By Dana Ohler
“Never settle for ‘Ho-Hum’,” proclaims the sign scotch-taped to the wall, “when, with a little effort, you can be better than all the rest.” Written in Linda Heaton’s hand, it reveals the mind-set that spurred the exceptional design of PMG’s 2006 Idea House.
Linda and her husband, Bob, purchased the circa-1926 Tacoma home for $130,000 eighteen years ago. The home had one bedroom, one bath, a butterfly roof, and some very iffy aluminum siding. There was no dishwasher. There were no foundation footings, either—a not-so-delightful surprise discovered during the remodel.
But just look at it now…
“It’s the small things that make a difference,” says Linda. There’s nothing pedestrian here. Rather than fill the home with cookie-cutter, standard-issue elements, Linda found local artists to create everything from windowpanes to gates to sculptures to birdbaths.
Meet the Heatons
Native Washingtonians both, Linda and Bob Heaton have three children, aged 43 to 36, and four grandchildren, whose ages range from 20 to 1. Bob is a retired schoolteacher and currently practicing attorney. Linda was an über-volunteer, the quintessential soccer mom long before it was called that: girl scout leader, PTA volunteer, and, of course, soccer coach. She “retired” from at-home parenthood in 1982, starting her own business, All Around Secretarial (which she sold in 2000).
The primary reason they started planning their remodel, says Linda, was to add an extra bedroom and bathroom for their visiting grandchildren. While the project turned into much more by the end, that goal always remained foremost.
The Heatons are part owners of Doyle’s, a new Irish pub in Tacoma. Doyle’s is a pub in the true “public house” sense: a neighborhood gathering place with places for relaxed conversation or a friendly game of cribbage. (This is the place to watch the world cup!) It just opened in May 2006, so stop by and say hello.