By Madoline Markham
Photos by Lauren Ustad
When Julia and Tim Davis first set their eyes on a home on Brookwood Road in 2003, it was vacant as were three houses around it. Over the years that would follow, they would watch those other homes be torn down and new ones built up, but that wouldn’t be their home’s story.
Back in 2003, the couple had knocked on a neighbor’s door next to the vacant Brookwood home and got in touch with the owner’s son. Before long they made an offer, and the 1957 home was theirs. “You could tell it was well loved and a lot of memories were here,” Julia recalls.
At the time the Davises had kids in elementary and junior high, but over the next nine years they’d think long and hard on what they wanted the house to become before starting renovations.
The 2012 project started with a vision to add a garage on the main level and a screened-in porch, as well as expand the den, but while they were at it they decided to add a dining room on the front and a master suite on the back as well.
For decades the home’s exterior had a traditional red brick with seven white columns across the front, but with the renovation came a new updated white brick look with a side front porch they came up with working with architect Debbie Simmons and homebuilder Robert Wilkes.
As for the interior of the home, one will find lamps, accessories, art and more that Julia has collected during the years from shops she worked at in English Village, Briarcliff Shop and more recently, Trouve. Last Christmas she added extra festive flair to her decor for the Samford University Legacy League Christmas Tour with a plan designed by Mary Cox Brown of Marigold Designs and installed with the help of Kay McKinnon and Shanna Greenwalt. Whether it be Christmas time or any other time of year, more than anything the house is full of memories the family has made in it as their home.
The Davises like to gather in this more formal space at Christmas for Julia’s husband and son to play the piano. Not pictured are pieces in the room by local artist Carolyn Goldsmith and Mississippi artist Carol Sneed.
Each year the Davises host a family Christmas Eve dinner, and it has become tradition for Julia to set an ornament by each place setting. When Julia’s kids and their cousins started to setup their own trees, they already had a meaningful collection of ornaments from over the years from these dinners. Julia also sets the table with her green glass collection, and this year she added a large wreath to the window.
A large flocked tree sits in the front window of the home, decked with neutral whites, golds and ribbon.
When the Davises moved into this home, it had an 8-foot-wide galley kitchen, and it didn’t take them long to figure out they wanted a bigger space since they love to cook. During renovations they expanded the kitchen into the original dining room space and added a new dining room on the front of the house.
At Christmas, Julia dresses up the island a with decorative pieces she collected when she worked at The Briarcliff Shop. She decorates the vent hood and window behind the sink with wreaths.
The Davises added a limestone mantle fireplace as the focal point of this spacious room when they built it onto the back of the home. Above it barn wood beams add to the cozy feel of the space. Above the fireplace hangs a large painting on wood by local artist Arthur Price that Julia found at Design Supply.
Julia dressed up different spaces throughout her home, including this bathroom that is part of a master suite they added on to the home, with fresh greenery wreaths from Davis Wholesale and Leaf N Petal.
The Davises found an original floorplan for a home that had a powder room in what was a storage closet when they bought it, so they converted the small room into one with a bench on its far wall.
Face of the Home
Greenery garland draped on the railings and around the front door welcomes guest to the home at Christmas.
About the Home Tour
The Samford University Legacy League’s annual Christmas Home Tour, presented by ARC Realty, raises money for scholarships for students with significant financial need and challenging circumstances. Now in its 12th year, the tour features the Samford President’s Home plus several other carefully curated and festively decorated homes in the area.
Christmas Home Tour
Thursday, Dec. 8
10 a.m.-2 p.m., 4-8 p.m.
Advance tickets are required and may be purchased at samford.edu/legacyleague.