The Herald Bulletin

February 16, 2013

Green vistas

Oberfields refurbish spot across from Mounds State Park

By Emma Bowen Meyer
For The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Longing for green vistas that Phoenix simply couldn’t offer, Suzanne and Chuck Oberfield moved north.

Choosing Anderson for its proximity to their daughter, they snagged the perfect spot across the street from Mounds State Park.

“I think this is one of the best locations in town,” said Suzanne, retired interior designer and wallpaper hanger. “I’m an outdoor person from Oregon so I love being in my yard and I love the park. I even worked there four seasons right after we moved.”

Although the original owners, who built the home in 1936, took great care of the property, later owners allowed it to fall into disrepair. A flipper purchased the home, made it presentable and sold it to the Oberfields.

With her interior decorating skills and experience refurbishing about 20 homes over the years, Suzanne was excited to begin her new project.

By moving the front door and entry way, she was able to create a better use of space. The area that had been designated to the dining room (but was much too small to accommodate her table) became a foyer. With this new space, traffic no longer entered the house directly into the living room.

One room into five

By incorporating pieces of the original house, the couple has created sidelights next to the new door. Chuck, a retired electrical engineer with C & C Environmental, built a welcoming deck that accents Suzanne’s lovely garden.

“I love this yard the best,” she said. “When we moved here we had no idea what was in the ground. We just had to wait and see. Then I redesigned all the flower beds.”

She painted the inside and outside of the home, added some wallpaper and installed new windows in certain rooms. After stripping the carpet, the couple found original hardwood floors in good condition. They were sanded and coated for a beautiful look while new hardwood floors were added to the kitchen and dining room.

Another significant change took place in the basement. Formerly one large dingy room, the space now serves several cheery uses.

Starting out with a good power-washing, the Oberfields, married 50 years, divided the area into five rooms. Once that was complete, paint on the concrete walls brightened the basement up to an unforeseen level. Now Suzanne has a sewing room and a woodshop.

With her tools lined in a row, she showed the exquisite dollhouse she is expertly crafting. Not only does she have other dollhouses on display in the home, but she can also point to dolls she has fashioned.

“I was happy to see that the basement had high ceilings,” she said. “I’m tall but I don’t have to worry about ducking my head down here.”

On the second floor is a sitting area, an extra bedroom and a walk-in attic space – perfect for the storage of decorations for every holiday.

“We usually fix up a home and then stay five or six years,” said Suzanne. “This is one of my favorites. I’ve done bigger ones in Phoenix, but this one just suits us.

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