Treasured family heirlooms and memorabilia blend seamlessly with the furnishings in the Monticello home of Dr. Emil and Kathy Poporad.Upon entering the two-story brick abode, a graceful dining room to the right features a classic table and chairs once owned by Emil’s parents. Kathy, who retired last year from the Stark Community Foundation, enhanced the lines of the chairs by reupholstering the seats with a striped silk in the gentlest of gray-toned blues and gold-tinged ivory.
“A lucky find,” she called the drapes that puddle at the sun-filled window. They echo the upholstery colors in soft, almost ombre, vertical stripes. The cove ceiling above the dining table gives the illusion of open sky. Four faux-painted columns define the area.
Many of the mementos from Emil’s Romanian parents and grandparents draw the eye in each room. His grandparents’ wicker luggage that carried their belongings to the United States is stacked in a high cabinet niche to the right and above the living room fireplace. To the left, in another niche, is Emil’s mother’s leather luggage topped by her well-worn medical bag.
In the evenings, the couple settles into an oversized off-white sofa and chair facing the gas fireplace. Looking up, their view is two stories high.
A wood and ironwork balcony upstairs provides a birds’ eye view of the first floor. Towering clerestory windows provide natural light.
At the edge of the room is a stunning armoire that has been faux-painted twice since Kathy purchased it 25 years ago. Its pale yellow color is the perfect backdrop for brush-stroked olive branches.
Kathy’s collection of vintage quilts lends a gentle touch to every room, whether folded and stacked under a table or displayed on a wall.
One of the home’s many serendipitous charms is the powder room. There, Kathy displays her collection of heirloom evening bags, spawned by a gun-metal mesh bag, a gift from her mother in-law. The compact room eschews ordinary with antique women’s gloves carefully draped over towel racks, a tiny feminine lamp on the pedestal sink and a full-length pink chiffon vintage formal once worn by Emil’s mother hanging on the door.
Remaining true to her attention to detail, Kathy fashioned a crisp cutwork white tablecloth into a triangle window valance.
Separated from the living room by a bar and three tall stools, the kitchen is an efficient indulgence with its hanging pot rack above a spacious center island and gleaming granite countertops in a blend of subtle earth tones.
Keepsakes from Emil’s grandparents’ business are a natural here. Above a window, the original sign, “Emil’s Homemade Pies”; on a countertop, an aged basket filled with tools of the baker’s trade.
A recent year-round sunroom addition features arched wood ceilings stained to match the adjacent kitchen’s cabinets. Shelving circles the room, the future home for Kathy’s collection of teapots or Emil’s model train collection.
The first-floor master suite, a spacious and restful retreat, is outfitted with walk-in closets and a luxuriously appointed bath.
A changing table they used for their own daughters is draped with a vintage handstitched
pink and blue satin baby quilt, a nod to the couple’s new status as grandparents.
Kathy enjoys entertaining. “I have a lot of showers here. I like to have celebrations, too, like when a good friend gets her master’s degree,” said the former English teacher. “This year, they called me to do the (Canton) symphony’s In Place dinner in June. So we look forward to that.”