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Fourth Ward home in This Old House

By Allen Norwood
Allen Norwood
Allen Norwood writes on Home design, do-it-yourself and real estate for The Charlotte Observer. His column appears each Saturday.

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Lots of us tear pictures from home magazines and tuck them into our “dream” folders. When the day arrives that we’re lucky enough to build or remodel, we spread the pictures in front of architects and designers. That’s what homeowner Greg Johnson did when he approached Charlotte architect Tony Ward about remodeling a house in Fourth Ward.

“Pages from magazines are always helpful,” Ward said. “They give us a feel for your tastes ... They formulate ideas.”

Several phases of remodeling over the years resulted in – are you ready? – a cover spread in a national magazine. Ward’s work on Johnson’s house is featured in the July issue of This Old House. It’s on stands now. You also can see the spread at http://bit.ly/1pyUr6U.

Ward moved a fireplace to open up the main living area. “That was the major thing we did,” he said. The magazine was clearly impressed.

In a rear sunroom addition, one of the last phases of work, Ward used detailing inspired by fences at Monticello in Virginia. It appears under the sunroom windows. It’s among Ward’s favorite touches.

The magazine lists sources for everything from accessories to paint colors.

I enjoy seeing local names in major publications. A while back, architect Ken Pursley’s work on a Chester County farmhouse was featured in Garden & Gun. Jane Schwab of Circa Interiors invited us all onto her welcoming porch in the May edition of Southern Living.

And I always enjoy the stories behind the stories.

Ward said the Fourth Ward house ended up in the magazine after an editor discovered the home during the Fourth Ward Holiday Home Tour.

That was a couple of years ago. Ward and Smith didn’t hear anything for a long time. Then, last fall, a team took lots of pictures. More months passed before Ward chatted at length with the writer. Ward and Smith still didn’t know which of the company’s magazines the story might land in. Then, there it was on the cover of This Old House. So what started with pictures torn from magazines, including This Old House, led to a photo spread – in This Old House.

Somewhere, sometime soon, someone will tear out a page featuring Ward Designs’ work to tuck into a file. Someday the pictures will be spread out in front of another architect or designer. Someone will say, “This is my dream.”

And that’s fine with Ward. “If people want to tear out pictures from this article, they’re welcome to them!”

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