Bed and breakfast opens after renovations

June 01, 2004|EMILY TOADVINE

After much renovation, the doors are open at The Chambers, Danville's newest bed and breakfast.

Making changes to the historic home at 238 N. Third St. took about seven months.

"It was dull and gray and dark," says Carolyn Hogwood, who is a co-owner with Wynne "Buz" Creekmore, who has been her friend since junior high.

The exterior of the Greek Revival, Federal-style home also underwent major changes when the brick was painted a deep red.

"We wanted it to look like it did in the Civil War," says Creekmore.

The back of the home was built in 1828 and the front part was added around 1854. Inside, wallpaper was stripped and paint was removed.

"Everything that stood still got painted about three times," says Hogwood.

Installing central air and heat also presented a challenge in an older home.

"When you have 13-inch walls, all these things are difficult."

Three suites


The bed and breakfast offers three suites: The Heritage Chamber with a queen-size, four-poster bed, garden tub and shower for $100 a night; The Virgin Island with a Victorian king-size bed and shower for $89 a night; and The Cottage Chamber with a cherry spool, queen-size bed and a walnut spool, single-day bed and clawfoot bath and shower for $89 a night. All the rooms have TVs and VCRs and Internet connection. The first two suites have telephones.

Some of the charming qualities of the older home include the wood flooring and fireplaces in the rooms. One of the guest suites, The Cottage Chamber, has a cozy, old-fashioned feel. Hogwood was not satisfied with the lighting so she hung tiny, white lights in grapevine around the room.

"I had to get creative because of the low ceiling. I had to get a little funky," Hogwood says.

The clawfoot tub needed some work and Hogwood says she was pleased with the refinishing by Brian O'Malley.

Adding bathrooms was an important part of converting the home into a bed and breakfast. A ladies sitting room or nursery became the bathroom off The Heritage Chamber. Hogwood installed a vessel sink here on a piece of furniture.

In decorating, Creekmore's daughter added a lot of input. She was in her senior year of studying interior design and helped select fabrics, especially in the Virgin Island suite.

"She fell in love with the fabric with the parrot," Hogwood says.

Creekmore is an accomplished stained glass artist and a yellow rose he did hangs in the Virgin Island room.

Her indoctrination to hospitality came during the Olympics

Hogwood's indoctrination to hospitality came during the Olympics in Utah. She rented 42 private homes for the event. Hogwood loved helping people find a place to stay in her tiny, mountain town.

After many years in Utah, Hogwood decided she needed to find a more moderate climate.

"I'd been there 20 years and it was 5,500 feet, and I'd had nothing but snow."

Danville appealed to her because it was a town with a small college and afforded an opportunity for Hogwood to sing with a group.

For her partner, who became a lawyer in Texas, the house was irresistible. He mainly was attracted because it was pre-Civil War, says Hogwood, noting that the home served as a hospital after the Battle of Perryville.

"He went bananas looking for the ghost," Hogwood says, noting that she's not so sure the house doesn't host spirits from beyond. The disappearance of a cell phone, a tray from England and an alarm clock have perplexed the owners.

"We have lost so much stuff since we moved here," she says.

With the renovations complete, Hogwood has enjoyed furnishing her new home.

"I have fallen in love with Kentucky auctions," she says.

Some of her finds began with U.S. 127 yard sale

Some of her finds began with the U.S. 127 yard sale. In the kitchen, she has a theme based around the type of white granite-topped table with red trim found in kitchens in the 1920s.

The whiteness in the kitchen is a sharp contrast to the dark paneling found there before the renovation.

In addition to revamping the exterior in front of the house, Hogwood and Creekmore have focused on landscaping the back yard. Parking for guests is off Larrimore Lane at the rear of the home.

"The back yard has to look better than the front because that's where the guests will be coming in," Hogwood says.

Despite all the work, Hogwood, who worked with the historical society in Utah for 10 years and even served as president, says it is worth it to preserve this type of home, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Known as the Witcher-Sallee Home, it also is a Kentucky Landmark. Witcher added the addition in 1854 and the Sallee sisters lived there from 1918 until 1970.

Hogwood and Creekmore are impressed with history of nearby Bellevue Cemetery. They hope to make a map to help their guest find interesting monuments there.

"It's one of the most sterling things about the community," Hogwood says.

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