At Home with a Commercial Architect

 
Photography by  Kacey Gilpin

Photography by Kacey Gilpin

How would you describe your home's style?

The house itself is a ranch style home built in 1935. The large horizontal windows have a Japanese feeling that contribute to the peaceful quality of the home. It is important to respect the original architecture of a home or building, but not restore it to a fault so that it doesn’t function in modern times. In this respect I think our home’s style is modern.

We love the simplicity, yet attention to detail, within your home. How was it when you acquired it? Was it a fixer-upper or a place you could easily move into?

The property was priced “as-is” and every other offer was from someone who wanted to scrape the house and build something larger. The house was a mess! Everything was yellow, the roof, the brick, the shag carpet, the wallpaper. The lines and the flow were so good, they were just hidden. We removed almost everything, including a few walls and all the finishes. We built the house back over the years. I was determined to show people how beautiful the space could be. I couldn’t imagine it getting torn down.

What is original and what did you add?

The exterior walls, most interior walls, the fireplace and the concrete floor are the only original bits left. We replaced the original windows for efficiency but had them built to look and function the same.

Tell us about your collections. I love the 'Adventure Fund,' but I also love the collection of notebooks. What are those for? What else do you like to collect in your home?

My husband and I acquire most items in our home when we travel. Surrounding ourselves with memories from different trips makes the space so much more meaningful. And when it’s time to purge and get rid of stuff, the collections from travels always make the cut. We have small collections of rocks we pick up along the way, figurines, books, paintings, and vinyl records.

The moleskine notebooks have a little of everything in them. I started using them in college, and for 15 years i have always carried one with me. For notes or sketches, floor plans, lists...one notebook usually lasts a couple of months.

You have made quite a beautiful mark in this city (Tulsa) as a commercial architect. Where do you start when you enter a new space?

I love working on old buildings because they have a personality of their own, it’s usually just about stripping the existing space down to its bones and noticing what shines through. Then you can see what needs to be added to make the space functional for it’s new use.

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