Over the last four decades, Pat and Jack Schuessler have lived in 14 homes in seven cities.
Before Jack retired from his post as Wendy’s CEO and board chairman in April 2006, the couple and their two children moved as often as every 18 months to follow his career. That meant Pat had to learn to quickly turn any new house into a home.
“My dad was a sergeant (in the military) and we were always moving,” Pat remembers, explaining why she places such importance on interior design. “We never had any money for decorating, but my mom could take a few yards of fabric and a glue gun and make any base rental home look fabulous.”
While Pat has taken great care in renovating each home, from Las Vegas to Philadelphia, to fit her family’s style and their surroundings, the Schuesslers’ recently renovated abode in German Village is her masterpiece. In fact, the 1890-built house will be featured in this year’s German Village Haus und Garten Tour, slated for June 30.
The 5,000-square-foot home on Sycamore Street boasts four original fireplaces, five bedrooms, five full baths and two half baths. When the Schuesslers purchased the home in November 2011, they inherited an unfinished addition that was meant to serve as an attached cottage.
With the help of Derrick Layer Custom Homes & Remodeling, they were able to revive the area, which now includes a reading room with a built-in library, multiple storage spaces not typical of homes built in 1890 and a wine-tasting room complete with stone walls and a tasting table made from reclaimed barn wood that seats up to 15 guests.
But even after nearly $1 million in renovations, the house’s best quality is one that it’s had since Pat found it online when the family was looking to relocate from Las Vegas, she says.
“I fell in love before we got here because this house has such curb appeal,” Pat says, pointing to the neighborhood’s signature brick sidewalks and the house’s covered patio and tended shrubs tucked behind a black metal fence and gate.
When the Schuesslers decided to move back to Ohio for the third time to be closer to their family in Dublin and Grove City, they had a list of specific criteria. Among those were a swimming pool and close proximity to downtown Columbus.
“Even if we don’t get in (the pool), we have to be sitting near it,” Pat says.
They were also looking for a house that would accommodate the passion for cooking that Pat and her daughter-in-law share. When remodeling the home, Pat transformed a dining room into an office off the large open kitchen. Dozens of cookbooks line the room’s built-in shelves alongside antique pots and pans.
When it comes to décor, Pat has one important prerequisite: It must complement her art. A collector for 20 years, she has acquired so many impressionist paintings that they accentuate the walls of every room and even fill closets and storage rooms.
Instead of souvenirs, when Pat travels, she brings home paintings, including her first and most prized piece by Emile Delobre, a classmate of Henri Matisse. The portrait of Delobre’s sister, titled Martha in a White Hat, hangs in the master bathroom.
“If you want art, you have to get rid of all that distracts from art,” says Pat.
Pat worked with Melissa Baker of Embellish Designs to furnish her home with neutral pieces. Baker helped her replace the stark white color of the walls and floors with a warmer color she likens to vanilla ice cream.
“Without (Baker), I’d still be picking out tile,” Pat says.
Pat also has Lombards Fine Furniture of northwest Columbus to thank for bringing the home together in just 15 months. She bought almost every piece of furniture from the Columbus showroom, including a round tufted ottoman that sits by the front door.
“We wanted something the cats could sit on that was high enough to look over the shrubs,” Pat says.
The first floor of the Schuessler home will be showcased during the Haus und Garten Tour. Guests at the Pre Tour – the pre-show dinner party scheduled for June 29 – will get to tour the entire property.
“We’ve never lived in a normal house that doesn’t have some type of quirk or character,” Pat says. “I just decorate for my tastes, so who knows if other people will like what we’ve done, but we’ve turned some of our homes into great family houses, and I think with this one, we’ve pretty well matched our other efforts.”
More information on the Haus und Garten Tour, including tickets, can be found at www.germanvillagetour.com.
Melissa Dilley is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at email@example.com.