When Betsy and Jeb Burton first walked into the two-story Colonial house at the corner of Rivermont Avenue and Rivermont Terrace, Betsy fell in love.

When asked why, she simply replies, “Look around.”

She points to the dental molding crowning the living room, the elegantly curved wall in the den, the large arched windows and the ornate medallions on the fireplace mantles.

All these details struck the Burtons the moment they first saw their house in 2018. The home hadn’t even made it on the market before the couple put an offer down.

“We bought it on the spot, more or less, within 24 hours,” Betsy said. “We just fell in love with it. … You don’t get this quality of workmanship any more.”

The Burtons are the third owners of the circa 1941 house, set to be the featured home for Lynchburg’s annual Historic Garden Day until the event was canceled due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19. The house also recently was featured in Central Virginia Homes.

“You walk in this door and you immediately fall in love with it,” Betsy said. “... There are so few homes like this in Lynchburg and it really is about the architecture, the molding and the charm of the home. The house is just charming, and it has nothing to do with what I put in it.”

The foyer features a large staircase adorned by a turquoise-colored orb with a bird perched on top to serve as the newel post cap. Climbing the stairs are a series of family portraits featuring the Burtons’ three sons.

Next to the front door sits an old column with chipped and flaking paint. Betsy said that piece stems from her “shabby-chic” decorating phase. Now it serves to display various pieces of art — on a March morning it held a painting of a heart.

Betsy painted most of the artwork hanging on her walls, and has enjoyed painting and crafting over the years. She also works to help decorate the rooms of those who recently moved into an assisted living facility to help the new place feel more like home.

The Burtons came across the house on Rivermont Avenue at a time when they needed to find a new place to live. They had been renting and learned they needed to move out in about three weeks.

The Rivermont Avenue property was owned by a couple who decided to move into a retirement community and the Burtons got a chance to look at the house as it initially went on the market.

“It’s an easy house,” Betsy said. “It’s a house where we live in every single room, just about. … It’s a nice, comfortable, warm, cozy house with a small backyard that’s easy to maintain.”

The Burtons changed little about the house, except for opening up the kitchen and freshening up some paint.

The living room reflects Betsy’s style of decorating, of pairing antiques and family heirlooms with more modern touches. She enjoys redecorating quite regularly, whenever the mood strikes.

“Anyone who knows me knows it changes,” Betsy said with a chuckle.

The pale pink living room walls give a warm feel and set off the bursts of hot pink from the lacquered end tables and the bands cutting through the otherwise white floor-length curtains.

Above the sofa is a brightly colored painting created in two layers that features flecks of gold. It’s one of Betsy’s pieces. For years, the artist has created everything from canvas painting to decorative crafts.

Along one wall sits a replica of the United States Capitol Building made of apple crates. The more than 100-year-old piece was restored by Betsy and her father-in-law. An ornately carved Italian birthing chair sits on the opposite side of the living room.

Behind the living room is an area that once was a patio, complete with an outdoor fireplace. It now is enclosed, the bricks painted a pale yellow, and features shelves that hold some of Betsy’s collections, including bird nests and an antique clock that once sat in her grandfather’s store. In other places, she has portions of the old store ledgers on display.

“So much charm everywhere you look,” Betsy said.

In winter, she orients the two blue upholstered chairs she keeps in the small space to face each so two can enjoy a cup of tea and conversation while looking out over the garden.

The small room connects to an addition on the back of the house. Originally crafted as a first-floor bedroom and handicapped accessible bathroom, the room now serves as a den featuring one elegantly curved wall.

Large shelves display taxidermied animals and wooden carved figurines once used as molds for paper mache. The windows are flanked with plantation shutters.

Betsy said the couple intends to keep the bathroom there handicapped accessible so the couple can stay in house longer as they age.

Opposite the sitting room is the formal dining room. On one wall sits a pair of benches with yellow silk cushions, crafted from an old hand-painted head and footboard of a bed. Above the benches hangs hand-painted bird plates.

“That’s what I do — I take things and make other things out of them,” Betsy said.

The dining room also features Betsy’s propensity to marry modern and traditional decor, with its oval shaped table with enough chairs to seat 10 people. The chandelier is a more modern style light fixture, and grey and white curtains carry the same color block pattern as those in the living room.

Betsy loves the large dining room for when her three sons and their families come home.

The kitchen is the only room the Burtons remodeled, and most of that work involved removing upper cabinets. The new kitchen cabinets sit in the same basic floor plan as the original.

“By removing the cabinetry, it opened up the space more but they sit in the same footprint,” Betsy said.

Open shelves sit on either side of the kitchen sink. Along other walls, the uppermost cabinet doors are glass with lighting to display some of Betsy’s glassware.

The countertops are white quartz, with white subway tile forming the backsplash. The white contrasts with the stainless steel appliances and splashes of color come in the form of art displayed on the walls.

A breakfast nook with a table and two dark blue floral chairs with sit tucked in a window-lined alcove.

The renovation also created an enclosed laundry closet for the washer and dryer.

The upstairs, Betsy said, is a bit more basic than the first floor, but the landing still features an arched window, next to which Betsy hung a gothic arch-style mirror, giving the illusion of more space.

A small garage and storage space comprise the basement, and alongside the driveway is an enclosed brick entryway featuring large, arched windows leading up to the kitchen.

Outside, the house features a large stone patio, and a garden space enclosed by a serpentine-shaped brick wall. That wall was hidden by boxwoods and uncovered only when the Burtons removed the bushes because of boxwood blight. In the corner is a fountain and a coy fish pond that currently sits empty.

Betsy has been working to replant the area with tulips and other flowering plants.

On the other side of the serpentine wall is Betsy’s current project. She is cleaning up a neglected stretch of property that sits outside the garden wall between her property and the neighbor’s.

In clearing out some of the overgrowth, Betsy discovered an old walking path that she is slowly exposing and restoring.

“This whole house is charming,” Betsy said. “... All these little details — you just can’t get this in a new build.”

PHOTOS: Family finds charm in details of 1940s Rivermont home

When Betsy and Jeb Burton first walked into the two-story Colonial house at the corner of Rivermont Avenue and Rivermont Terrace, Betsy fell in love.

When asked why, she simply replies, “Look around.”

Sidener is the special publications editor for The News & Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5539.

Sidener is the special publications editor for The News & Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5539.

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