One element that originally drew Wade Toalson to the Gatewood neighborhood has largely disappeared.
“I liked the idea of tree-lined streets,” said Toalson, who moved to the neighborhood fresh off a residency in North Carolina in 1991.
Disease has claimed many elms in the years since, but there are still plenty of trees shading the homes and streets of Gatewood.
Meanwhile, Toalson has worked with Karen Vaught, of Karen Vaught Interiors, to transform the 1920s-era Georgian-inspired house, opening what was three rooms up into one kitchen and covering the walls in rich green and red tones.
Toalson's home at 1219 NW 20 is among the sites on the Gatewood Historic District's 16th annual Home and Garden Tour, which runs from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Advance tickets are available for $10 through Saturday at: 23rd Street Antique Mall, 3023 NW 23; Antique Avenue, 5219 N Western Ave.; Garden Gate Antiques, 1307 N May Ave.; Broadway Antique Mall, 114 S Broadway in Edmond; and online through 9 p.m. Saturday at www.gatewoodokc.com.
Tickets will be available for $12 at each home on tour day.
The interior accents in Toalson's home offer a nod to Toalson's love of music, including a print dominating a wall in the TV room, with touches that evoke a feeling of a classic English country home.
The seating is plush, though, and the warm colors keep the interior inviting.
“I wanted it to be nice — I like a nice atmosphere,” he said. “I tend to respond well when I'm working or living in a place that's nice and neat, but I didn't want it to be so stuffy that people wouldn't feel relaxed.”
The heart of Toalson's home might be the TV room, occupying what once was a screened-in porch that was closed off long before he bought the property. An inviting sofa dominates one wall, facing a TV cabinet that serves double duty: It also forms a wall between the TV room and an office on the other side.
“We had that piece custom made,” Vaught said.
Toalson has worked on the home in stages, most recently revamping the front landscaping with new stone walkways. He also restored the pool in the back, pulling out the crumbling brick and starting from square one. “We basically had the hole in the ground,” he said.
He said the downstairs work is finished, so he and Vaught hope to tackle the upstairs next, turning a series of rooms into one master suite that will take advantage of “sitting porches” off two of the current rooms. “That's the last really major project,” he said.
Gatewood is among the largest historic districts in Oklahoma City with more than 900 single-family homes and 600 other dwellings ranging from duplexes to apartment buildings, according to tour organizers. The area was developed from about 1902 through the 1930s with many homes — including Toalson's — built by renowned developer G.A. Nichols.
The state recognized the neighborhood as historic in 1974, and the neighborhood landed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.
Plenty of street parking will be available for the tour. Refreshments will be available at Toalson's home, and free hot dogs will be available at Paula and Co., 1706 NW 16. Proceeds from the tour will go back into neighborhood projects.
Other stops on the tour are:
• Grace and Jaron Hill, 2000 NW 19: The Hills bought this 1923 one-story brick Colonial Revival in 2007 and immediately plunged into renovations. So far they have tackled the kitchen, refreshed the landscaping out front and replaced a dilapidated garage.
• Crystal and Erica Clements, 1815 NW 19: The one-and-a-half story 1924 Craftsman bungalow already had a new roof and windows as well as freshly poured sidewalks and driveway when the Clements family moved in with their daughter Mara. This freed them up to turn their attention to the interior. They restored wooden floors, textured walls and repainted every room. They have turned their attention to the upstairs bathroom as well as the landscaping.
• Morgan and David Birdwell, 18th Street Studios, 1214 NW 18: The Birdwells originally intended to restore two historic buildings on this site, but a fire changed their plans. They have built an apartment building on the site designed by Fitzsimmons Architects that mixes a modern feel with a nod to its historic surroundings in its flat roof and large patios.
• Lynn and Maggie Gooch, Chasin' Tail, 1714 NW 16: The Gooches opened their pet boutique in the heart of the Plaza District in 2011, and it offers a host of one-of-a-kind items ranging from computer monitors turned into cat beds to distinctive pet treats.