B y Ma r im a r McNau g h t o n
P h o t o g r a p h y b y An d r ew S h e rm a n
home of distinction
A shocking coat of citron yellow paint, paired with classic dove gray, and voila!,
a dowager brick Colonial is revived during a refreshing Mid-Mod makeover.
WAYNE DRIVE meanders from a bustling Market
Street intersection into Forest Hills, sloping down
and around the community that made history
when it was developed in the late 19-teens and early
1920s as a first among Wilmington’s suburbs.
One stately, two-story house, built in 1949, possesses all the
bones of traditional Colonial Revival brick homes of the time. You
can quite literally stand at the foot of its flag stone walk and gaze at
the facade and name the rooms — living room to the right, dining
to the left, joined by the kitchen facing the backyard with a home
office tucked under the stair and the upstairs bath? You guessed it,
nestled behind that tiny window above the front door.
What you don’t see until you pass beneath the natural archway
is the rear lawn that begins on grade, then — beyond old growth
azaleas and towering loblolly pines — tumbles toward a Chippen-dale
bridge across a watery moat fed by Burnt Mill Creek.
This is where one young couple’s vision quest began.
When interior designer Danielle Boisse and her then fiancé Jean-
Pierre Saintard Valiente found the real estate listing, it was way out of
their price range. But Boisse conducted her due diligence and noticed
the asking price had steadily dropped over the three-and-a-half years
it was on the market.
When they pass by their Wayne Drive neighbors, the Saintard Valientes are asked: “Are you the couple that live in the yellow door house?”
The sumptuous grounds were restored by Tony Parker of Classic Landscapes.
WBM may 2020