When Jeff and Regina Thomas bought their 1915 colonial on Rockwood Boulevard in 1990, they hadn’t set foot inside it.
The Thomases were in the middle of a work-related move from California to New York, but they knew they wanted to come back to Spokane. He’s from Pullman and she’s from Spokane, so buying a home here kind of made sense. And now their home is featured on this year’s Mother’s Day Home Tour.
“We also started buying furniture for the house while we were in New York,” said Jeff Thomas. “We lived in a small apartment there so we had to put everything in storage and hope it would fit when we got back to Spokane.” They both laugh at that memory.
The couple returned to Spokane in 1993 and began turning their three-story house into a home.
“When you think of how we purchased most of the furniture without really knowing the house, we actually did quite well,” said Regina Thomas. Getting the giant couch into the basement-level playroom was a bit of a challenge, but most everything else fit smoothly.
The stately home is built in classic colonial style, with tall white pillars framing the entryway.
The hall has an open staircase, French doors to a parlor on one side and a living room on the other. Four fireplaces add warmth and ambience throughout the big, square rooms. The house has oak floors throughout, and the trim in the parlor is tiger oak.
A more modern sun porch off the living and dining room features a black-and-white checkered floor, big-cushioned furniture, ferns and accent lamps in bright apple green – a bit funky for an old home.
“I like to say the style on the porch is Doctor Seuss meets Georgian Colonial,” Jeff Thomas said.
The home was built for Dr. Emil M. Welty and is known as the Welty House. Designed by F.G. Hutchinson, it was built by Thomas H. Shaw and cost $15,000. It has all the hallmarks of an old-style colonial, including a dumbwaiter, a smaller back staircase and a bell that connects from the master bedroom to the kitchen.
The Mother’s Day home tour also features five other homes on Rockwood Boulevard and is presented by the Historic Preservation Committee of the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture. Proceeds support MAC preservation programs and the historic Campbell House.
During the restoration of the house, the Thomases found the original blueprints.
The Thomases are busy finishing up some last-minute painting and wallpaper projects to get the home ready for the Mother’s Day tour.
“We try to stay true to the period,” he said of the ongoing renovation, “but we don’t want to feel like we are living in a museum.”