Alexandra's Bed and Breakfast is a dream realized through hard work for owners Ron and Susan Brown. Ron, a certified public accountant, and Susan who worked for an optometrist in Columbus, decided they were tired of mowing 22 acres of grass at their former home. They were ready for the "city life," they said. They also needed a place to put the many antiques they had collected over the years.
They replaced 40 out of the 50 windows in the house and put in new electric, plumbing, and air conditioning throughout. They also added intercoms, fire, and theft protection systems. Though the infrastructure has been modernized, the overall feel of the home remains Victorian. Susan's sense of design is hard to match; she decorated all of the home's 16 rooms, including its bedrooms and 7 bathrooms.
Upon entering Alexandra's, one is confronted with a variety of choices. They can go to the left, into the library, which serves as Ron's formal business office. They can go forward though the hallway toward the dinning room, or up the stairs leading to the second and third stories. To the right is the parlor, featuring a grand fireplace and many antiques, including a writing desk form 1875.
"The floor in the parlor was a special find," Susan said. "One day while we were working, a woman who was walking by stopped in and asked to look at the floor. I wasn't sure what to say, but I did let her in. That's when we found out that underneath the carpet there was a basket-weave parquet floor in great condition." Another find in the parlor was the original crown molding, which was revealed when a drop ceiling was removed.
While the interior of the home was Susan's place to exercise her creativity, the exterior was Ron's. He spent two months on scaffolding to return the soffit and box gutters to their original condition. He spent time tuck-pointing the bricks to fill in gaps that had widened over the decades. He also had the pleasure of removing 130 years of paint from the porch's pillars.
"This is a great place to come to get away from it all, and we hope many people take advantage of it," Ron said. "We are all busy. We want this to be the place where everyone can leave that life behind, if just for a little while, and go back to a time when things weren't so rushed."
Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Messenger