Jewel in Huron

HURON For Barb and Jack Haplea, their Huron home has been a 40 year art work in progress.
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



For Barb and Jack Haplea, their Huron home has been a 40 year art work in progress.

It contains a lot of art and took a lot of work.

It's gone through changes just like Barb Haplea's artisan jewelry work.

"A house no matter long how long you live in it is a work in progress," Haplea said.

Much of the homes architectural transformation was planned and researched by Haplea herself.

"A lot of it is reading and learning as you go." The leaded glass and stained glass windows in the home's addition are an example of a learn as you go project for Haplea who cut pieces of glass herself to reconstruct the windows found in a Cleveland salvage yard.

Another salvage yard find is a door with a clover-shaped leaded glass window leads to a patio area.

"We found so many things that way, but it was back before antique merchants scoured places like that," she said.

The Hapleas built on to the house as their lives changed, adding additional sitting room space and knocking down kitchen walls to create a more comfortable layout.

Some of the changes, Haplea might not do over.

The recently remodeled kitchen for instance has a oven and range that faces a sitting room. Haplea sometimes feels a little self-conscious cooking for an audience if she's entertaining guests.

She isn't an Emeril or Rachel Ray, but she's getting used to it.

"I'm the type of person that likes to melt into the wallpaper she said," referring to the stove's placement.

Haplea sells most of her jewelry during the art show season each summer and collected most of her homes artwork at the same shows.

"I try not to buy anything now," she said. "I have my favorite people. It's interesting because I feel more in tune with the exhibitors at events than any other group because they make things with their hands like I do."

Haplea's antiques, some heirlooms others bargain finds, blend effortlessly with modern and classical pieces of art spanning mediums like photography, glass work and pottery.

The longer you look in Haplea's home the more you see one of a kind artistic elements, like a made especially for their home spiral staircase to the master bedroom and barn siding covering heating ducts and roof support headers creating the appearance of old wood beams not common in modern construction.

Looking around you can see there is little space to display additional art that would be seem natural. And Haplea's home is just that, aesthetically pleasing, so much so that it has become a comfortable work environment for her and her business partner, her son Joshua.

Bonnie and Clyde, two Siamese cats have the run of the home while Haplea works in her lower level studio-work space.

More often than not she likes working from home since it allows her to work anytime she pleases, but sometimes it can be stressful during the height of summer show season since she's living feet away from where she works and can see her studio from the kitchen.

"Maybe the most important thing my son has taught me is when to stop working on a piece," she said. Though Haplea's home looks like a finished work of art fitting for a home and garden or architecture magazine, she shows no sign of stopping work on it. She doesn't have a next project in mind, but all it will take is the next salvage find to spark an idea.

This story originally ran in the Register on March 24, 2007