When lawyer Alan Turner was planning renovations to his home in the Haverford section of Lower Merion, he found himself quite attracted to the woman he had hired to redesign his kitchen.
He planned to pay Paige Polston for a kitchen renovation design using part of a fee due from a client, and that would be that: He had a firm rule about keeping his business and personal lives separate.
But when the client stiffed him — going to prison tends to lead to that — the kitchen was put on hold, and “I decided to ask her out,” he says.
Now, some 23 years later, Paige Polston is Paige Turner, and the five-bedroom, 3½-bath English Colonial is filled with evidence of their joint talents: Turner, now retired from the law, is also a woodworker who started a school in Philadelphia to teach the craft .
The marriage of her eye and his hands has filled the 3,134-square-foot house, built in 1922, with unusual, eclectic touches. Among others, the corbels normally used to support exterior eaves and flower boxes brought indoors to prop up shelves in the powder room; built-in bookcases; and dozens of unusual arches and moldings.
“It’s what Paige designs and tells me to build,” Alan says, jokingly. “You have to understand the relationship.”
French doors open onto the garden portico; the eat-in kitchen has a Viking range, and the slate roof is punctuated by twin chimneys, dormers, and copper downspouts and gutters.
On a more practical level, the property has a detached two-car garage and circular driveway and is a two-block walk from a SEPTA regional rail station. It is in the highly rated Lower Merion School District.
But now it’s time to move on, to their weekend cottage in northwestern Connecticut, so they can live in retirement closer to Paige’s family.
The three-story house is listed with Heidi Kulp-Heckler of the Redfin Corp. for $799,000.