Looking at the Topeka, the word "magic" springs to mind. But it's actually quite real and functional. The steeply pitched gables and intricate detailing of this Gothic revival home are so fascinating you'll want to run your eyes over all of its various embellishments for a long time, just as guest designer Rodney Pfotenhauer intended.

With a compact 1,000 square feet of living area, this home is well-suited to the needs of singles or small families. It also makes a delightful mother-in-law cottage or vacation home.

Graceful turned posts support both porches. One shelters the front entry and the other is on the side, accessed via the living room. Either porch is a great location for suspending an old-fashioned cushioned porch swing for summer use.

Entering, you step into the dining room, which is partially open to both the kitchen and the living room. A bathroom complete with shower nestles into an alcove just around the corner, convenient to all of the ground floor rooms.

A fireplace warms the vaulted living room, which is two stories high at its apex. Light spills in through one large multipaned window on the ground level, plus two on the upper level that fill most of the triangular wall spaces on either side of the chimney.

The remaining main floor room could be used as a bedroom, home office, hobby room, or whatever suits. Its boxed bay window can be built with window seats at both ends, or left open. It's a pleasant spot for a desk or sewing machine.

Laundry appliances are upstairs, along with the Topeka's master suite. Amenities here include a spacious bathroom, walk-in closet and cozy window seats.

For more information, call (800) 634-0123.


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