Ann and Fred Coffey were solidly Blossomwood folks, moving four times within the popular east Huntsville neighborhood. As empty nesters, however, they wanted to downsize, which led them to buya 1923 Craftsman-style bungalow in the nearby historic neighborhood of Five Points. The house on its own was nice, but the additions the couple has made have created a comfortable and cool space for the two of them.

One of the first things they liked about their bungalow was the size of the rooms, including a spacious living and dining room, Fred Coffey said. What the house needed, though, was a revamped kitchen, a den and a master bathroom, all of which they remodeled or added before moving in in 2008. The result is a view from the front door all the way to the back yard, which gives the home an open, inviting feel, he said.

Before buying their bungalow, we had never built a house or done a remodel before, Fred said. And true to form, the job took longer and was more expensive than predicted, but the Coffeys are pleased with the results.

Working with architect Jeff Thomas, the Coffey decided to expand the opening from the dining room to the kitchen, a relatively minor adjustment. Things got serious when the back wall of the kitchen and an adjoining laundry room came down, with a large beam now marking the place where the house once ended. The beam also marks the transition between the kitchen and the new den, which is where the couple spends most of their time reading or watching television.

It s our favorite part of the house, Ann said.

Like many people embarking on a remodeling or building project, Ann spent hours poring over magazines for ideas. One of the ones she frequently consulted was Cottages Bungalows, where she read an article by a professor of art history who specializes in historic colors. She contacted him, beginning the process of narrowing the choices. The Coffeys took a questionnaire about what they liked and ended by painting swatches of the colors on the side of their house so they could examine them at different times of day and from various angles.

One day, they were sitting on paint cans in their driveway and discussing their options, when a neighbor came over to ask what they were doing. She pulled up a paint can, too, Ann said, and weighed in on the subject. A few months later, the couple was surprised to see their own house, now a soft taupe trimmed in green, featured in Cottages Bungalows.

The couple kept the same soft tones inside in the addition, choosing a grey with green tones for the fireplace in the den and for a built-in cabinet in the kitchen that holds much of glassware Ann has inherited from family. In fact, much of their home is furnished in family antiques and other treasures.

The kitchen has a large island topped with a marble in a light caramel color with veins of rusty red. The walls above the kitchen counters are covered in a glass tile in a rich mosaic of earth tones, pulling all corners of the open space together.

The den is simple in its furnishings, just two comfortable chairs and a sofa, so the focus moves to the large bank of windows on the rear wall of the room. Those let in an awful lot of light, Fred said about the five tall windows trimmed in Craftsman-style mullions.

The grey, slate fireplace and flanking bookcases are also a key element of the room. The bookcases, like a large one that holds cookbooks in the kitchen, are topped with Brazilian cherry. It gives a warm feeling, Ann said of the wood as does the heart pine floor that came from a 100-year-old house in Mississippi.

Beyond the materials, though, the bookcases are about family, with wedding photos, favorite books and heirlooms finding a place on the shelves. On top of one case are apothecary jars that belonged to Fred s father, a pharmacist who owned a drugstore in Fred s hometown, Whitesburg, Ky. Other items are from Ann s Norwegian forbearers, including a decorative bellows and a Norwegian fire extinguisher, a shaped bottle filled with water.

It s the ceiling of the room that is Ann s favorite, with the coffers or sunken panels set at a diagonal. The ceiling is another thing that draws the eye to the windows, making what is really a small house feel wide open, Fred said.

As much as they love their bungalow, the Coffeys especially love that it s located in Five Points. We love living here, Ann said. It s the kind of place where people know their neighbors.

We have a gathering the fourth Friday of every month, she said. We meet at somebody s house for a little wine and cheese.

"Cool Spaces" is a weekly feature about Huntsville area homes. If you know of a cool space you want to suggest, email Pat Ammons at .
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