[Source: Susan Felt, Arizona Republic] -- Vicki Vanderhoff had pined for one of the Tudor Revivals that dot the streets in the Willo Historic District where she lived. When the home in the central Phoenix neighborhood (pictured) went on the market, she was among the first to tour it. Since she was a child, she had admired its steep roof, perhaps the steepest pitch in the neighborhood of 70- to nearly 90-year-old English Tudors, Spanish Revivals, bungalows and early ranches. The home on West Monte Vista Road charmed her with its classic lines, the casement windows in the living room, the cove ceilings, the rich, dark hardwood floors and the spaciousness. But she was disheartened by its darkness. For all the beauty of the original paned windows in the front rooms, the home's midsection was dark.
But Vanderhoff, a real-estate agent, saw possibility where some saw just walls, small rooms and tiny kitchen windows. The solution was simple: Eliminate the wall between the kitchen and dining room. In addition, Vanderhoff decided to flip the two rooms, putting the kitchen where the dining room was. She lined the new dining-room wall with casement windows and a glass door that opened onto the spacious side yard; another of this home's pluses was its extra-large lot. Light floods into the once-dark center of this home. "I always knew I could open the room. It was all about bringing the light into the house," Vanderhoff says. She also wanted to preserve the integrity of the home's period - the residence was built in 1929, and she is its fourth owner - while creating a clean, contemporary look. She haunted vintage stores and Web sites for period lamps and hardware. She resisted purists who cringed at the notion of painting the molding around the windows and doors. Vanderhoff wanted a light feel, and that meant painting the dark wood trim white in most rooms.
[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Arizona Republic.]