The main entertaining room of the home suffered extensive damage to the floors prior to its renovation in 2004. Vanessa Byrd, the woman who rescued it, says the floors were collapsing into the basement and it looked like “a skate park.” The original sage-green colored tile fireplace remains and was free standing by itself at the end of the room when Byrd took ownership.
The floors are therefore not original to the house, but are beautiful old wide plank boards hard to find in any home. The room contains four sets of quatra-foil doors opening to the front patio and the front porch area. The staircase is very unique with wood detail design that we are seeking to identify. (Arts and Crafts?) The black walnut paneling was restored and in a few cases recreated by a talented local artist. Some of the door frames and panels were also heavily repaired or recreated. A delightful photo of the Chiles children in front of the fireplace, including one son looking up the chimney for Santa, appeared in the local newspaper. We are seeking a better copy than the poorly xeroxed copy that exists.
We found some original wainscotting in the basement. We modified it to accommodate the new archway created by a previous owner helping to restore the drawing room/living room closer to its original state. In the photo below it is the wainscotting to the left of the small arched window. Where the photo high on the wall is shown is where the new pass-thru archway exists today. We removed some wooden boards in the ceiling added by later owners and someday we or a future owner may restore the beams shown in the photo.
Note: The light fixture pictured is not original to the house but noted here for archival purposes.