A few weeks ago we had the privilege of sitting down with Rebecca Loy for an awesome Parkridge Home Tour. If you are unfamiliar with Parkridge, it’s a small historic neighborhood just east of downtown Knoxville. Filled with character, community gardens, and a good dose of grass roots movement, Parkridge is home to people from many different walks of life.
Rebecca and Steve moved into Parkridge almost 9 years ago and haven’t looked back. Having always loved the idea of front porches, neighbor drop bys, and foot traffic, Rebecca was ecstatic when she realized that within 3 weeks of moving in, they had met more people in Parkridge than they had met in the many years they had lived out in the suburbs. Interestingly, Rebecca pointed out that American architecture today and for the past several decades has had a hand in keeping people to themselves, the disappearance of the front porch, and the introduction of the fenced in yard, all of which make it difficult to meet the people around you. Steve and Rebecca were looking for a place where people were out and about and after driving and walking around Parkridge, they found that the diversity and the neighborliness of the community were just what they were looking for.
Tell me about the history of your house.
The home was built in 1889 and F.E. McArthur was the original owner. The home itself was designed by famous architect George Barber and cost a whopping $2,975 to build. Kent Kendrick: a local contractor, bought it around 2006 and converted it back from three apartments into a single dwelling. He did a great job of keeping historic elements but also created a great flow in the downstairs layout/floorplan. It’s more open feeling than many of the other Victorian homes in the neighborhood.
What styles of homes/decor do you gravitate towards?
Ironically, I don’t really like Victorian style (which makes up a large part of Parkridge homes). I’m more drawn to the paired down, shaker style. I love simple lines and neutrals and tend to bring color in through accents. I’m definitely more of a stripe person than a curve/flower person.
Did your style happen organically or was it a process of figuring out what style means to you?
I’ve always liked the simpler stuff. Steve likes all the ornate stuff. Somehow it works itself out.
What is your favorite part of your home?
The front porch! It has become a gathering place for neighbors. I love that people feel permission to come up on a porch without a formal invitation.
Do you collect anything?
Metal Trays, tea pots, and pitchers. I’ve been collecting tea pots and pitchers for 20-30 years. I love the utility and function of them but also that they are decorative and pretty. I started collecting trays when we moved into this house.
Also, somehow we’ve started a Starbucks mug/shot glass collection from every city we have been to.
What does home mean to you?
To me, home is people. It’s a family. If I was homeless, my home would be the tent with my people in it.
When people come into your home, what do you hope they feel?
I hope they feel at home. My house keeping style is somewhere in the middle. I don’t want people to be afraid to sit down for either reason— you don’t want things to be too nasty and also don’t want them to be too fancy. (Hilarious and so true) If you have a living room is should be lived in.
How is your home an extension of yourself or of your family?
I think our home is kind of the stage where we get to be us. The home is the primary place where people experience you. Your home is the most useful tool for inviting people into your life. We rarely have a week where we don’t have extra people here for dinner or stopping by to sit on the porch.
A big thank you to Rebecca for sitting down with us, sharing her thoughts, and letting us into her piece of the world!