The Herald Bulletin

February 1, 2014

Travel treasures

Anderson's 'White House' takes on an Asian flair

By Emma Bowen Meyer For The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin

---- — Sue Taylor began her life in Anderson and is enjoying her retirement years in Anderson, but traveled the world in the meantime. Remnants of her voyages fill her home, especially from her three years in Japan.

“I have worked for every federal government agency there is,” she said. “Thanks to them, I’ve been to every state in the U.S. and Asia. I got my 50 states in.”

As an auditor, her services were needed in many locations – and she usually took advantage of the opportunity to experience new places.

“I love to see things,” she said. “I love to travel.”

Truly affected by her time in Japan, Sue has her home on West 14th Street decked out with Asian furniture, lamps, art, rugs, dolls and vases. In fact, the entryway greets guests with a Japanese wedding gown, shoes and a parasol – all posed on a stand found in Korea.

“They told me that they hang their wedding dresses on the wall like that,” she added.

Near the dress is an ornate vase perched atop an intricately-carved stand. Across from the dress are the dolls that were gifted to her by the couple from whom she rented a room. Colorful robes and exotic hats adorn the porcelain figures.

To the left is the dining room and to the right is the family room. After inheriting the home from her parents, Sue switched the purposes of these two spaces to better the flow of the house. Her parents bought the property in 1958, just one year before she graduated from Anderson High School.

“When I left, I said I would never come back,” she said with a laugh. “Never say never.”

Sue’s first big move was to California. She did return for a time and earned a bacherlor’s degree in accounting. Then the serious traveling began. Once her mother developed Alzheimer’s, however, she sold her house and moved back home to care for her aging parents.

“I enjoy living here,” she said. “I like big houses.”

Not only did she rekindle her love for her hometown, she also rekindled her love for an old boyfriend.

“We went together and 49 years later we got married,” she added, mentioning the wedding was five years ago. Oscar, who worked at Delco Remy for 36 years, moved into the home.

“I love it,” said Oscar. “I love the space and how it looks from the outside. Everyone calls it the White House.”

He also seems to appreciate the Asian flair that surrounds him.

The dining room features a glass etching of a Japanese lady with a temple and cherry blossom tree in the background. Made of three panels to create a dynamic piece, the artwork employs a light in the base to add to the viewing.

Upon the table (in the winter) are gold fan-shaped placemats and black-and-gold napkins and rings. In the summer they are replaced with white-and-gold placemats, napkins and rings.

Open to the dining room is the living room, which displays vases that Sue had refashioned into lamps, textured artwork hanging on the wall, and another traditional vase on a stand.

Adding a bit of curiosity to the room is a very life-like turtle. Once upon a time, the reptile was breathing and slowly walking the earth. Now it is her treasure from Tijuana.

In the office stands a striking screen made of black lacquer and mother of pearl. A beautiful bedroom suit includes a chest of drawers, secretary, dresser and bedside tables in white. Traditional scenes are painted on the furniture.

“They said the economy in Japan will never be the same without Sue,” she said with a laugh.

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