By Nikki Lott
This year’s Fairmount Historic Home Tour on Mother’s Day features a gorgeous Craftsman-style home at 1831 Fairmount. The owners are Michael Tucker-McDermott and his husband, Stan. We can’t say this Craftsman is unlike any other (but it is), but we can say that the owners most definitely are. In particular, Michael is a researching, history-knowing, antique-loving ball of energy that basically never sleeps. And he’s tons of fun to talk to. We sat down with him for an exclusive sneak peek into how 1831 Fairmount came to be.
Over two years ago, Michael and his husband were living in 1710 Fairmount, an adorable Victorian with the very distinct distinction of being the home most featured on the Fairmount Historic Home Tour (7 TIMES!), when 1831 Fairmount came up for sale. They decided to make an offer, beat out 30 other bidders (HIGH STAKES!), and won. The house was theirs and now it was time fully restore it – “Not a flip,” Michael said, “a full slab-to-ceiling restoration” — and sell it.
Before they even started the demo, they realized this just might be the perfect Arts & Craft abode for them – the dream house they didn’t even know they were looking for. They took the plunge, put the seven-time-tour-champ on the market, and got to work. And it was a lot of work.
They fixed EVERYTHING. They took it to the studs, restored the plumbing, electrical, foundation, and on and on. Michael said, “It looks very of the era, but behind the walls, it’s all very modern.”
They salvaged every piece of the house and at times had piles and piles of wood flooring and window sashes in the backyard. Prior to purchase, the house was empty, which means it was robbed and emptied of all the light fixtures and hardware. They found a guy in Virginia and reconditioned every latch, every pull, every everything. Every piece used for the restoration is from the Arts & Crafts era, even the paint colors – rich ambers, sages, and deep aubergines.
The result is simply stunning. A step inside is a teleport to another time. In the kitchen, you’ll find a fully functioning Magic Chef stove from 1933. They use it every day. They even found an owner’s manual at an antique show from 1934 complete with recipes and charming measurements like “one big scoop.” Stan loves radios so Michael found an original Woolaroc from that era and they listen to it daily, too.
If you want to see all these incredible details in person, hop on the tour. If you want to see how they came to be, keep scrolling. Michael shared his before and afters with us and even included captions.
“If it sounds like I’m bragging in the captions, I am. This house was a lot of work!!”
Michael and Stan chose a period-appropriate color scheme for 1831 Fairmount, featuring rich aubergine, sage, and amber tones.
On the left, the hardware as found. On the right, is the same hardware after it was cooked it in a crockpot overnight, which removes paint, and then polished with baby oil and steel wool, which restores it but also preserves much of the age’s patina.