artist

Webb Home Tour

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In the 1950's, a government-created flat top house was a hot commodity in Oak Ridge. Hugh Webb, a UT college student in 1952, bought one for a whopping $900 and had it moved to a plot of land in North East Knox County. Our home tour today offers a glimpse into the crafted home of two artists who have created a masterpiece of a home that started as a prefab box. Barbara and Hugh Webb have lived in their home for 60 years and they have redesigned, reconfigured, and revamped their home into a one of a kind oasis. With 10 acres, horses, and incredible vision, they have truly made a home for themselves.

   Early on they decided that, rather than moving around over the years, they would use their money to travel and work on the home they already had. They set a goal to take their children to every state in the US and to travel internationally as often as they were able. Whenever they got the itch to move, they would re-imagine their space and transform it to meet their needs. Barbara would draw up the plan, and Hugh would bring it to life.

   Barbara's mother was Finnish and her Scandinavian style carried over in a natural way. Barbara has always been drawn to clean lines and minimalist decor. With muted tones and lots of neutrals, Hugh claims that if he sat still long enough, Barbara might paint him to match the rest of the house. With a mix of family antiques and carefully curated decor, their home is like a gallery in and of itself. Barbara is one of the founding charter members of the Foot Hills Craft Guild and hasn't missed a show in 50 years! 

   When I asked Barbara what her secret to creating a home was, she said " We enjoy our home and we enjoy each other. That’s the main thing about everything—— enjoying each other." If you spend any time with Hugh and Barbara you quickly realize that they are an incredible team. They love to dream and create together and the results of their teamwork are visible all over their home and in their children and grandchildren who come by the house almost daily to feed the horses or stop in for a chat. Hugh and Barbara enjoy more than making art together, they go dancing every Monday night. She says, "I could Waltz across Texas with Hugh".

Enjoy these scenes from the Webb's home. 

The front door of the Webb Home

The bookcase is a family heirloom from Barbara's grandparents. The birds sitting on top were hand carved by Hugh.

The Living room with a portrait of the Webb's daughters done by Barbara

The Living room with a portrait of the Webb's daughters done by Barbara

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The tea party room.

Kitchen details

Vintage breadbox

Vintage breadbox

Breakfast room and view onto the back porch where Hugh and Barbara take a break from creating every day at 3pm for cake and coffee.

Barbara's studio

Miniature paintings by Barbara Webb

Barbara's studio

Master bedroom

guest bedroom details

guest bedroom

portrait of the Webb's daughters by Barbara

Packing up the memories

 

There often comes a time in all our lives or our loved one's lives when we have to say goodbye to the place we've called home.


This is never an easy transition for multiple reasons. In this particular case, the homeowner needed assistance with everyday life and wasn't able to live on her own any longer. Not being able to take much with her, her daughter and son-in-law have been left with the task of clearing out the remaining items from her former home. However, they have busy lives of their own both working and raising two active school age children. After almost 6 months of the condo sitting untouched, waiting to be gone through, HYD got the call to help.


This situation is all too familiar to so many folks. A parent's home filled with memories, trinkets, collections, photographs, furniture (both valuable and not), attics, that are so overwhelming to go through. In this case, we've been able to go through every cabinet, dresser drawer, bookshelf, box, closet, trunk, and room to categorize, label, box up, and create order so that when the daughter and son-in-law come, they can easily decide what to keep, what to sell, and what to donate. 

HYD feels honored to be trusted with such an important job which is why we take such care with each object we touch, paper we read, photo we categorize, and memory we help to preserve. It all stays confidential and our clients can feel safe knowing that we will find the right home(s) for any items they choose not to hold on to.

This particular homeowner is a very talented artist. We thought you'd enjoy just a few treasures we found as we organized her belongings. The first is her "Ideal Wardrobe" handmade book from the late 1940s. The latter photos are just a couple of the many wonderful sketches and prints we found. Enjoy...


Thanks so much for coming along with HYD as we journey through our clients' stories and memories. It is a job we cherish and look forward to each day. If you have any questions or interest in learning how we might help you or a loved one with transitioning into a new home, please don't ever hesitate to call or email us at 865.245.9080 or info@helpyoudwell.com.

We've also updated our website in a few places to describe in more detail how and what HYD can assist with especially related to estate transitions and organized moving and unpacking.

And as always, feel free to drop by The Hive to visit us anytime we're in!

Doing Wonders with a Covered Wagon

We had the privilege to sit down with Buddy and Kathie Odom last week to see their beautiful Fountain City home and to get a glimpse into their philosophy of life at home and creating in and around it.

We've always begun our home interviews with the question, "What does home mean to you?" We weren't expecting the answer that followed but if you've spent any time with the Odoms, you know that an unexpected answer is what to expect.

"This isn't our home. We live in a covered wagon," says Buddy. What he means is; the house, the objects in it; they have meaning, they contain beauty, but that's not the make up of "home" to the Odoms. In a sense, the Odoms treat their house as a vessel, a place that fosters creativity, but they strongly believe that home truly is not made of material things. And Buddy says that Kathie "can do wonders with a covered wagon."

Kathie is an accomplished and well-known plein air artist but prior to diving into art as a career, she explained that in the past, her house had become a canvas because she wasn't yet practicing the art that she was created to do. "Plein air has given me the ability to create on canvas so it's lessened the intensity of the desire to rearrange and redecorate my home."

Kathie's Art Studio

Kathie's Art Studio

Speaking of Kathie's art, one extension of their house is the studio out back that Buddy built for Kathie. The walls, lovingly and cleverly made of horizontal cedar boards, are covered with her creations. Once a piece is ready for the wall, the nail goes right in and up goes her next creation. Just walking in you are taken to all sorts places: Seaside, the Smoky Mountains, farmers' markets, old barns in New England, quiet streams, and so much more. It's so obvious her gift with the brush gives her such great pleasure.  She gets giddy explaining her painting experiences as passers-by ask her about her work, pray for her, or ask to buy the work right off the easel. Tucked away behind a shelf were her countless awards, but it's clear the experience itself is her greatest reward. There wasn't a corner of the studio that we didn't love. Each item has a purpose and a home.


Back in the main house, Buddy and Kathie have a story for every item inside from countless pieces of furniture that belonged to various relatives, to a mason jar of dirt gathered from the garden of a previous home they lived in. Buddy and Kathie spent a good amount of time learning to dwell together in that garden in a season of life where they were empty nesters, a season where things in life were slowing down. Buddy added that each part of the garden reminded him to pray for a different person. They had weddings, rehearsal dinners, and birthday celebrations in the garden. The jar of dirt holds a lot of meaning, a lot of life. Buddy and Kathie have found in recent years that their current home has given them the opportunity to be creative together. They have learned to let themselves dream.

More than anything, the Odoms create a sense of comfort in their home. Kathie's desire is for her home to feel livable and not so perfect that you feel like you can't touch anything. Kathie talks about her relationship to their home and their belongings as "good ole friends", each item bringing back a flood of memories. They agree that it's best to only be 90% organized. Kathie recalled a time when she felt much more pressure to present her home in a certain way. She has found over time that she and her guests seem to enjoy her home more when it doesn't appear perfect.

As HYD spent time reflecting on this visit, we came away encouraged, educated, and grateful for our time spent on Gibbs Drive. The Odoms invite one in to a peaceful, ordered space that immediately takes the pressure off. It's obvious that homemaking is a team effort in their house and their gifts compliment one another beautifully. Buddy's attention to order and Kathie's love of color and texture allow for guests to make themselves at home no matter where their wagon lands.


HYD is excited to announce that Kathie will be hosting her "Cabin Fever Oil Painting Workshop" at The Hive in February 2016. This would make a fabulous Christmas gift for the painter on your list. For more information, just click here.