Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Tour of Our House

This month finds us sifting through more than a decade of memories as we prepare to relocate to Birmingham. Our house was listed this month, and we are hopeful that the right family will fill it with love. You have been invited into our home many times over the years for birthday parties and holidays, but I realize I've never really given you a proper tour. Today I am offering a peek into the main floor.

Nestled on more than 2 acres in Wetumpka, this house has been a welcoming retreat for our family. Joe found this property when we moved to Montgomery. I was initially reluctant to look outside the city, but my heart skipped a beat when we rounded the corner and this house came into view. Most of the property is wooded, which gives the property a tranquil, private feel.

A staircase greets you as you step into the foyer. Framed baby photos remind me of the toddlers who learned to maneuver these stairs through the years. It is bittersweet to know that my four children won't ever run down these stairs again to discover surprises left under the tree on Christmas morning. May this home always be filled with the pitter-pat of little feet. 

To the left of the stairs is my sitting room. I had planned to add wainscoting, a pretty rug and custom drapes to this room, but even without these details it has been a feminine sanctuary for me.

Besides offering a welcome spot for pausing for quiet contemplation or enjoying a cup of tea, this sitting room provides a lovely space for my sewing room.

A curbside-found desk positioned in view of the bay windows makes a perfect sewing table. I still need to refinish this French Provincial piece, but you can catch a glimpse of the "before" version in the photo above. So many afternoons I worked on sewing projects while watching expectantly for the school bus to rumble into the neighborhood.

Our dining room sits across the hall. One of my favorite views in this house is taking a peek into our sitting room through the dining room mirror.

You have seen this room many times over the years. I have kept the colors neutral, which has allowed it to function well for a variety of holiday gatherings and parties.

This simple space has been a ballet studio, candy shoppe, movie theater and cupcakery in the past few years. We have made so many memories here. May the next family that lives here enjoy a spirit of celebration.

This open, airy space has been a treasured gathering space for family and friends. Soaring ceilings and expansive windows make the family room a wonderful place to relax. This open floor plan accommodates crowds, as well. We invited more than 50 of Joe's students out last fall and enjoyed serving them dinner.

Here is another view of our family room, ready to offer respite from the cares of the day.

Beyond the windows, a picket fence surrounds a glittering blue pool. We have spent so many blistering July days in the cool of this water. Lying on a float looking up into the treetops and watching the clouds drift by is my definition of an ideal summer afternoon.

Joe has worked through the years to cultivate our outdoor spaces. Crepe myrtles line the fence around the pool, and in natural areas around the property you will find hydrangeas, azaleas and camellias blooming in turn.

Through these doors, we enter the kitchen. French doors also lead from the pool area to our master bedroom, which is the next stop on our tour.

My husband is very patient to allow so many floral prints in our bedroom. This is one of my favorite spaces in our home. Special furniture pieces include, from left to right, a secretary and desk chair; rolled-arm bench; and wing chair that belonged to Joe's late grandparents. The plates that hang above the bed were a gift from my sister-in-law. She found the plates in an antique store and loved that they were painted in 1899, a hundred years before our son Carson was born. The bedside lamps were fashioned from crystal vases. On my bedside table, you will find a stack of Victoria magazines. And spread across the foot of the bed, my favorite coverlet is a pink toile quilt I purchased years ago from Victoria Fair. My mother-in-law sewed our chintz bed skirt and pillow shams, and I made the curtains on our windows and canopy, as well as the round tablecloth.

I felt at home as soon as I entered this house for the first time, and I could hardly sleep that first night for arranging our furniture in my mind. I am praying that a sweet little family will be as smitten with this property as I was and will decide to make it their home. I will keep you updated on our future! And in the meantime, if you are looking for a haven near Montgomery, Ala., I have just the address for you.

"Now in a cottage full of lilacs and laughter, I know the meaning of the words 'ever after.' " -- Unknown


Rach said...

Beautiful, I cant imagine it's going to take long to sell! Good luck with the move

Cindy said...

What a beautiful home, Melissa. Thanks for giving us a tour. Best wishes with your new move.

Unknown said...

Such a beautiful home Melissa. Wishing you a quick sale and an easy move.
Hugs, Gee

Ms. Elaine said...

It is beautiful. What is causing you to move? Did I miss that in your blog?

Amy Orvin said...

Melissa, You're house is simply divine! Thank you for the tour.

Nancy Hood said...

Memories made will be memories taken with you :) I'm excited to see your new home and the joy in making it your own. Congratulations again, and may this home sell smoothly and swiftly. God bless!!

Bonnie said...

Melissa, your home is truly lovely. I wish you well with your move.

Melissa Lester said...

Ms. Elaine, I took a job with Victoria magazine, so we are relocating to be closer to my work with Hoffman Media in Birmingham.

Valerie said...

Congratulations, Melissa, although I know moving is bittersweet. Your home is so lovely and I can't imagine it will take long to sell. Incidentally, I was totally thinking about you last week as we returned home from south Florida and made our way across Alabama to Mississippi. I was just telling my husband that I "knew" someone :) who lived in Wetumpka (we saw a highway sign) and I then went on to tell him about your incredible new job and commute to Birmingham. Hubby just looked at me and said, "She drives from Montgomery to Birmingham...?" I replied that I thought that was what you were doing! His response was..."Wow. Must pay good." LOL

Wishing you all the best as you relocate. I'm certain finding a new home/school/and church community is going to be very time consuming.


iluvlace said...

Beautiful home! I can see myself living in your home!! It is so much like me! I would love to move south where it is warm! Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

Gorgeous house just like the owner! Thanks for the tour. I can only imagine the time and effort and not to forget the love and devotion that was put into each area of the house when it was being decorated.

Wishing you a superb weekend doing anything and everything that brings a smile upon your lovely face.

Usha from warm Malaysia

Mimi said...

Best of luck to you and your family. It will be fun to follow your move and decorating at your new home!

The Mrs. said...

Love the open kitchen!

Wendy@Once upon a rose haven said...

Hi Melissa,
Such a lovely home and blog!
Your newest follower,

Anonymous said...

We moved to Birmingham in '98 after graduating from Freed, as a "temporary" stop for my husband to go to grad school at UAB. Here we still are. I'm from St. Loius, and he is from mostly northeast military life. Neither of us thought we would make our home way down here in the south. We have definitely put some roots down here now. I'm sure bham will welcome you with open arms as it did us. You should check out Jefferson Christian Academy for the kids.

Anonymous said...

What a gorgeous home! God has blessed you and will bless those who come after you. May they love your home and care for it as much as you have over these years.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

It is as beautiful as it's owner! I pray you have a quick sale and love where you are moving.

I am so enjoying looking through my wonderful cookbook and magazine. Such a pleasure. We have been up to our eyeballs in family things, and I haven't had a chance to properly write and thank you. I hope you know how proud I am of you for your work on the magazine. You are a marvel, my sweet friend.

God bless you, Joe, and the children!



Jessica Mosley said...

May I ask who did the painting of Mary Ashley? I've been planning to have a painting done of my 5-year-old and I've been looking for the right artist. Thanks!

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