Ed Powe lives in a brown brick ranch with a picture window in Springhill Estates. “The house has hidden character,” Powe comments. “When you look at it from the front, you have no idea.”
Ed and his wife, Janice Marie (Jan), made the move to Frankfort from Chicago in 1981 for Ed to work as General Manager of the Frankfort Sears Roebuck & Co. store. The couple liked the spacious lots and friendly neighbors in Spinghill, and decided to put down roots in the neighborhood located off Highway 421. Jan passed away in January 2020, but her attention to detail and sense of design remain constant throughout the home.
Through the years, Ed and Jan made their house into a home that reflected the things they loved together — color, travel, family, friends, art and a fire-breathing dragon.
When choosing paint colors for the walls, Ed and Jan made bold choices, leaving the gray, beige and eggshell white paint chip cards at the store. A shade of pale lavender in the living room and hall has a soothing effect, a midnight blue bathroom downstairs boasts glow in the dark stars and the kitchen and sunroom sport a jaunty red.
Family photos and interesting artwork don the walls and shelves in the formal living room and throughout the house. A white Willis & Sons piano that the Powes brought from Chicago has a place of honor in the living room. “I can only play one song that I learned from watching my brother play years ago,” Ed said with a smile. “I would play it every Christmas for our guests.” When asked, he graciously sat and played a wonderful piece that began as “Heart and Soul” but transitioned into another tune.
The center of the four bedroom, three bath home is the kitchen and sunroom. “The sunroom is one of my favorite rooms in the house. I can come in with my cup of hot tea and enjoy the morning,” Ed said.
Jan and I had the kitchen completely remodeled and also added the sunroom and decking 15 or 20 years ago. “Mike Rutledge did a nice job,” he recalls. “I remember there was a lot of discussion about the ‘red’ and in the end, we decided that Jan would get the sunroom and I would get the color!”
The kitchen opens to the aptly-named sun room, which has wall to wall windows on three sides. The windows are shaded with automatic blinds that Ed very happily controls with a remote. ”It was like a second job before I got these (automatic blinds) to help open and close.”
A three-tiered red painted deck outfitted with a fire pit/grill and retractable awning makes for nice place to relax and watch sunsets.
Ed designed the kitchen with a secret walk-through pantry, large-format red floor tile, black cabinets and a retro red wall phone. A pass-through bar counter to the sunroom allows access to serve and provides natural light to the kitchen. And then there’s the dragon.
“When I tell kids that there is a fire-breathing dragon in the kitchen, they ease around the corner very carefully,” Ed explained. (This writer has to admit, that she also “eased” around the corner of the kitchen.) A large mural of a friendly dragon painted on one of the kitchen walls welcomes all those who enter.
“His name is Roscowe,” he said. “The inspiration came from a dragon border that was previously in the kitchen. Lee Townsend, who was a student in KSU’s Entrepreneurial Business Workshop class when Ed was its program director, painted Roscowe as the first job of her small business.
The comforts of home
In the main floor wood-paneled den, Ed has set up what he describes as his little “corner of the world.” A desk with his computer and lighting makes it a good place to work and attend Zoom meetings. The walls of the den are filled with photos of family and friends. There are, of course, many pictures of Ed and Jan’s daughter, Kristafer, who still lives nearby.
Ed, who has been involved in community activism for many years, is co-founder and president of the local Focus On Race Relations organization. It’s mission is to initiate and encourage open, honest, face-to-face conversations about race and race-related issues in Frankfort. He is currently working to help plan a three-day Juneteenth event for June 17-19, 2022.
One of Ed’s favorite places to relax is the lower level family room, which has been set up with a bar, poker game table and even a Rock-ola jukebox. He often hosts a weekly poker game with friends that’s been going on for 38 years.
A chair-lift helps Ed get up and down the steep basement steps. “This whole area is under remodel,” Ed explained. “We’re re-doing the bathroom downstairs and we’ve ordered new carpet for the whole house. It’s just taking awhile.”
Under the deck, Ed has set up the cozy patio as place where he can relax. A sign proclaims the area as “Ed’s Fortress of Solitude.” Comfortable seating and a propane fire pit gives him a special place where he can go to think about things. “I sit out here, light the fire pit and just work it out,” he said.
Ed has created a home that truly fits his many interests and provides a place to work, entertain and relax with family and friends.