The Second Life of a Historic Stunner

By Katie Faulkner
Photography by Philip Slowiak

After a serendipitous discovery in 2016, Lynn DeVault and Glo Ghegan moved from one historic home in downtown Cleveland to another, more historic one. “Lynn came home one day and said, ‘The Triplett house is for sale,’ and I said, ‘That’s great, but I don’t want to move,’” Glo laughs. Lynn recalls, “I said, ‘Well, we have an appointment to go look at it in about 30 minutes.’” After exploring the spacious, historic beauty, they decided to make an offer.
The previous owners, the Triplett family, had taken the house through a major renovation to restore it back to its authentic glory. “They really saved the house,” Lynn says. “It was falling apart, and they saved it.”
After having been stewarded by the same family for generations, Lynn and Glo were excited to step in and become a part of this home’s story. Now, washed in light earthy colors, simple elegance, and understated artwork, Lynn and Glo have made the nearly 175-year-old Georgian mansion their own.

Walking up to the front entrance, the home’s grandeur is evident. A crossed-through oval adorns the transom window above the solid front door, and this pattern is echoed in the home’s courtyard. Several unique features like this can be found throughout the home, adding to its character and allure.

Stepping into the foyer, pale wide-plank beech floors are a striking feature. They run throughout the main living spaces on the first floor and lend an original charm, as beech floors are much less common in this part of the country. Taupe walls are crisply outlined by large white molding, and a sparkling chandelier hangs in the entryway. Nearby a gate-leg barley-twist drop-leaf table and cherry chest of drawers set the traditional tone of the décor. Still, the showstopper in this room is a baby grand piano, which is often used for entertaining guests at dinner parties and gatherings. “We’ll occasionally have someone play when we have people over. It creates a nice atmosphere,” Glo says.

“We both come from large families. Glo is one of three, and I was the oldest of five siblings. So it’s nice to have room for everyone when they visit and for when we host dinner parties.”


– Lynn DeVault


To the right of the foyer is the formal dining room. Lynn, who has an affinity for place settings and china, enjoys setting the table for the season, often incorporating family pieces. “The crystal belonged to Glo’s mother, and she gave it to her,” Lynn explains of the special glasses. The Baker dining room suite is dressed to impress, not just for every season, but also for any of Glo and Lynn’s gatherings that include more than a few people. “We both come from large families. Glo is one of three, and Lynn was the oldest of five siblings. So it’s nice to have room for everyone when they visit and for when we host dinner parties,” Lynn shares.

Built-in breakfronts on either side of the fireplace were part of the remodel and now showcase Lynn’s collection of china. Valentino, Ralph Lauren, and Royal Worcester stand alongside their silver and crystal collection. A subtle Waterford chandelier lends a sparkling ambiance to the space, while the large traditional fireplace helps create a cozy welcome to draw you inward.

To the other side of the foyer are the rest of the main level’s living areas. Walking through the extra-wide doorways, you come first to the formal living room. In this room in particular, Glo and Lynn’s affinity for light, comforting, and earthy tones is apparent. Their light take on traditional décor helps create spaces that feel airy, fresh, and elegant while also comfortable and grounded. Straight sight lines draw focus to another Waterford chandelier and large fireplace. A brass fireplace fender, appropriate for the home’s time period, is emphasized with brass candlesticks and a brass-framed work of art above the mantle. A trio of brass-framed pieces hangs between the room’s two windows. “Those are actually salvaged pieces from a mural. You can see the fibers of the wallpaper,” Lynn says.

The seating in this room is plush, light-colored pieces. With plenty of seating, this is a great room for entertaining. “This is where everyone usually ends up when we have larger groups of people over,” Glo explains. The natural flow into this room is partly because of the room’s proximity to the rest of the main living spaces. It sits between the kitchen and the sunroom, the latter of which is the couple’s favorite room in the house.

Two sets of French doors open from the living room to the sunroom, offering a glimpse of the room’s remarkable views. Eight-paned French windows topped with large-paned transoms create a sunny escape with views of downtown Cleveland, the neighbor’s beautiful home, and Lynn and Glo’s gorgeous courtyard. Windows that push open and a white-painted, wood-planked ceiling evoke an old-world Southern charm that calls for a mint julep, or at least your morning coffee. A natural fiber rug,
cane chairs, and playfully patterned armchairs subtly emphasize the room’s resort-like feel.

“This is absolutely my favorite room. It’s where I always end up. To read, to take calls, to have my coffee every morning – this is the room I come to,” Glo says. And Lynn confirms it’s her favorite as well. “Neither one of us has a lot of downtime, but when I get a chance to read the paper at home, or spend a little time relaxing, this is where I usually am.”

Back through the living room, another extra-wide casing opens to the kitchen. This room is streamlined for efficiency and makes excellent use of space with a palatial island, which seats four comfortably and provides ample work space. Painted with a darker gray, the island serves to anchor the room, while white and gray granite countertops, resembling marble, play off the rest of the cabinetry, all in white. Stainless steel appliances and a herringbone-patterned marble tile backsplash behind the cooktop add sleek sophistication. Wainscoting and the continued extra-large molding reinforce the room’s height, while a beautifully serene painting fills the space with cheerful personality.

elegant historic georgian mansion in chattanooga; towering stairwell with magnificent wide banister


 


A towering stairwell with a magnificent wide banister winds its way upstairs under the light of a sparkling Waterford chandelier. “The stairwell was actually moved farther back after a fire that destroyed much of the home in the 1920s,” Lynn shares. “I believe that is when the house was enlarged.” Upstairs, antique knotty pine floors salvaged from the original house are laid in a herringbone pattern which perceptually elongates the hallway. Meanwhile, enormous transom-topped windows pour natural sunlight into the stairwell and second story.

The guest suite across the hall from the master bedroom is plenty large enough to serve as a second master. Its layout mirrors that of the master bedroom as well. Warm rust and gold tones create a welcoming space for guests to enjoy. The exposed brick surround of the room’s fireplace reinforces the furniture’s upholstery. “Honestly, this is one of my favorite rooms in the house,” Lynn shares. “I just love the way it came together.”

Across the hall, views of downtown Cleveland present a cheerful backdrop to the custom-clad master bedroom. From the second story, one can see many of downtown Cleveland’s bustling streets. Glo, who takes classes at nearby Lee University, enjoys walking to class or the post office. She and Lynn both like to ride their bikes to work or the grocery store. “Being able to get out and walk to pretty much anything we need really speaks to quality of life, I think,” Glo says of their idyllic setting.

The master bedroom (above) sports some richer earth tones with burnt orange, sage green, creams, reds, and browns. The upholstered king size bed was custom-made with a bed skirt and bolster and throw pillows to match. Nearby, another of the home’s working fireplaces adds to the room’s warm atmosphere. 

Simple elegance in the adjoining master bathroom serves for a frill-free space to relax and get ready. The floor-to-ceiling marble shower is outfitted with a full glass enclosure, making it adjustable to become a steam shower if desired. The black and white patterned floor plays to the dual vanity with white cabinetry and a black granite countertop. A gold-gilded mirror and hand-knotted rug add subtle touches of decadence to the serene space.

Glo Ghegan & Lynn DeVault near Chattanooga


Glo Ghegan & Lynn DeVault

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