Gary and Janie McCurdy gave serious thought to retiring to Santa Fe, N.M., drawn by the memories of their honeymoon there years ago as well as other visits since.
So in the summer of 2011, they did some reconnaissance in Santa Fe.
“If we’re serious about this, we need to get out in the city,” Janie McCurdy remembers them reasoning.
So Gary McCurdy, a special district judge based in El Reno, and Janie McCurdy, who works at American Fidelity Assurance Company, went exploring in Santa Fe. And what they found looked familiar: a mix of big-box stores and retail chains, all bearing names found in a lot of cities across the country.
“It’s very much like Oklahoma City,” Janie McCurdy said. “And we thought, ‘You know, we might be missing the mark on this one.’ ”
But the McCurdys were still ready to trade in their suburban home and its labor-intensive yard for something new, something simpler. Inspired by their daughter Elizabeth, who lives in downtown Chicago, they turned their attention to downtown Oklahoma City. They got in touch with George Massey, a real estate associate with RE/MAX First.
Massey sold their Yukon home in three days and led them to what they decided was the perfect new home, the last unfinished town home in Block 42 near NE 4 and Walnut Avenue. They bought it in October.
Massey also put them in touch with a decorator, Janis Bevers of Living in Style — who is also a neighbor from two doors down. Bevers acquired a taste for the urban life while living in Washington, D.C., and that brought her to Block 42 about a year ago.
“I love being where it’s culturally diversified, and I like how social it is,” she said. “I just feel like I’m missing out on everything if I don’t live right downtown.”
In a matter of weeks, Bevers pooled her 20 years of talent and experience into transforming the McCurdys’ unfinished space into a polished, urban home.
The McCurdys sold almost all of their furniture and Bevers commissioned Oklahoma craftsmen to create new furnishings, from the dark red armchairs dominating one end of the living room to the marble-topped dining table and floating buffet in the dining room just beyond. The buffet, crafted from a silvery Italian laminate, with a painting providing a splash of contrast above it, impressed laminate manufacturer Abet Laminati enough to feature a picture of it on its website.