Realty Check: Curve Appeal

IT WAS LOVE at first sight when Elaine and Tom Howard toured Evans Woollen’s Round House. The couple lived in another Woollen home nearby and weren’t planning to move. As fans of his work, they were familiar with the 61-year-old home—which has had only one previous owner—but had never been inside.

The home is composed of two connected structures, and its unique appearance comes from Woollen’s mid-century interpretation of a trullo-style house—dwellings with conical roofs found in Italy’s Puglia region. When it was listed, concern swirled that the home would be torn down to capitalize on its acre-plus corner lot on a quiet street in Washington Township. Then the Howards came along.

Elaine says they spent nine months upgrading all the mechanicals, replacing the roof, and repairing the plaster. Cosmetic updates, like fresh paint inside and out and refinished parquet floors, were few. Much of the color scheme remained the same, though Elaine did switch to a soft green-gray in the kitchen and added custom Corian countertops. “The house feels feminine to me,” she explains.

Because the Howards hadn’t yet sold their other home, they didn’t have to rush—luckily—as it took time to find contractors able to tackle the unique challenges of such a whimsical home.

Elaine was passionate about keeping the original bathroom fixtures, but several plumbers advised replacement. She was thrilled to find Casey O’Brien of Moon Family Plumbing. “He went the extra mile and rebuilt the fixtures.”

While the couple looks forward to getting settled, they’re not quite done. The final to-do is a big one: a round garage. Their architect will use the original plans from Evans Woollen to create a “trulli” seamless design.