Pam Joyce's office transports guests back to the 1900s


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Aug 25, 2023

Pam Joyce's office transports guests back to the 1900s

712 Starling Ave., owned by Pam Joyce, was originally a boarding house for factory workers in the early 1900s. The Joyces did extensive renovations on the home after purchasing it in 2003. The front

712 Starling Ave., owned by Pam Joyce, was originally a boarding house for factory workers in the early 1900s.

The Joyces did extensive renovations on the home after purchasing it in 2003.

The front door is original to the home but the Joyces had a rose window put in a stained glass feature in the middle of the door.

The entryway of the home features a grandfather clock and other furniture that is reminiscent of the 1940s.

This living room to the left of the front entryway leads into multiple other room in the home.

The living room before renovations.

The living room has plenty of seating for guests.

Glassware is displayed throughout the home in different cabinets.

This sitting room on the first floor still has the original coal fireplace.

All the paint colors selected for the home came from the list of historic colors in the city.

Though no one currently resides in the home, the majority of the rooms are still set up like a traditional home like this dining area.

When Pam Joyce saw this lampstand of a woman sweeping she was immediately reminded of the woman who used to sweep outside the home and bought the lamp in her honor.

At the top of the staircase is a small seating area.

Upstairs is a reading nook with a beach theme.

The house has a total of ten rooms and is 3,000 square feet.

The home was full of radiators when the Joyces bought the home and though all the interior radiators were removed in the renovations one remains on the back porch as a memento.

This clock is hung in the hallway by the main staircase.

Pam Joyce's love for unique lamps can be seen throughout the home.

Pam Joyce was inspired to buy her current Martinsville office from memories of driving past it to work in the 1980s and has transformed the home into a blast to the past for all who enter.

The home, located at 712 Starling Ave., was built in 1905 and was originally used as a boardinghouse that was mainly occupied by men who were factory workers in the area, Joyce said. When she and her husband, Tim Joyce, purchased the house in 2003 they did extensive renovations throughout the home to make it livable.

Previously, Pam Joyce had been working out of a building on Ellsworth Street and in the current building she still has an artistic rendering of her first office. She found this house on the city’s list of houses that were set to be demolished and after remembering it from her past she could not let that happen.

“There used to be a lady in the mid-’80s as I was going to work,” Joyce said. “I used to look over and I would see a lady sweeping the front yard … A lot of people still remember the house as being the house where she swept the front yard when the weather permitted.”

Joyce said looking back she now wishes that she had taken the time to learn more about the woman who would sweep her porch. One item in the home, a lampstand of a woman sweeping, reminded Joyce so much of the woman that she bought it to keep as a memento of her.

“I wish I knew the lady’s name,” she added. “Every time I see this lamp it reminds me of her ... She reminds me of what I used to see as I would pass by.”

After a renovation period of around eight months, the space became an office for Pam Joyce’s real estate business and also housed two additional professional spaces, one for an esthetician to practice and the other for a hair dresser, along with a living space upstairs as well.

It also occasionally acted as a place where the Joyces’ daughter, Stephanie Joyce, would play with her friends.

Over the years Joyce has collected furniture and other décor items from friends, relatives and estate sales to create a 1940s design that would transport anyone that enters the building to that time period.

“My mom also loved glassware collectibles so she would constantly send me things,” Joyce said.

“We’ve tried to give it that boarding house look and feel that it once would have had but keep it where it could be used professional or residential,” Joyce said.

Wood flooring spans the entirety of the home and thought none of the original fixtures were in good enough condition to be kept — the front door is still original to the home. The only change made to the door was a stain glass window in the center that was put in by Rose Window, which used to be located in uptown Martinsville.

When entering the house the entryway features a pink couch, a grandfather clock, a chandelier and a curio cabinet that displays a collection of glassware. Joyce said she enjoys collecting glassware and there are multiple display of her collections throughout the home.

To the left is the staircase to the second floor, straight forward is a hallway to the hair dresser room and to the left is a living room space. The living room features a sprawling circular rug, a rounded corner couch and another glass cabinet with a glassware collection.

In the kitchen is an old sign that reads “Meals” which was salvaged from a building that used to be out the back of the house.

“We tried to keep a few nostalgic pieces that would look time period,” Joyce said. That is the reason one radiator remains on the back porch where the rest were removed in the renovations.

It is also reflected throughout the house including a small breakfast nook and dining room that are located past the kitchen. Both have a historic shade of grey-blue paint and antique furniture pieces to match the era.

Up to the second floor there is a small seating area at the top of the stairs with one wooden chair with a red floral pattern and a small table with a lamp. Joyce said her love for lamps shows throughout the house with a variety of different styles, shapes and colors of lamps.

To the right of the stairs is a reading nook with windows on every wall that is decorated in a beachy style. Ivy can be seen covering one of the windows and Joyce said that though they removed large amounts of ivy they were never able to get it all.

“Character. That’s what we were looking for,” Joyce said. “Character is what we wanted the house to have. And when people walked in we wanted them to have the feeling of going back in time to a slower pace of life.”

Monique Holland (276)-734-9603

[email protected]

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