Spencer and Melody Ratliff live in the Oakwood/Lincoln Park neighborhood and have transformed their wonderful historic home into a space of hospitality and beauty. Spencer is a furniture designer and maker. While he’s recently branched out into commercial work including build outs for restaurants and work at Blackberry Mountain, he really loves helping people make their ideas a reality and does a lot of custom work for individuals. Spencer owns and operates his own business Old North Designs . You may know Melody from her days of running Flips Batter Bar- a pop up gourmet pancake bar where she served a variety of home made pancakes with all kinds of topping options and dozens of creative syrup flavors. While the batter bar is no longer operating, she occasionally caters and has plans for bottling and selling her batters and syrups in the near future. We are so excited to give you a peek into their awesome home and for you to hear about their heart for hospitality.
How long have you lived in your home? What initially drew you to it?
We’ve lived here for 5 years as renters and just bought it a few months ago! Before we moved in, it was a bachelor pad owned by some friends of ours and when they moved out, we were immediately interested. The home had already served as a community hub with a reputation of being open to whomever. We had been living in a 600 sq ft before, so we were really excited about the space upgrade. We love having rooms for guests and plenty of space for hosting.
What does home mean to you?
It’s a place of peace— a place where you can fully be yourself and don’t have to impress anybody.
How would you describe your style of decorating? Do you have any favorite stores or go to spots for furniture/home decor?
I try to focus on what works with the architecture of the house. Because our house is very traditional, my style has become more traditional. I definitely have an eclectic streak but I try to cater to the home that we are in.
Estatesales.net!!! it’s a weekly check for me.
Has your style changed over time?
I definitely used to be a bit more cluttered. I’ve gotten a lot pickier about what I keep. If I don’t love it, I don’t keep it. As I get older, I’m more likely to spend money on one piece that I really like vs a lot of little things that I kind of like.
Do you have any collections?
Not officially but we lovingly refer to many items in our home as “The Patty collection”. Spencer’s late mother, Patty, had incredible taste and we inherited many of her pieces.
What is your relationship to your belongings?
Very loose-- so many of our things are hand me downs or bought second hand. We aren’t super attached to material things. If something breaks or gets spilled on a rug, its not a big deal- everything is replaceable.
When people come into your home, what do you hope they feel?
I hope that people feel peace and a sense of welcome and comfortableness. It’s’ really important to Spencer that our house always feels comfortable. He never wants it to feel so nice that it makes people feel uptight.
Do you have a style or home philosophy?
I care about things working well for hospitality. I arrange furniture for conversation. We intentionally choose pieces that play to that function for example- our dining room table fits a TON of people. We are part of a 5 night a week dinner share with our neighbors, so there are constantly people in and out of the house. Hospitality is our number one deciding factor in decorating and we’ve always been adamant about having a guest room.
How is your home an extension of yourself or your family?
Back to the whole hospitality.. we care a lot about making people feel welcome and comfortable. That’s why we care so much about our house and how it functions. We host “friendsgiving” every year and host many out of town guests.
Do you have a favorite room in your home? A favorite piece of furniture or piece of art?
Our master bedroom and bathroom make me really happy. They are the most finished out of all of the rooms.
My favorite piece is the porch swing. Spencer made it and every morning we have our coffee on the porch.
What do you love most about your home?
The neighbors. We love the house, but it’s the neighbors that make it so great! The 4 houses surrounding us are literally our best friends. My biggest piece of advice is that if you are looking to move or buy a house, look for a place where your friends are.
Thank you Spencer and Melody for opening your amazing home to us!