Last fall we celebrated a family member’s 50th birthday in great style… and in this beautiful Troy, Ohio home. Since the party was a surprise, we arrived early and were treated by our host, Tom Szafranski, to special tour. Tom spent three years meticulously restoring the house and no detail was left to chance. Each room has it’s own charm and story so as a departure from our usual botanically inspired posts, we thought you might enjoy hearing about Tom’s adventure in his own words…
“In the late 1920’s, local Troy business man Bond Houser, along with his architect J. Douglas Lorenz, designed his “country residence” which he named “The Byfield.” My father moved my family to Troy in the late 1970’s and I would pass The Byfield on my bike going to the nearby Troy Country Club where I worked as a busboy. I never went down the driveway but often wondered “Who lives back there?” Now, thirty years later, I can provide the answer to that question: I do!”
Having spent nine years in the South developing a great interest in history and architecture, Tom knew restoring a house like The Byfield would be a dream come true and when the opportunity arose three years ago to buy the house out of foreclosure, he was the first to bid. “Of course, it was a classic money pit scenario between what I knew needed to be done, what I later discovered needed to be done, and my own “slight” compulsion for getting everything else the way I wanted it!” Tom was gracious enough to send us wonderful before and after pictures and we hope you enjoy this little tour of The Byfield!
Not only did Tom become a master upholsterer (the dining room and hall walls are done in beautiful fabric), he also enjoyed doing all of the tiling in the kitchen and bathrooms, trying to maintain an “old style” feel with basket weave floors, subway tiles and hand painted back splash tiles. Even wine corks got a special treatment when glued in a pattern over a walnut chopping block!
With the inside of the house completed, Tom is turning his attention to the gardens which were seriously neglected and overrun with weeds. With the help of his father who tackles the grass on his riding mower and his mother who still waters the flowers in the window boxes religiously, we can’t wait to see what beauty will blossom from Tom’s capable hands this spring.
Thank you, Tom, for sharing your enchanting home with us – how wonderful that you were able to save it for many generations to come!
P.S. Tom also sent a very thorough description of the restoration process so if you are interested in his story, please email us!
Photos via Tom Szafranski