Tom and Ramon do Transylvania

My first encounter with the legendary names of Ramon Perkins and Tom Seastead was almost 10 years ago.

I was selling real estate at the time, and as I listed my first house, the owners proudly told me their not-very-interesting-but-made-as-good-as-it-was-ever-gonna-get house was renovated by "Tom and Ramon." I didn't dare ask who they were; I didn't want to look as stupid as I felt. At my first open house when I smugly tipped my head as I told potential buyers that the house was a "Tom and Ramon" (as in "it's a Picasso," "it's a Degas"), no one asked me either.

Through the years I have come to know that a "Tom and Ramon" means a house has been renovated thoroughly but responsibly, singularly but tastefully-and most importantly, anything that can be fixed has been.

Having walked from downtown on one of those days last week when the temperature was in the high 80s, I arrived late and sweating to Tom and Ramon's French Colonial home at 368 Transylvania Park. Feeling frazzled and somehow intimidated by the perfection of the floorboards on the front porch (brand new and stained white), I muttered something about not usually being so unprofessional. As I walked through the door, I could see through perfect room to perfect room to perfect back yard, which freaked me out. I imagined that Tom and Ramon would have a fairly nice house but the flawlessness (not to mention the legend thing) was putting me off my game. Then Ramon told me he hadrushed home to make the beds, and I thought, these guys are all right.

As I was trying to figure out what made the house seem so comfortable and so right, I noticed the not quite yellow (leaning toward the green of a key-lime pie before the food-coloring) of the walls in the entry-hall and formal living room. Beyond that beamed the bright red of the dining room walls. Ramon told me that the red was matched to the leaves of a poinsettia. He also pointed out that all of the ceilings were painted pale blue. I asked where they found that color. The sky, of course. Tom and Ramon loved the original color of the floors so they chose not to sand and refinish them but rather painstakingly treated them, first with water and ammonia, then denatured alcohol and finally a new coat of polyurethane. The colors of the walls, floors and ceilings complement each other in the way the appropriate wine complements a meal. It is said that if a wine and food come together just right, the tastes meld so that you can taste neither. So it is with these colors: none are noticeable individually, but together they make one feel oh, so good, baby.

There is one thing that is a little strange about the house (come on, there had to be): it has two kitchens. Trying to imagine a scenario where this was a positive feature, I asked Ramon how one utilizes two kitchens. "Oh, it's great for entertaining. We cook in one kitchen and hang out in the other." It does seem that everyone ends up in the kitchen at parties these days. I guess it would be pretty cool to be chatting gaily with my friends, drinking gimlets while French Canadians sweated away in another secret kitchen. (Clearly this is the key to Martha Stewart's success.)

This led to more talk about entertaining. "We once had 175 people in this house, and it didn't even feel crowded." Perhaps this is because the back of the house opens into a large lot, which is planted to create several outdoor rooms. The furthest of which is a sunny, private space just right for a hammock.

Sometimes I just want to say, go see the house. This is one of those times.

368 Transylvania Park


3700 Square Feet

3-4 bedrooms

3 baths

Two-car garage

Contact: Ramon Perkins 321-2442

If you have a unique or interesting house for sale contact Lissa Sims at lsims@aceweekly.com.