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House tours: Modern decor meets older facade

Time:2018-01-02 11:02:00Clicks: 103 Font size:T|T


STAUNTON - When you look at 265 Williams St. in Staunton, it looks like a normal brick Cape Cod home that was built in the 1940s. 

But, when you step inside, it's a contemporary modern paradise. 

Paul Menzer and Kerry Cooke don't like clutter. But, there's plenty of personality in their home. 

"We like mid-century modern ascetic," Cooke said. "We like to go with the uncluttered look."

The couple moved into the home just over a year after living in a historic home in Staunton that they outgrew. The two have called Staunton home for a number of years and both work at Mary Baldwin University — Menzer is the program director and professor of Shakespeare and performance and Cooke is the assistant professor of theatre and Shakespeare and performance.

"We came across this place and absolutely loved it," Cooke said. 

They've done a bit of updating in the home including a full kitchen renovation and removed part of a wall to add more of a circular flow. They have kept some of the original touches like the blue tiled bathroom. 

"When we moved in, this was a completely blank space. We weren't sure exactly what we were going to do," Cooke said. "We weren't sure what kind of elements we were going to bring in."

It all started with a rug, Cooke said. It's textured, it's big and it's a statement piece. According to Cooke, they found it in Washington, D.C. — on clearance. 


"We just kind of started there with that texture and kind of offset it with the smoother leather couch and the harder finish of the table," she said. 

From there, the room started to come into its own. Although they buy a lot of furniture and pieces online, their go-to place locally is Redwood and Co. in downtown Staunton. 

"We are very neutral palette folk," she said. "We like to introduce bits of colors with oranges and reds throughout the house."

One of Cooke's favorite spot is the den area past the formal living room. She calls it the treehouse, because in the summer the trees that surround it make it feel like your actually floating mid-air.


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