Tom and Georganne Bryant’s front door is painted dark purple and is adorned with a wreath crafted from live succulents, bright yellow paper flowers, and fragments of hand-painted pottery tied in bundles.
“I wanted something for the door that would look nice in a photograph,” she says, “so I asked my girlfriend to put something together.” Proof that stylish, creative people have stylish, creative friends.
Walking into her home is like stepping inside a tastefully appointed antique shop where every piece has meaning and purpose. A collection of miniature woodland creatures gathers on a mirrored tray atop a side table. A beautiful handmade quilt, acquired from one of Bryant’s husband’s realty clients, hangs above a well-loved leather couch.
The Bryants moved into their North Central ranch house in 1995 with their children, Aidy, who’s now 29 (and a breakout star on Saturday Night Live), and Patrick, now 22.
The house was built in 1962 by Arling Smith in what is now known as the Northridge neighborhood. Tom, a Realtor, refers to the location as “between the sevens,” referring to the avenue and street, respectively. With more than 3,000 square feet, the home has three bedrooms and three bathrooms. And like much of the North Central corridor, the land was covered in orange groves prior to development.
In the formal dining and living rooms, Tiffany blue walls are framed by crisp white wainscoting and plantation shutters. The curtains on the front windows are vintage and once hung outside the dressing rooms at Georganne’s Central Phoenix boutique, Frances.
“They’re pretty fragile,” she says, “and after a couple years of opening and closing we took them down, but I couldn’t bear to give them away.”
Frances will celebrate its 10-year anniversary this month, recognizing the occasion with a party on Friday, May 20. There will be an exclusive anniversary tote bag for sale, and all proceeds will go to the family of Keri and Paul Mosier, whose daughter is currently battling cancer.
"Keri Mosier has sold her jewelry at every Crafeteria [Frances' annual holiday maker marketplace], and is a good friend to our community," Georganne says. "I just want to do something for them."
Before moving to North Central, the Bryant family lived in both Coronado and Willo historic neighborhoods. At one point, they were living in their current home and another they had purchased in Willo. Both properties were being remodeled at the time, and they ultimately sold the historic home.
Georganne notes the challenge with living in older homes is the never-ending projects.
“You never went on vacation because you were going to re-do a room, or something,” she recalls laughing.
As newlyweds 35 years ago, Tom and Georganne were living in Los Angeles and dreaming of their first home.
“We wanted to buy a house in LA,” she says, “but it was just crazy expensive – even then!”
The couple moved back to Arizona and began their adventures in home ownership. Georganne is the first to admit she’s her Realtor husband’s “toughest client.”
“Tom called one day and said, ‘I think I’ve found our house!’” Georganne recalls. “And it was a house [in this neighborhood] I had loved, but then I saw it inside and realized it wasn’t ‘the house.’”
Their current home came on the market shortly after, and Bryant said she knew right away it was “the one.”
“It had a great backyard,” she recalls, “and our kids were little so we definitely wanted that.”
Since moving in, the couple has replaced the Saltillo tile floors with wood and blown out the kitchen and family room walls to create a great room. They’ve also replaced all the windows to improve energy efficiency.
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Bryant says her favorite space in the house is the family room. When they remodeled, the Bryants replaced the flagstone hearth with river rock. They also custom-crafted a new mantel to give the fireplace a unique touch.
“We’ve talked about downsizing, but I love that family room and we spend so much time there and have so many great memories. And it’s really relaxing.”
Bryant was born in New Mexico, and spent most of her childhood in Tucson, but says she loves the synergy and feeling of community that has developed in Phoenix over the past 10 years.
“I’ve been in Phoenix long enough now that I feel like a native. I just like a bigger city. Phoenix has really come into its own!”