Our latest home tour is full of history and heritage. We had the privilege of touring the lovely home of Megan and Caesar Stair in Old North Knoxville last week. The Stair's moved in, in 2010 and have wasted no time making it home and bringing it to life in new ways.
The home design is by famous architect George Barber and was built in 1898. It's original owner; W.T. Lang, was the foreman at Brookside Mills a textile mill that was one of Knoxville's largest employers in the early 1900's. The home was christened "Pinecrest" when it was built and the name block still remains in the yard. The guest house behind the home was added later and was originally built to house the 100+ cats that belonged to Mrs. Lang who ran a cat orphanage of sorts. The home was at one point split into 4 apartments but has now been lovingly restored back to it's original use--a family home.
In February of 2010 with snow covering the grounds, the Stairs had their first walk through and immediately fell in love. Megan says she was drawn in by the beautiful woodwork, character, and the hallway/landing in the upstairs which she immediately pictured her family making use of. Another thing Megan loves about the home is how the kitchen and tv room are tucked away towards the back of the house. While the front of the home is very open and conducive to large gatherings, it's nice to have the more functional/every day use spaces tucked in their own corners.
One of my favorite things that Megan said during the home tour was that each house has it's own style and when you move into a home, you have to be intentional about "honoring the house". Megan has done a great job of blending both antique and modern pieces throughout her home in a way that feels seamless but eclectic at the same time. When I asked Megan about her style of decorating she shared that a lot of her furniture pieces have been passed down from family members or are items that have been brought back from travels. She has several really neat pieces from Morocco.
Megan's favorite kind of decor is art. The house is full of paintings, sculptures, mixed media and sketches. When I asked if she had a favorite piece of art she pointed out a piece by her brother, local artist Ryan Blair . (pictured below) She has several of his paintings and mixed media displayed but this one is her current favorite.
The Stair's recently renovated the kitchen and did an incredible job! The kitchen is Megans favorite room and she noted that she spends a lot of her time there. The kitchen is a great example of how Megan has blended modern,updated looks with the age and style of the home itself.
I asked Megan what "home" means to her and her response was simple- "a place where I can be comfortable". Her hope is that others feel the same way when they come into her home. Megan's home is a really great representation of so many people that she loves, from her brothers art to furniture that other family members have made, to projects that Megan has taken on herself, the Stair home is truly a work of love and one that has turned out beautifully!
One of the things that we (at HYD) get asked often is "How do you go about decorating a home?" Megan had some great advice to speak to that. Megan's philosophy is that she has to love an item to purchase it. When it comes to art, she looks for things that move her deeply. She thinks creatively and saves up to invest in pieces of furniture that are quality and will stand the test of time. There are seasons of life where you use what you have, you make things on your own, you gladly accept hand me downs and then over time you figure out what you love and replace the things that were place holders for the time being. Megan is a big proponent for finding your own style and while sometimes you need the help of a designer, at the end of the day she recommends settling with what feels most natural to your own taste.
Thank you Megan for opening up your beautiful home and sharing your style tips with us!