WRITTEN BY JENNIFER COLLINS | PHOTOGRAPHED BY JOE WORTHEM
A historical home gets a 21st-century upgrade with a pool and courtyard entertaining space.
Ann and Bobby Wood bought the historic Heyer house in 1993. The house was built in 1903, with the welcoming front porch and neoclassical architectural features popular at the turn of the 20th century. The Woods have renovated both the interior and exterior of the home over the years, always planning improvements that kept the charm of the older home intact.
When they decided to upgrade the backyard area, the Woods engaged decorators Judy Smelser and Marcia Hora along with contractor Jerry Garner of Garner Construction Co. Inc. to handle the transformation. The result is a courtyard living and dining area where the Woods can host gatherings and where family and guests can relax, swim, play, mingle and enjoy dining al fresco.
“We had my oldest granddaughter’s wedding reception and several functions in the courtyard,” Ann said. “It’s the perfect place for parties, but we enjoy it the most for family gatherings. To say it is used and enjoyed is an understatement.”
The centerpiece of the courtyard is the free-form pool, with an adjoining hot tub cascading into it. Both were installed by Memphis Pool, with landscaping by Corinth Nursery and Garden Center. The mix of formal topiary boxwood and flowering plants in pots and planters add both privacy and splashes of color, while chairs and recliners with turquoise and terra cotta cushions reflect the colors of the pool and the planters and invite lounging. The nearby pool house accommodates dripping grandchildren and guests with a convenient place for towel storage and changing.
Some years ago, the Woods renovated the kitchen inside the house, and it became the place where everyone gathers. So, they re-created a similar kitchen and dining area outdoors. The covered space is equipped to provide drinks, snacks or a whole meal. Pillars of stacked stone veneer support the countertops and climb from the polished concrete floor to the stamped tin roof, which matches the house.
Lighting is located among the exposed beams. The work area has two refrigerators under the counter, and a grill, a deep fryer and a smoker are mounted in the stone chimney. Guests and family can relax in front of the gas fireplace, gather at the table or chat with the chef at the bar — Bobby does all the cooking.
Front and back porches reflect each other with a palette of cool shades to create a tranquil spot to relax and unwind. Strategically placed shutters can be opened to give plants or people some sun or closed to deflect it. Potted ferns sway in the breeze, and a porch swing on the front and a ceiling fan on the back create classic Southern porch ambiance.
“I love all of the courtyard, but my favorite is the back porch,” Ann said. “It’s great to enjoy morning coffee and watch the hummingbirds and listen to the waterfall from the pool. Bobby and I have had many wonderful conversations during our coffee time there.”
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