Suzette Hatfield is firm on one subject.
“I think the only color for a laundry room — for a wall color — is purple, because it's my happy color,” she said.
The laundry room upstairs in her Heritage Hills home fits the bill. Purple walls, accented with brightly painted wooden creatures from Oaxaca, Mexico, and other locales, turns what could be a tiny utilitarian room into a light, happy space. It's almost easy to overlook the washer and dryer.
“I spend a lot of time in here ironing in my cute little laundry room,” Hatfield said in her home, one of several on the 46th annual Heritage Hills Homes & Gardens Tour noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 6-7.
Among the stops this year is St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 222 NW 15, as well as the nearby Hefner Mansion, 201 NW 14. The church bought the mansion and renovated to serve as office and Sunday school space, said Amy Curran, the tour's public relations chair.
“But downstairs still feels like a home,” she said.
The Overholser Mansion, 405 NW 15, will serve as tour central, and guests on the tour are urged to start out at the mansion, Curran said. Ingrid's Kitchen will operate the cafe there this year, serving sandwiches, “bratdogs” and other favorites from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. both tour days.
Money raised from the tour goes into preserving Heritage Hills' green spaces, which the neighborhood maintains on its own, as well as neighborhood enhancements such as new light poles and projects benefiting nearby Wilson Elementary.
Except for the happy laundry room, the rest of Suzette and Kim Hatfields' home at 833 NW 15 has a classic air, their art and glass collections offering bright notes along the way.
A timpani-turned-stained-glass-art anchors one corner of the dining room. In the living room, almost an entire wall glitters with the glass collection in a display case — the result of about 15 years of collecting mostly contemporary glass, Hatfield said.
One section of the case, dubbed the museum section, is off limits to guests, she said. “Otherwise, we open the cabinet and say, ‘Pick your glass.'”
The Hatfields' home was built in 1922, and several families moved in and out in the early years, Suzette Hatfield said. Then Logan and Launa Carey settled in — Launa Carey outlived her husband, remaining there 62 years until she died in 1994 at age 100, Hatfield said.
Subsequent owners upgraded heat, air and wiring, excavated a lower patio in the backyard — turning the original basement into a walkout basement — and installed a swimming pool. They also installed a commercial playground in the backyard as well as a whimsical play castle.
The house came back on the market in 2008, but Suzette Hatfield wasn't paying attention to it.
Swayed by a porch
“The funny story is the house next door has always been my favorite house in the neighborhood, and it was coming on the market,” she said. “So I told my husband ‘I need to get that house in or out of my system.' So we looked at that house.”
The yard at that house proved too small for the Hatfields' standard poodles Demo and Rep. The home they ultimately bought offered both a bigger yard and a screened-in porch.
“We actually fell in love with the screened-in porch,” Suzette Hatfield said, laughing. “We bought a house for a screened-in porch.”
They spent a year renovating before moving in, having the walls replastered to smooth them out, pulling down heavy draperies and taking out a wall splitting the original living room into two rooms. They also switched out light fixtures, replacing two upstairs with vintage finds from eBay.
They gutted the kitchen as well, transforming it into a space that Suzette Hatfield, an avid cook, could use.
“What I found is no matter what you're doing, people are always in the kitchen with you,” she said.
So they reconfigured the space, setting up a main work area with a serving section nearby where guests can congregate.
It gets a lot of use, she said, because they entertain a lot. “It's a great party house.”
Tour tickets are $12 before Sept. 30 and $15 after that. They can be purchased online at www.heritagehills.org or at:
• 23rd Street Antique Mall, 3023 NW 23.
• 42nd Street Candy Co., 4200 N Western Ave.
• Elk's Alley, 1201 S Broadway
• Full Circle Bookstore in 50 Penn Place, 1900 Northwest Expressway.
• Ingrid's Kitchen 3701 N Youngs Ave.
• Overholser Mansion, 405 NW 15.
• Prairie Thunder Baking Co., 1114 N. Classen Drive (Plaza Court).
• Shady Lady Interiors, 11715 S. Western Ave.