Traci Beauchman never thought she’d be living in a historic home in Phoenix. The possibility was never even on the radar.
But, when she and her husband, Kris, decided to move to the Coronado Historic District from their six-bedroom, four-bathroom home in Surprise, they did it in a big way. Well, big for historic district standards.
The Beauchmans, recent empty-nesters who realized they were beginning to make quite a habit of driving from Surprise to downtown to socialize, found a three-bedroom, three-bath home that made downsizing from their 3,600-square-foot home in Surprise a little less painful.
“We thought, ‘We want to go do something fun,’” Beauchman said of their mindset after their youngest moved out. “Our life is our own. Let’s go have one.”
So, while they did not change the footprint of the 1,800-square-foot home, which included an addition when they purchased it, they did add a swimming pool and create an outdoor living space that meets all their entertaining needs.
“We really put our own stamp on it,” Beauchman said. “It’s been so fun. We figured this would be our next adventure. There’s a lot to try out there and we’re going to try it all.”
And in the kitchen, “trying it all” meant installing two different but complementary types of quartz countertops, and adjusting the lighting by using an app. The Beauchman home is not only historic, it’s smart. Seemingly everything can be controlled by an app.
“That’s my husband’s contribution,” Beauchman said with a warm laugh.
What sparks the most conversation among guests is the way the Beauchmans have decorated the surprisingly spacious historic home. Vintage accent pieces are sprinkled in at every turn, and with intention. The pieces themselves, from the rotary phone on the desk to the to throwback scale in the kitchen to the classic TV console-turned-liquor cabinet in the front room, all feel at home in the spaces they’ve been given.
“We look for the history behind it,” Beauchman said of the endless stream of vintage pieces throughout her home. “Sometimes it takes two or three different purchases just to find what we want.”
And, for many of the pieces, they didn’t even need to go searching in a store. They were already in the family. Traci wasn’t even supposed to get her father’s vintage, stand-up radio until after he passed away. But there it sits, just inside the Beauchman’s lime green front door. And her father is still around to see it.
Inside the home’s second bedroom, one that the Beauchmans decided to convert into a film-themed TV room, sits a Brownie Starflash Cam, the dainty, square cameras that required the blue Sylvania flashbulb. It was Traci’s grandfather’s, and she remembers taking it on a trip to the Phoenix Zoo when she was eight years old.
The south side of the home is where previous owners added a more traditionally-sized master bedroom and bathroom, nearly doubling the home’s original footprint, which was about 900-square-feet before adding the rooms and closing in the back porch to make a laundry room.
The size and style of the master bath, though, grabbed the attention of the Beauchmans.
“This is what sold us on the house originally,” Beauchman said.
The Beauchmans felt lucky for scoring a historic home with three full baths in it, but felt even more charmed when they walked into the master bath, which stretched far enough to include a stand-alone tub, a spacious shower stall, and two separate sinks and vanities.
After all, it’s almost accepted that what homeowners gain in charm and character in a historic home they lose in elbow room while brushing their teeth. So, this was a score.
The backyard has a resort feel on a dollhouse scale, offering a pocket of serenity in the middle of the city. Lights are strung across a seating area, which includes a fire pit, a flat screen TV and a grill, all enclosed on one side by a fence covered in viney greenery.
Beyond the seating area is the pool, a Beauchman addition that is surrounded by synthetic grass, accented with commissioned copper artwork, and touched off by beach-vibe Adirondack chairs, a distressed towel cabinet and a pair of bubblegum pink decorative flamingos.
“I said if we ended up in a historic district, we were getting pink flamingos by the pool,” Beauchman said. “It’s been really awesome to live down here. We absolutely love it.”
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