Walking in the backdoor of this Cape Cod nestled in the heart of Fountain City, one is immediately at home. As a guest, you're greeted with enormous smiles, warm hugs, and a glass of your favorite beverage within minutes. There's no doubt that for the 30 years Peter and Julie have lived here, they've learned a bit about making a house, a home.
The Wolfs bought this little home back in the mid-80s with two young boys and family heirlooms to fill the rooms. Prior to landing in Fountain City, they'd been in California, St. Thomas, Michigan, and a few other stops before finally setting down some roots here in East Tennessee. Peter grew up sailing and Julie grew up around the lakes of Michigan. The influence of the sea is evident in the color schemes and artwork throughout the house.
Peter and Julie's style is a wonderful mix of traditional, eclectic, primitive, country, and little Pottery Barn sprinkled in. Julie mentioned that very early on, she and Peter shared very similar tastes in home decor and they love to do "the work" together. Whether it's refinishing a piece, finding the right spot in the house for a new treasure, or working in their outdoor space, they've been a team since day one. Julie really is a girl after our own hearts in that she really likes a place "clean and tidy, I like it less cluttered," she says. In 2000, they were able to put a wonderful addition on the back of the house adding a great room for entertaining, a master suite, and two car garage with an upstairs. The heart of the remodel kept in mind the idea of having people over. Last year, they were even able to host their niece's wedding in the backyard and it was a huge success!
Julie wants every guest to feel right at home upon arrival. "I want folks to feel like they can get a glass of water if they'd like and that my home is their home. I truly want them to feel totally comfortable." She celebrates so many of their guests throughout the years by showcasing many of the generous gifts family and friends have given them over the years. This is where the eclectic part of their decor comes from. "If i find something I like or if someone gives me something I just find a place for it." Both she and Peter love the stories connected with the pieces in their home and they love to tell you how each one made it's way to Forest Lane.
When we asked what home means to them, Peter quickly answered, "The place I'd rather be than anywhere else." Peter has travelled with his work for over 30 years, spending countless nights in hotel rooms all over the US and Canada. He cherishes his time at home with his family, friends, and projects. Julie says she has multiple favorite spots in her house depending on what the activity but if she had to pick, the big round oak table would probably be top of the list. Gathering with family and friends over a meal and a glass of wine fills her heart like nothing else.
We also loved Julie's thoughts on collections. She said, "Collections just happen to you." Over the years she may have purchased one or two pitchers and was given a few from her mother and before she knew it, a pitcher collection was born. She loves to think of the giver as she uses each pitcher or any gifted home item in her home. Sometimes the gifts aren't necessarily decor items, but just stuck in a drawer and Julie will find them at times, hold them, take a moment to reflect on that time, that person, and enjoy the memory.
Our last stop of the tour was in the stained-glass studio in the upstairs of their garage. For about a decade now, each Wednesday night, up to 9 women meet for a meal, a beverage, plenty of laughs, and some time in the studio creating all kinds of beautiful pieces. This extension of their home has allowed the Wolfs to bless others by giving them a space to create but also a space to connect with others.
Finally, this particular home tour holds a special place in one of the dwellers hearts as I've spent many hours over the last 30 years being loved so so well within the walls of the Wolf home. My family has shared Thanksgivings, baby and wedding showers, birthdays, a wedding, and so much more with the Wolfs. They have been great stewards of this warm and welcoming home they've been given and I am so fortunate to have been one of the recipients.