This is a high-end city house — a house that packs luxury finishes and open space onto its narrow 43-foot lot.
Side to side, this house is slid onto its land like a hand into a glove — snugly. But the lot is 186 feet deep, and both front and back have been made into pleasing outdoor space.
It has neighborly, sheltered front porch, deep enough for furniture, where the owners like to sit in the evening and watch the cars and dog walkers. It has a compact backyard set up for entertaining with stone paving, outdoor furniture and a handsome fireplace.
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Most significant for a city house, it has a half-mile walk to the attractions of downtown Birmingham. “There’s a ton of restaurants, shops, the events in Shain Park,” the owner said. “You can walk to town.”
That was a deliberate choice for these owners, who came to the area about two years ago. The kids were grown, and they wanted a site with some bustle. “We wanted city-type living,” the owner said. “We’d done that house in the suburbs with a big yard.”
On the narrow, deep lot the house also is deep. It packs 3,900 square feet into its two main floors, with rooms lined behind each other and open space between. Its finished daylight lower level adds another 1,800.
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The biggest open space on the main floor is where the large kitchen, 18 by 18 feet, flows into the large family room, 17 by 18. At the other end of the kitchen, a butler’s pantry opens into the dining room. You can see through this four-room stretch from one end to the other.
This family room is the last room at the back of the house, and French doors open out to the paved back yard. Two sides of the room are windows.
At the front of the house a distinctive office has the view out the front window, which has an inset of beveled, leaded glass.
The room is painted dark chocolate brown, almost black, over lavish built-ins and woodwork. The crown molding starts at the top of the door and goes the rest of the way up the wall, then out across the ceiling till it reaches a central step-up.