The Historic Homestead— The West Home

by Katie Faulkner
photos by Beacon Imagery

After eyeing the historic district of downtown Cleveland for years, Billy and Kelley West finally found a perfect house to call home. Keeping a close watch on historic accuracy during remodeling, the Wests polished this 1911 American Foursquare gem until it shone. With as many authentic elements perserved as possible, the result is an airy, clean aesthetic in peaceful neutral tones with awe-inspiring, old-world charm.

Just across from Lee University and within a block’s walk to everything downtown, the West home is situated on an ideal lot with an enormous magnolia tree in the front yard. The symmetry of the house is evident in its picture-perfect exteriors. A wide porch complete with a daybed swing hints at the homey feel continued within.

Walking through the entryway, your eyes are immediately pulled into a sun-soaked and spacious living room. Crisp cream and white neutrals of the furniture and ceiling-high whitewashed fireplace lend a contented energy to this family space. Its unique square-pattern floors are an original feature to the 1911 construction. “We immediately loved these floors, because we had never seen anything like them,” Kelley explains. Their affinity for historically authentic elements helped focus the remodel. All the extra-wide moulding was either refurbished or replicated exactly, so as not to interrupt the home’s style. The living room ceiling boasts covered beams that continue the white color scheme keeping everything bright and uplifting.

Past the living room is the den, a casual, intimate room serving as the entertainment hub of the home. It is stocked with sumptuous leather chairs and a plush, cream sofa. The Wests’ three daughters, son-in-law, and new granddaughter all spend lots of quality time here with Billy and Kelley, so this room sees plenty of attention. “It’s so cozy! It’s where we like to watch television and have movie nights,” says Kelley.

Continuing through to a landing before the kitchen, the Wests have a beautiful guest room, currently being used as a nursery for their granddaughter’s visits, and a full guest bath with opulent Italian marble (which continues in the kitchen). 

A sizable masterpiece with multiple sitting areas, the kitchen evokes a family-oriented atmosphere. Calcutta Gold marble counter tops catch light with sparkling veins running throughout. Silver hardware compliments the bright presentation of white on white. “This might be my favorite room, because it’s where we spend the most time,” Kelley smiles. Nested under an ample kitchen island are spindle-legged, backless stools for added seating. High-end features, like an industrial refrigerator and sleek cabinetry are kept in check with more charming elements like the farmhouse sink. “It’s very important to us to use pieces that feel old,” the Wests explain, “We try to find things that look historically accurate,” which is evidenced by the bridge-style faucet.

During remodeling, Kelley and Billy decided to expand with an addition to the back of the house, extending the upstairs and kitchen. An existing deck was enclosed to create a windowed, dining nook.

“We knew with three daughters there was a good chance our family would grow, so we wanted plenty of room for that,” Kelley smiles, likely thinking of their first granddaughter.

The many light fixtures used throughout are another example of the Wests’ attention to period styles. “Finding old chandeliers and fixtures has been one of my favorite things to do,” Kelley says. Multiple fixtures are refurbished from the original home, while others were hand-selected to curate that perfect old-timey feeling.

Connecting the kitchen to the dining room is the generous butler’s pantry, another feature retained from the original floor plan. It functions as a perfect staging area for the Wests’ holiday hosting.

Under the dazzling chandelier in the dining room, it’s easy to see why this is another favorite of the Wests’. They love it because it is the family gathering place during Thanksgiving and Christmas. But it has numerous lovable features, like the built-ins with original bubbled glass doors, the paneling, and damasked wall paper, which all create an elegant aesthetic for entertaining. White French doors were beautifully refurbished and open to the living room, completing the ‘foursquare’ layout.

At the top of the stairwell is the master suite. Soothingly simple, with lavish white bedding and tasteful furniture, this master bedroom is an airy escape.

A crowning preservation from the original home is the azure blue tile of this room’s fireplace. Lauded by the Bradley County Historical Society and Lee University History Department, the blue fireplace is iconic. The Wests decided to take their cue from the historic feature and added pops of blue in accent pillows, selected photographs, and a tranquil painting above its mantle. 

The adjoining master bath is a dreamy culmination of white cabinetry, a mirrored wall, and a free-standing soaking tub in the center-windowed nook. The Carrera marble counters and shower pair with hardwood floors leading to the walk-in master closet.

Down the hallway from the master suite are the girls’ rooms (each with their own bathroom and walk-in closet), the laundry room, and access to the third floor bonus room.

Even in a house this spacious, the West family makes good use of it all. They have celebrated weddings, graduations, and a first grandchild here. Keeping with the kindred nature of their home, their door is always open to family and friends.