South of Main: Locals restore 1903 home as event space – The Sheridan Press


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Sarah Houghton, owner of South of Main a new event space gives a tour of the space Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022.
South of Main, a renovated historic home at 205 Coffeen Ave., is an “intimate event space” located in a restored 1903 home.
South of Main features a fully stocked kitchen with a gas stove and refrigerator, serving dishes, pots, pans and dishes; and a formal dining room.

Sarah Houghton, owner of South of Main a new event space gives a tour of the space Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022.
South of Main, a renovated historic home at 205 Coffeen Ave., is an “intimate event space” located in a restored 1903 home.
South of Main features a fully stocked kitchen with a gas stove and refrigerator, serving dishes, pots, pans and dishes; and a formal dining room.
SHERIDAN — As people continue to gather more and more, one local business owner is offering a home in the heart of Sheridan as a setting for stress-free events. South of Main, a renovated historic home at 205 Coffeen Ave., is an “intimate event space” located in a restored 1903 home.
“It’s cozy. I think that may be my favorite word to describe the space,” Sarah Houghton, owner of South of Main, said. “It’s also historic, and pretty traditional. The house is 119 years old, so during the restoration process, we stayed true to its history while making it accessible for events today. It really is a brand new, old house.”
South of Main offers event space and design services for gatherings like strategic planning sessions, meetings, private parties and celebrations. Clients can bring their own food, drinks and decorations into the space, or ask Houghton for planning suggestions and catering recommendations.
Upstairs is Oram & Houghton, PLLC, where South of Main co-owner Matt Houghton practices law. The couple bought the home in the summer of 2019 and began the remodel process.
“We called it a remodel, but it ended up being more of a restoration. We were really pretty passionate about keeping every door and window and everything we could,” Houghton said. “We kept everything we could, but I left a lot of (open) surfaces because I didn’t want to over-decorate. I want people to be able to bring in their own drinks, food or decor, or have a space for presents if they’re having a baby shower or party.”
The main floor, available for rent after 5 p.m. on weekdays and on weekends, features a living room with a fireplace; a fully stocked kitchen with a gas stove and refrigerator, serving dishes, pots, pans and dishes; and a formal dining room. In warmer months, the wraparound porch and backyard provide additional space, so events can range in size from a few people to a larger crowd, Houghton said. She does not provide food, but has a slate of additional resources to offer her clients, from a list of local caterers and private chefs to decorating services. The couple had the space updated, decorated, stocked and ready to rent in February of 2020.
“Then COVID happened,” Houghton said.
Opening a space like South of Main just days before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down was not ideal, but Houghton said things have picked up.
“We had a few small events, like maybe a wedding reception with less than 10 people, but we did not do much for the first year,” she said. “Now we can host a wide range of events. We’ve done everything from book clubs to business meetings that may not need a lot of technology, like strategic planning sessions, to surprise parties, baby showers and wedding showers.”
Julie Greer, who hosted a personal event at the space this fall, but also serves as the project coordinator for the Center for a Vital Community, said the space is different from anything else in town.
“It’s unique, and also it is just beautiful inside. You feel cozy in there, and Sarah did a great job with all of the wood restoration. It has this personal feeling, and is just homey, but really tasteful,” Greer said.
The Center for a Vital Community is always looking for places to host events, and South of Main would likely be a place that can serve other businesses and nonprofits, Greer said.
“Besides the opportunity to have a personal event in the space, it will be great for other organizations as well,” she said. “So many people during my event asked me if it was my house. No, I wish!”
A space like South of Main offers the host the opportunity to truly enjoy their own event without the stress of having to host at home, Houghton said.
“At any given moment in my house — I try to keep it clean, but there are Legos and puzzles out,” Houghton, who is a mother of two, said. “It can be stressful when you have kids to host. … It is nice to just walk into a space that is clean and decorated and ready for an event. That was the vision behind it.”
Though she isn’t sure if the home-renovation to event space idea is a trend elsewhere, she said it has been a trend in her life. Houghton grew up in Oklahoma, where her father was a city planner who liked the historical preservation piece of his job best. Her family also served as caretakers to a similar home in her hometown. Though they have lived in Sheridan for over a decade, the business name, South of Main, is a play on both her childhood in the South, and the fact that the home lies south of Sheridan’s Main Street.
“I have always loved old homes. My dad and I, on a Saturday morning, would watch ‘This Old House’ with Bob Vila,” Houghton said. “I love how they would transform these old homes and bring them back to life.”
For more information on the space, see southofmain.co.

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