England House B&B is located at 614 W. Santa Fe Avenue in Flagstaff. For more information, call 877-214-7350 or visit www.englandhousebandb.com.
© Jeff Kida
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Solid as the RockBuilt with local sandstone in 1902, England House B&B is a lovely old place, stately and utterly unique, just four blocks from downtown Flagstaff.
By Nikki Buchanan
Flagstaff Falling in love with England House B&B in Flagstaff is inevitable — it's just a question of when. For architecture buffs, simply seeing this two-story Victorian house for the first time might be all it takes. Master stonecutter William England (who also oversaw construction of the Coconino County Courthouse) built it in 1902, using Coconino and Moenkopi sandstone to create a striking red-and-white-patterned exterior. It's a lovely old place, stately and utterly unique, situated four blocks from Flagstaff's historic downtown.
When Richard and Laurel Dunn bought the England House in 2003, it still contained the original pressed-tin ceilings ordered from the Sears & Roebuck catalog so long ago, with a different mint-condition pattern found in every room. The Dunns kept the ceilings and the original claw-foot bathtub they found, spending a year and a half restoring virtually everything else. The result is an intimate, light-filled space, furnished with 1870s French antiques that lend warmth and elegance to every room.
Three spacious guestrooms, each furnished differently, are located on the second floor; a tiny fourth — called The Pantry — is tucked beneath the staircase at ground level. Although Wi-Fi is available, the house is otherwise unplugged and blessedly quiet.
When guests arrive, Richard greets them at the door, offering an informal tour of the house before leading them to their rooms. Later, guests sometimes gather for a glass of wine in the parlor, encouraged by the Dunns to help themselves any time of the day or night to the wine, beer and soft drinks stocked in the fridge, as well as to the freshly baked cookies and candies left on the counter.
Clearly, the heart of the house is the gorgeously remodeled country kitchen, where Richard and Laurel can be found making breakfast every morning. It's not uncommon for guests to wander in and pour themselves a cup of coffee, wearing the plush bathrobes hung behind their bathroom doors. While the Dunns whip up something yummy — maybe bacon, cheese- and apple-stuffed croissants, Victorian eggs or french toast soufflé — guests wisely take advantage of the opportunity to ask them for dining recommendations and travel tips before tucking into a chemical-free, mostly organic breakfast on the cheery sun-porch behind the kitchen.
Although fancy soaps and fresh flowers are telling details, it's the friendly, mi-casa-es-su-casa Dunns who make England House so homey. Well, they and their freshly baked cookies.