MADISON, Ind. (November 2003) The shiny hardwood floors of
the home located at 1120 Michigan Rd. in Madison may look brand new,
but appearances can be deceiving. Recently refinished by a Cincinnati
company that specializes in hardwood basketball courts for the NBA,
the cross-cut oak floors are original to the 163-year-old home.
by Ruth Wright
former Steinhardt house.
Known locally as the Steinhardt house, the residence is currently
being renovated under the direction of owners Doni and Terry Flanigan.
The couple had hoped to have the home listed on the Nights Before
Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes. The tour is scheduled for Nov.
28-30 and Dec. 5-7 and sponsored annually by the Madison Area Convention
and Visitors Bureau.
An Indiana native whose professional portfolio includes celebrity
clients such as Rodney Dangerfield, Kirstie Alley and Oscar de la
Hoya, Doni Flanigan has been an interior designer for 25 years. His
work has been featured on numerous home design programs on popular
networks, such as Home and Garden Television, The Discovery Channel
and The Learning Channel.
Flanigan commutes frequently between Los Angeles, where his business
is based, and Cincinnati, where the couple have a home with their
four daughters. Terry Flanigan is involved in her husbands business
and enjoys doing some decorating of her own. Shes got
an eye for what looks good, Flanigan said.
and Terry Flanigan.
Although Terry Flanigan has decorated other homes, the Steinhardt
house is mostly her husbands project. Doni Flanigan discovered
the 4,800-square-foot home in a real estate book he picked up in Cincinnati.
He purchased it for $250,000. It had been empty for 11 years, he said,
and had been on the real estate market for three years when he found
I literally couldnt sleep at night, Flanigan recalled
about discovering the Greek Revival style residence. Greek revival
is one of my favorite studies.
Flanigan has put to use his professional design skills to dramatically
transform the hilltop house he purchased this year. On the ceiling
of the 48x25-foot ballroom, which features double fireplaces and floor-to-ceiling
columns, he has painted an ethereal looking sky. Along with the 14-feet
ceilings, it lends the room an open and airy feel.
Flanigan used silver and gold leaf to embellish some interior fixtures,
including the decorative fleur-de-lis caps of the ballroom columns
and the top of the winding stair rail.
He has also painted on the walls of each room a distinct finish: an
Italianate pattern in the entryway, a diamond pattern in the living
room, and a stenciled French floral in the dining room. The soft-colored
paints that Flanigan chose were donated by Pratt & Lambert. The
paint company plans to document Flanigans work and use it as
a promotion for their paints, Flanigan said.
On the second floor, Flanigan has painted the two matching childrens
suites a small bedroom. The third floor is comprised of a widows
peak, which will be fitted with a door that will act as a type of
Other interior projects remain to be tackled. The kitchen, which hasnt
been updated for many years, will be totally gutted. And a master
suite, complete with a private bath and walk-in closet, is planned
for the back section of the first floor. A bathroom on the landing
between the first and second floors will be partially remodeled; the
antique fixtures will remain.
The exterior of the home, formerly white, has been painted a soft
gold. The huge wooden front door, original to the home, will soon
be painted a deep burgundy.
Future outdoor projects include the addition in the front and on the
side of the house and ornate iron gates divided by 28-feet columns,
each topped with a lantern. Huge maple trees on the deep front lawn
will be up-lit, Flanigan said, along with 20 white birch trees that
will be planted on either side of the house. A cobblestone driveway
will curve in front of the house. The remainder of the four-acre property
will feature a professional tennis court, an English garden, an Italianate
gazebo and a pond.
Beside his own home, Flanigan is working in California with notable
architect Tony Shai. He has at least three years worth of work with
the architect, he said, but would like to eventually concentrate on
historic properties and perhaps spend more time in Madison.
In addition to the Flanigans home, also included in this years
tour are: the home of Burke and Marci Jones at 917 W. Second St.;
the historic Marx House B&B at 610-612 W. Third St.; the Lanier-Dunn-Hough
Home at 302 Elm St.; the Friedersdorff House at 512 E. Main; the Heritage
Center at 615 W. First St.; the Francis Costigan House, a Historic
Madison Inc. property at 408 W. Third St.; Trinity United Methodist
Church on Broadway across from the Broadway Fountain; the Lanier-Schofield
House at 217 W. Second St.; and the Lanier Mansion at 511 W. First
Tickets for adults are $12 before Nov. 10; $15 after. Tickets
for children ages 5-15 are $5. For more information, call the tourism
bureau at (812) 265-2956 or 1-800-559-2956. Or visit: www.nightsbeforechristmas.com.