EDGEWOOD — After living and working in Indianapolis for 20 years, the eyes of Brian Browning turned back to his home of Madison County. In the market for a house suitable for retirement (even though that will be years in the future), he knew Edgewood was the place for him.
“Edgewood was the only place I wanted to buy property,” said Brian, a clinical lab scientist at the Indiana Blood Center. “The houses are of an older style and there are plenty of mature trees. There are smaller homes and bigger homes and it’s just a beautiful place to live.”
After watching the market for six months to find a ranch home with no basement, he spotted the perfect residence.
“I fell in love with it,” he said. “It was just what I wanted. I put in an offer the next day and was very fortunate to get it.”
Since he had lived in several locations – and had his own home in Indianapolis – he knew exactly what features were crucial and what could be easily altered.
“The structure was in excellent condition,” he said. “I knew I would want to change some of the cosmetics to place my own signature on the house. I like to blend old and new so I kept a lot of the original features and just added my own touch.”
Browning repainted almost all of the rooms, installed new tile and granite countertops in the kitchen, refashioned all the landscaping and pulled up a great deal of carpet.
“I was so happy to find hardwood floors underneath the carpet,” he added. “Of course they had to be sanded and restored, but they look great and I love them.”
Sister helped out
The living room is a tribute to his past. Reared on a farm near Alexandria, Browning raised quarter horses and showed them all over the state of Indiana. Above his mantle is a striking painting of a horse, while statues of horses are littered about the room – as are pieces with Southwestern flair.
“Horses are in my blood,” he said. “I wanted this painting to really make a statement when you walk in the front door.”
Choosing colors and décor was something of a family affair. With a sister who is a professional home decorator, he felt it best to include her in the decision making.
“I have to give a lot of credit to my sister,” he admitted. “Before I do anything final, I always run it by her. Our rule is: Before it comes into the house, you have to love it. We have spent a couple of hours together at Lowe's just picking out a color. It’s a lot of fun.”
While he does value her opinion, he does not bow to it. When he wanted to choose a shade of gray for the bedroom, she discouraged him. Sticking to his guns, he is very pleased with the result. The hue changes slightly with the light and the chosen accents.
Most recently finished is the kitchen. Although the entire room looks new, the cabinets were simply well-cared for by the previous owners and only needed new hardware to appear modern. Beautiful stainless steel appliances also came with the house.
To incorporate the stainless steel with the rest of the kitchen, Browning chose grays and light browns for the new countertop and tile. Lighter colors also keep the kitchen from appearing too dark.
The room that sold the house is the only one that has remained untouched. A family room that features walls of interesting cabinet space is where Browning spends most of his time. He has purposefully left this room for last to be sure he can take his time and do it right.
Now that he is close to his parents and almost finished renovating his house, Browning can relax, knowing that this is his forever home.
"I like to run and this is an absolutely beautiful neighborhood, especially in the spring and summer,” he said. “I’m so happy here.”
Each week, Emma Bowen Meyer features a Madison County home. If you know of a home that should be showcased, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.