Home (away from home) Tour

This month, Katie and her husband went on a trip to Hawaii. With the wonderful convenience of Airbnb, she and her husband found a dreamy (and affordable) island escape that we are excited to share with you! Imagine natural beauty, fresh warm air, and wild frogs croaking as you fall asleep. 

The east side of the Big Island of Hawaii is lush and full of tropical vegetation. The rain forest and jungle vibes are the perfect backdrop for this Balinese Style eco-hut. It's clear that the owners and designers put so much intention and thought into the design. The name of this eco-hut: "Lemongrass". The home is minimal yet eclectic and extremely comfortable. From the materials they used to the layout of the space, you can see clearly that this was a labor of love and that they use the space efficiently. 

Enjoy these snapshots of the "Lemongrass"!

Why we love this tropical getaway? 

The Kitchen

Simple design, gas stove, water filter, french press coffee, prep area, vertical wall storage for pots and pans, local spices, just enough space for two! 

No Wasted Space

Every corner had a function, but it didn't feel cluttered. They managed to incorporate a kitchen, dining space (with an unobstructed jungle view), queen bed, and a bathroom sink & toilet in a 20x12 structure while managing to create an open and airy feel. 

Limited Wifi 

They offered wifi on a schedule of 8 am - 8 pm. This is crucial for guests as they may still need to research and plan aspects of their trip while there. But the schedule also provided unplugged time that allowed us to truly disconnect from the internet and really be present. 

Sights & Sounds

Falling asleep to the chorus of local frogs croaking and the intermittent breaking of ocean waves was like having your own custom noise machine. Birds start singing their songs as early as warm sunlight started to color the sky.

Where are your favorite vacation spots?
Have you used Airbnb for your travels?
What do you look for in vacation rentals? 

We'd love to hear about your travel experiences.

Come on in

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 Wolf home in 1986

The Wolf home in 1986

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!

Addition in 2000

Addition in 2000

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.

Peter at work in his home office

Peter at work in his home office

The Gathering Table

The Gathering Table

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.

Julie working in her "nest"

Julie working in her "nest"

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.

Thanksgiving 2014 - The whole Wolf gang

Thanksgiving 2014 - The whole Wolf gang

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

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!