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Historic Home Renovation: Cabinetry and Design Restoration of Seven Gables

A hidden gem within the city, Seven Gables of Shelby, perched gracefully on its 2-acre plot, unfolds like a country estate in an urban oasis.  Its architect, Franklin Gordan, envisioned not just a home but an elegant escape within the city.  As one meanders up the drive, the gaze is inevitably drawn upward to the elegant Tudor Revival masterpiece distinguished by seven steeply pitched, half-timbered gables, each contributing to its distinctive charm and, hence, its name.

Passing by this stately home, the eye is captivated by its carefully crafted architecture, a testament to the bygone era of Tudor Revival brilliance.  The centurion trees and the 1920s pond with its charming fountain greet you, creating a serene atmosphere as you embark on a journey through the expansive estate.  

Tucked away behind this architectural gem, discover a realm of enchantment – a 1930s outdoor rock grill, art studio, mid-century Olympic style pool, historic barn, and courtyard, hinting at the rich history and multifaceted charm that Seven Gables of Shelby hold within its embrace.  As you walk through the estates’ grounds, these treasures unfold, inviting you into a timeless journey through the allure of bygone eras seamlessly blended with modern sophistication.  Beyond, the 18th hole of the Cleveland Country Club’s golf course provides a picturesque backdrop, adding a natural elegance to this urban sanctuary. 

Step beyond the threshold and immerse yourself in a timeless journey through Seven Gables of Shelby.  As you cross the threshold, Walker Woodworking expertly breathes new life into this preserved estate, where history and modernity intertwine seamlessly.  Wander through the passageway of time as the enchanting allure of this historic mansion, with its traditional elegance handcrafted in the 1920s, welcomes you.  Join us on a captivating journey, discovering the value of blending century-old craftsmanship with the precision of modern technology, creating a harmonious space that echoes the sophistication of the past while embracing today’s innovations.


In the vibrant tapestry of Shelby’s growth and prosperity during the economic boom of the late 1920s, Seven Gables emerged as an iconic embodiment of luxury and refined living.  Constructed in 1929 at the height of this era, the estate was envisioned as a haven for Shelby pharmacist Franklin Hoey and his wife, Della.  Nestled at the 18th hole of the Cleveland Country Club golf course, it symbolized the city’s flourishing landscape.  

The property, developed by the Cleveland Springs company, was strategically situated near the luxurious Cleveland Springs Hotel, completed in 1921. The hotel, designed by Charlotte architect Luis H. Asbury, boasted an array of amenities, from five mineral springs to tennis courts, bowling alleys, and walking trails. While the hotel no longer stands, its remnants, notably the easement driveway, are still intertwined with the history of Seven Gables.

Charlotte architect Franklin Gordon, commissioned by the couple in June 1929, brought Seven Gables’ architectural vision to life. Construction began the following July, costing an estimated $25,000. The property’s significance expanded beyond its architectural charm. An easement granted by the Cleveland Springs Company enhanced the connection between the hotel road and Seven Gables, embodying a unique blend of historical continuity.

Woven into the rich tapestry of Shelby’s history, Seven Gables emerges as an enduring masterpiece, its splendor chronicled in the pages of newspapers from its time.  Recognized as one of the most exquisite residences in Shelby, Seven Gables swiftly became a focal point for social gatherings, luncheons, teas, and club meetings.  The printing press marked the distinction of being among the city’s noteworthy homes, each named and celebrated without modern social media. The estate hosted these vibrant events and became a hub for fundraising activities benefitting local charities, leaving an indelible mark on the community’s history and compassionate spirit.   

Additionally, the estate hosted various notable events, including marriages within the close-knit family and friends.  Reflecting the spirit of the times, Seven Gables stood as a testament to the aspirations of a community seeking not just a home but an experience of intentional retreat from the bustling city life strategically positioned near amenities such as the country club, golf course, and tennis facilities.  This was a deliberate effort to create a haven and encourage the expansion of housing options for a growing population during this prosperous era.

Sun Parlor Drawings


Within this architectural masterpiece, Seven Gables, copper accents weave a thread of luxury throughout its 6,000 sq. ft.  Each room is a testament to opulence, with original plaster walls, handcrafted trim, heart pine doors, and wood and plaster cornices.  Notably, the windows and doors showcase handcrafted metalwork adorned with copper, a luxurious touch that extends to the French door handle, latches, and weatherstripping.  Throughout the home, century-old wooden beams stand as silent witnesses, adding a refined touch to the timeless elegance of this 1920s gem.

The lead glass panes add a touch of history to the windows.  The layout facilities intimate events and large gatherings, featuring a custom stairwell with hand-turned trim, metalwork, and tutor roses.  The main level offers a basket weave tile in the powder room that carries through to the upper level’s three bathrooms. At the same time, original red oak hardwoods grace the four bedrooms, maintaining historical value with a skylight in the attic.

The exterior marvels with Tudor-style brick, concrete stucco, and thick wood timbers, along with custom storm drains and window wells. These are both aesthetically pleasing and are still used today. The basement showcases the coal and cold rooms, which are noteworthy features of their time.  

The solid wood front door, encapsulated in glass and adorned with handcrafted metal, opens to a meticulously designed space. 

Original heart pine doors and lofty ceilings create a sense of grandeur and spaciousness.  The intentional arch choices guide you through intimate and spacious areas, connecting seamlessly to outdoor spaces like side porches and courtyards.  The deliberate design invites family living and event hosting, fostering a perfect blend of elegance and functionality.


In preparation for the remodeling project, respecting and preserving the historic charm within the estate’s elegant Tudor Revival design was imperative.  The current owners, recognizing the significance, prioritized retaining the historical aspects in their most original condition possible while seamlessly blending modern touches.  One notable discovery was the unveiling of hundred-year-old blueprints, offering insight into the original design by Franklin Gordon for the kitchen and sun parlor.  Undertaking projects in these specific areas, along with the Sun Parlor and kitchen and the butler pantry, involved meticulous restoration.

The preservation efforts extended to the exterior, where gentle pressure washing, hand cleaning of each window, and expertly applied primer and paint were employed to maintain the integrity of the brick and wood.  The color palette was carefully chosen to reflect the Tudor style from the home’s era.  Original red oak hardwoods were refinished, fireplaces showcased their traditional mantle handcrafted style, and archways were reinstated to the sun parlor to enhance the flow of natural light.

Renowned for its craftsmanship and unwavering commitment to detail, Walker Woodworking played a pivotal role in seamlessly integrating modern amenities at Seven Gables while upholding its historical integrity.  Significant areas were modernized for functionality, preserving the estate’s timeless elegance.  This intricate collaboration signifies more than just a renovation; it continues the century-long legacy of elegance at Seven Gables.

Walker Woodworking’s unparalleled expertise lies in its ability to blend historical charm with modern functionality seamlessly.  With a meticulous eye for detail, they honor the handcrafted legacy of the past, incorporating exquisite dovetail and custom work that echoes a century of craftsmanship.  Their unique approach involves navigating a space meticulously designed a century ago, effortlessly integrating modern woodwork and technology to ensure a harmonious union of timeless elegance and contemporary conveniences at Seven Gables. 

 This intentional collaboration reflects a renovation and a continuation of the century-long legacy of elegance at Seven Gables.  


In the meticulous restoration of Seven Gables, the collaboration with Greenbrook Design and Walker Woodworking aimed to revive the historic charm and craftsmanship of the early 1900s. Original blueprints from architect Franklin Gordon guided the Design Inspiration. Greenbrook Design seamlessly worked with Walker Woodworking to recreate cabinetry, balancing modern touches with the timeless aesthetics of the past.

The homeowners’ vision, meticulously executed by designer Taylor Walker, incorporated a La CORNUE range, a nod to the woodburning stoves of the 1920s.  Taylor’s expertise extends beyond aesthetics, delving into the nuanced dimensions required for space and showcasing her profound understanding of various lines of appliances.  Her value is crafting visually stunning designs and leveraging her extensive knowledge to maximize technology.  With a wealth of experience, Taylor uniquely integrates high-end appliances, offering solutions that align perfectly with the specific space and goals outlined in the blueprints.  Her comprehensive understanding ensures a harmonious blend of design and functionality, making her an invaluable asset in creating a space that marries elegance with modern convenience. 

A custom-crafted Sub-Zero fridge and freezer, adorned with antique-style glass and Tudor Rose handles, artfully echoes the aesthetic of a 1920s kitchen.  The custom fronts feature antique mirrored panels and intricate 1920s woodwork design, reflecting the essence of a Freeform kitchen.  This exquisite appliance not only melds the existing elegance of the estate but also seamlessly integrates contemporary technology.  The motion sensor technology of the Wolf liner, discreetly concealed behind a Walker Woodworking handcrafted hood, serves as a prime example of blending modern innovation with the timeless charm of this 1920s Tudor Revival estate; a harmonious integration and smooth blending of modern luxury with historic charm.  

The kitchen design embraces a Freeform style reminiscent of 1920s kitchens that celebrated openness without ubiquitous cabinetry.  The countertops reflect the natural geode crystals in the luxurious Cristallo, thoughtfully chosen to harmonize with the abundant, intentional sunlight- a hallmark of Franklin Gordon’s meticulous design from the 1900’s.  Franklin intentionally designed the windows to allow uninterrupted sunlight, and Taylor skillfully crafted modern cabinetry design around these intentional sources of light.  The deliberate use of Cristallo surfaces enhanced this design, creating a seamless blend with the original handcrafted trim work and preserving the integrity of the original plaster walls within the rooms. 

Windows with their original pans, strategically designed to welcome natural light, illuminate the home.  Positioned atop a small hill, the house turns gracefully to capture both the sunrise and sunset, infusing the interiors with a warm, golden glow.  This thoughtful design amplifies the connection between the architecture and the natural surroundings.  Intriguingly, traces of low-wattage bulbs hint at the nascent stages of electricity in Cleveland County.  If true, these bulbs connect us to a time when the estate, although electrified, emphasized natural light.  This historic nuance might explain the prevalence of large windows throughout the property, especially in the kitchen, where sunshine and beauty converge. 

Notably, the influence of Art Deco, for which Shelby, NC, is renowned, resonates within the home.  Art Deco elements, carefully integrated, showcase the commitment to blending historical charm with modern functionality.  The resonating influence of Art Deco in the house is notably reflected in various elements, carefully integrated to showcase a harmonious blend of historical charm with modern functionality.  A prime example is the pink bathroom upstairs, adorned with meticulously laid mosaic tiles, echoing the intricate patterns of the Art Deco era.  Additionally, the subtle hues of pink at the fire mantle in the family room further exemplify this artistic influence, infusing the space with a touch of elegance reminiscent of the period.  

The thoughtful inclusion of copper elements in the home, from weatherstripping to door handles, harmonizes seamlessly with the broader Art Deco aesthetics.  These carefully chosen copper details evoke the era’s elegance and contribute to the overall design inspiration, adding a touch of timeless sophistication to the estate’s historical tapestry. 

In addition to the refined copper elements, the strategic incorporation of brass details enhances the home’s aesthetic allure, creating a balanced interplay between these distinctive metals.  This deliberate blend of copper and brass pays homage to the historical charm and elevates the overall design, ensuring a timeless and harmonious integration of metals throughout the estate. 

The intentional layout of the house embraces a thoughtful design that incorporates arch doorways and signifying formal areas while introducing elegant curves to create a harmonious flow.  This deliberate design extends beyond the traditional boundaries, seamlessly blending the kitchen and Butler’s pantry into spaces considered for formal occasions, mirroring the grace of the archways that distinguish the estate’s formal areas. 

Throughout the renovation, delightful surprises emerged, such as hidden archways and a concealed space, sparking an element of mystery and intrigue.  Inspired by these discoveries, the sun parlor’s custom woodwork, expertly executed by Walker Woodworking and guided by Taylor from Greenbrook Design, Seamlessly reflects the original design around the fire mantle and bookcases.  Following the expertise of Travis Walker, the coffee bar was strategically designed, removing a false wall to unveil a hidden treasure of additional shelving and space from the 1920s.  This collaborative design journey at Seven Gables, led by Taylor from Greenbrook Design and Walker Woodworking’s team, artfully marries the charm of the past with modern enhancements, ensuring every detail aligns with the blueprints’ timeless inspiration.





Navigating through the remodel posed several challenges, requiring a thoughtful approach.  One significant obstacle was the intricate layout of the kitchen space, with the Butler’s pantry as the entry point, seamlessly transitioning into the kitchen.  To the right, a walk-in pantry unfolded, while to the left, the space that had once been a sunporch and later converted into a laundry room presented its complexities.  Balancing these interconnected spaces, each with its unique design, required careful consideration.

The Butler’s pantry underwent a significant update, transforming into an entertaining bar adorned with custom cabinetry by Walker Woodworking and deVOL taps.  The Wolf refrigerator drawers, designed to resemble a piece of furniture, and the intentional use of deVOL taps paid homage to the 1920s and added an art deco flair.  Incorporating semi-precious Quartz with a pink hue and a back LED lit to showcase the gemstones, a floating shelf system introduced a modern touch while respecting the home’s historical design.  

The coffee bar posed unique challenges stemming from the original built-in design of the space.  The angles and the setback of the doors, previously refitted with accordion-style doors off-track, presented difficulties in creating updated and secure shelving.  Travis Walker suggested removing the existing false back, revealing original hardwood floors and shelves hidden in the space.  This unexpected discovery, not noted in the original blueprints, showcased the value of following Travis’s guidance for a secure coffee bar, ultimately revealing a previously unknown and tucked-away space within the home.  This space had previously been used to hide silverware or valuables.

Walker Woodworking’s masterful integration of new woodwork with existing decorative elements exemplified the craftsmanship needed to preserve the home’s aesthetic integrity.  A notable challenge arose in conserving the handmade wall molding and trim, a bespoke feature that couldn’t be replicated or purchased.  Particularly in the flow from the Butler’s pantry into the kitchen, preserving this handmade aesthetic was paramount.  Travis collaborated with his engineers to recreate the carefully crafted molding, ensuring a seamless continuation of this bespoke feature throughout the interconnected spaces.  The remodel is a testament to the team’s commitment to preserving Seven Gables’ historic charm while seamlessly incorporating modern functionality.  


In the precision of custom craftsmanship specific to the reconstruction of the sun parlor, guided by the rediscovered blueprints, custom woodwork unfolded around the fireplace mantle and two crafted bookcases.  Webber Construction worked towards revealing the long-forgotten archways from the original design, executed the vision with precision, and dismantled the false wall to unveil two stunning archways, still intact.  The fireplace, now adorned with handcrafted woodwork, reclaimed its prominence, surrounded by bespoke cabinetry and bookcases paying homage to the 1920s aesthetic.  Taylor’s design, rooted in the blueprints, seamlessly integrated modern elements like robust walnut, introducing texture and a nod to the home’s original craftsmanship.  

Crafting the textured wall around the fireplace mantle involved a meticulous fusion of handcrafted elements and modern technology.  Each rectangle was cut and intricately shaped, with angles precisely aligned to achieve the desired 45-degree angle perfection.  This approach ensured an elegant and refined outcome, mirroring the original 1920s design.  The intrinsic value of employing handcrafted elements lies in the ability to recreate identical rectangles and the precision of cutting each angle.  

Every angle is expertly shaped, ensuring a seamless meeting point that defines the elegant rectangles.  This process merges traditional craftsmanship with modern precision, showcasing the harmonious blend of timeless elegance and contemporary technology in recreating the textured wall around the fireplace mantle at Seven Gables. Transitioning through the archways into the family room, the meticulous attention to detail and artful precision echo the enduring elegance of the 1920s.  This craftsmanship reflects a meticulous restoration and a vibrant celebration of the home’s timeless allure. 


The heartbeat of any home resonates in its kitchen, and Seven Gables witnessed a transformative journey.  As you enter, the traditional dining room unfolds seamlessly into the Butler’s pantry bar and the kitchen, blending effortlessly with the walk-in pantry on the right and the sun porch-turned laundry room on the left. Walker Woodworking brought a touch of history into the present with custom cabinets, harmoniously incorporating modern luxury appliances behind handcrafted doors, symbolizing the fusion of old and new.

The Butler’s pantry underwent a functional upgrade, featuring a textured bar front and brass foot railing for entertaining.  A walnut coffee bar now resides in what was once a built-in cabinet, echoing historical significance into a usable space.  The kitchen boasts custom cabinetry, creating a smooth transition with four ovens, including a Wolf steam oven, speed oven, and LaC double oven.  The motion sensor Wolf hood liner is hidden seamlessly behind a custom-built hood.  The COVE dishwasher, concealed behind a custom front, exudes elegance, while Cristallo countertops reflect natural light, creating a play of illumination with geodes. 

Upper cabinets mirror the original blueprints and introduce corbels, infusing a sense of elegance throughout.  The pantry’s ladder system combines aesthetics with functionality, accommodating the 12-foot-high ceiling.  DeVOL taps, and deVOL pos fillers maintain historical authenticity, with brass handles adding a touch of refinement.  Tudor Rose handles on the refrigerator pay homage to the pre-existing roses found in the home, creating a seamless flow. 

The kitchen drawers reveal custom features like a knife holder, olive oil, and spice racks, adding convenience and organization.  The intentional design allows for a seamless flow from the Butler’s pantry to the back rooms, harmonizing luxury for entertaining and comfort for everyday life. 

Deliberate elements, such as the strategically positioned fluted sink positioned to offer captivating views of the barn and courtyard, while the sitting area allows views of the pool, enhancing the overall experience.  The Cristallo, handcrafted for a fluted sink, elevates functionality and aesthetics, embodying the meticulous attention to detail in Seven Gables’ kitchen design. 

The intentional choice of Cristallo in the kitchen serves a functional purpose and a design philosophy.  This unique material allows the geodes to capture and reflect the fluid light that fills the kitchen, creating an intricate dance between historic charm and modern flair.  The handcrafted custom cabinetry ensures a seamless flow, exemplifying the intentional blend of old and new.

Walker Woodworking’s expertise shines in executing this vision seamlessly.  Their ability to maintain the home’s integrity, including preserving and working alongside plaster walls, showcases a commitment to historical authenticity.  Each space, though independent in purpose, harmoniously weaves into the next, creating a kitchen where the past meets the present with grace and precision.


Incorporating two laundry rooms strategically placed on the main and upper levels showcases Taylor’s seamless design approach.  With its gracefully curved wall, the upper-level laundry room embraces the soft hue of Pink – a deliberate choice to harmonize with the art deco theme.  Taylor’s astute suggestion to forego pedestals for the washer and dryer ensures a functional space and caters to the petite homeowner’s accessibility, emphasizing the meticulous consideration of details. A hand-crafted design element introduced to the owners was a DryAway to allow for delicate items to dry tucked away for efficiency and organization.  

Downstairs, the custom-built cabinetry in the laundry room mirrors the elegance and refined beauty of its counterpart upstairs. Taylor’s expertise in blending historical elements with modern functionality is evident, creating spaces that pay homage to the home’s craftsmanship and cater to the homeowners’ practical needs.  

Taylor’s inventive design in the laundry rooms goes beyond aesthetics, incorporating pull-out drawers under each sink.  This thoughtful addition not only enhances organizational aspects but also provides functional flexibility.  Whether accommodating a trash can or conveniently storing items, the pull-out drawers optimize the entire space under each sink, merging practicality with a seamlessly designed solution.  The result is a harmonious blend of utility and aesthetic appeal, making everyday tasks a joy with the meticulously designed home. 

Preserving the Legacy:  Blending Historic Grace with Modern Innovation – A Guiding Beacon for Generations to Come

Handcrafted Excellence Preserving Heritage, Crafting a Timeless Legacy for the Future.

In emerging from the meticulous remodel, Seven Gables stands as a hidden gem within the city – a timeless testament to the early years of renowned architecture.  This journey wasn’t merely a renovation but a continuation of a century-long legacy, an intentional collaboration with local craftsmen at Walker Woodworking, and the insightful touch of Taylor from Greenbrook Design.  Preserving the past and reflecting the elegance of Seven Gables, this project wasn’t just about overcoming obstacles; it was about seamlessly blending design inspirations, transforming spaces, and honoring the historical relevance of each room.  As we navigate through the hidden gems of this estate, we find not just a meticulously restored home but a harmonious fusion of history and modernity. This living legacy continues to grace generations to come.