House and owners are perfect fit for Christmas Tour of HomesThe Kleinknecht’s home at 715 Sixth St. is in the heart of Hudson’s historic residential neighborhood and a perfect fit for this weekend’s Christmas Tour of Homes. It is also a perfect match for homeowners Dawn and Keith Kleinknecht — a vintage home and owners who love every inch of it.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
The Kleinknecht’s home at 715 Sixth St. is in the heart of Hudson’s historic residential neighborhood and a perfect fit for this weekend’s Christmas Tour of Homes. It is also a perfect match for homeowners Dawn and Keith Kleinknecht — a vintage home and owners who love every inch of it.
This couple is used to entertaining the public having operated a successful bed and breakfast in Hudson and the popular LeTea restaurant in the past. Their reputation for hospitality and gracious living are sure to have a big impact on this year’s tour.
The house is one of a dozen built by Hudson’s most prolific architect, John Lee. A Craftsman-style bungalow built in 1920, the house was unique at the time it was built because of its unconventional use of supporting beams, its open and combined living room and dining room and its wide, spacious hallway, all features that made the home unique at a time when small rooms and narrow halls were the norm.
The house has all the requirements Dawn Kleinknecht was looking for in a home — hardwood floors and woodwork, a fireplace and French doors. “They were all on my wish list…and I got my wish.”
The kitchen is the one room in the house that fits the scale, small, that was typical of the kitchens in the ‘20s. But it is a room they love, especially Dawn who said she grew up watching Julia Child’s cooking shows instead of cartoons. They have modeled the kitchen after Child’s which is on exhibit in the Smithsonian right down to wallpaper that resembles hers.
Along with everything they love about the house, the couple also found the perfect place for their amazing collection of art, antiques and collectibles. Together for more than 20 years, they have regularly toured the United States and traveled to Europe, especially France, generally coming home with some pretty amazing things.
Dawn says, “We have been collecting since day one and we have this rule. If you see something and it grabs your heart, OK, but you have to know where you are going to put it before we can bring it home.”
Fortunately for tour-goers the home is full of unique and wonderful things, antiques, collectives and reproductions that have all found a home with them. An example is the trestle table in the living room. One of Dawn’s grandmothers was selling it at a garage sale. It was bought at the sale by her other grandmother and finally given to Dawn. “It is wonderful to have something they both owned,” said Dawn.
Dawn wants tourgoers to enjoy their eclectic and unique collections and furnishings and hopes they will ask anything they like about what they see.
As for the holidays, Dawn said they are “staging” the home as if they are getting ready to make a last minute holiday trip to Paris. The idea will let them not only feature things like their collection of vintage luggage but also things from the retailers who support the tour. “I think it will be fun for people — as if they are getting a peek inside a story of sorts.”