Our Inwood House of the Week is an enchanting Lakewood storybook Tudor cottage built in 1930 that has been completely restored, renovated, and enlarged. Finding a Tudor that is move-in ready is basically like finding a needle in a haystack, so ya’ll are in luck today!
Maria Luna and her husband, Patrick, drove by 2411 Auburn Avenue one day in 2001 and it caught their attention. They continued to drive by, regularly, for six months. “We just kept looking at it,” she said. The Lunas were happily ensconced in a beautiful home in Hollywood Heights at the time with little intention of moving to Lakewood. “The house just spoke to us,” Maria said. And it kept on talking until they left Hollywood behind for a new renovation adventure.
Maria and Patrick are what I like to call house listeners, and they are no strangers to renovation. Maria has run her design and construction company, Maria Luna Designs, since 1995, and also finds time to teach design at El Centro. Patrick is an engineer and a photographer. They not only have the design skills, but also the appropriate aesthetic and an innate historical sensitivity for dealing with the unique demands of a period renovation.
“The house was originally about 1,800 square feet,” Maria said. “We bought it for the living and dining rooms, knowing we would add on and renovate.”
It’s easy to see what attracted the Lunas — an enormous original stained-glass living room window, beamed ceilings, and a fireplace like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The Lunas had a geologist look at the stone. He figured it to be 3 million years old.
One of most significant challenges they faced was to create a seamless transition between the original architecture of this storybook Tudor and the 1,500-square-foot addition to the back of the house. The Lunas scoured, sourced, and often schemed in the middle of the night.
“We would get up at 1 a.m. to work for a few hours because the kids were asleep and it was quiet,” Maria said.
“I found 12 old corbels in Canton,” she added. “They matched so closely to our original 1931 corbels. I also spent months there searching for hardware and had it re-plated. I wanted it to match and be vintage. I’m passionate about that.”
Maria hand dipped and hand stained each of the Saltillo floor tiles to give them an aged look. Patrick laid them, and considering he is an engineer, you know they are straighter than straight!
The house took a year for the major construction and three more to get the details down. “This home was a project of passion,” Maria said. “It’s such a process for us. It’s life encompassing.”
The four-bedroom, three-bathroom house is now 3,256 square feet and flows beautifully.
“It’s a great family house,” Maria said. “It’s still compartmentalized and has the original flavor, but we intentionally opened the den to the kitchen.
One of the most endearing features of this storybook Tudor is a cornerstone in the front of the house. The builders wanted to tell their story and added a piece of paper with all of the names of the craftsmen involved in building the home. They also added little tokens, all visible behind a piece of glass.
The Lunas are continuing the home’s story-telling tradition and installing a brick on the back of the house with the year they finished the renovations. Patrick is adding tiny reproductions of architectural icons. Maria will put in miniature gardening tools. Their children were 8 and 5 when the house was finished, and they chose items to add to the story as well.
It’s time for a new chapter in the storybook of this home. Will it be yours?
If so, give David Bush listing agent Joe Kacynski a call. He has this Lakewood storybook Tudor listed for $1.15 million.
Karen Eubank is the owner of Eubank Staging and Design. She has been an award-winning professional home stager for more than 25 years and a professional writer for 20 years. Karen is the mother of a son who’s studying music at The University of Miami. An ardent animal lover, she doesn’t mind one bit if your fur baby jumps right into her lap. Find Karen at www.eubankstaging.com