On a shady, tree-lined street in Chattanooga’s Southside once sat a dusty gravel lot marking the remnants of a bygone beer distributorship. Today, the space has been transformed into the charmingly eclectic home of Buddy and Carylon Killebrew.
By Candice Graham
Photography by Med Dement
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European-inspired arched wooden doorways open up to a home that is a unique collection of the family’s travels, talents, and tastes. “We took a little from here and there and gathered the things we saw and liked and brought it all together,” explains Buddy. Reclaimed items throughout the home add an element of intrigue, like the ceiling’s wooden heart pine beams which came from a tobacco factory near Louisville, Ky., built in the late 1800s. Upstairs, the floors are made of hardwood reclaimed from the historic Old Crow Distillery south of Frankfurt, Ky. Along with using reclaimed pieces, building a home with energy efficiency was also important to the couple. Icynene insulation, Kolbe Low-E windows, and geothermal heat and air manage the temperature of the house, and a large fan circulates above the 24-foot ceilings to help warm or cool air flow throughout.
Below the ceiling’s wooden beams and circulating steel fan is the bright and airy living room. Anchoring the space is a fireplace inspired by a photo from Provence, France. Pieces of firewood flanking the hearth serve as both a rustic touch and a functional storage space for wintertime fires. Other rustic touches blend seamlessly with more contemporary and industrial features, such as a flat-screen TV concealed by chicken coop doors salvaged after the tornadoes near Ringgold, Ga. Plush, cloud-like furniture centers toward a square ottoman to create a space that feels inviting and cozy. Other furniture pieces are a vintage, neutral-toned mix. “It’s a very active, used house. We live in every part of it. We have four kids and 11 grandchildren and we gather here all the time,” says Carylon.
Just off the living room are two separate dining areas. One is a casual round table illuminated from above by a barrel shade pendant light, creating an intimate feel within the larger space. The other table, housed within the kitchen, serves as a more formal dining area. Fabric-covered chairs embroidered with Ks surround its rectangular shape.
The sleek and streamlined kitchen was designed with cooking functionality in mind, and also to accommodate guests and entertaining. From large family lunches to grandchildren stopping by to weekly bible studies, Carylon describes their home as “kind of a landing pad” for family and friends.
Up the stairs near Carylon’s studio are walls covered in a boarded wood, a concept inspired by North Carolina mountain architecture. Light fixtures with soft white shades line the walls and provide a warm ambient glow you might not expect from an all-white interior. In the master suite, muted neutral tones are continued in soft white chairs and bed linens, and accented by dark overhead wooden beams. A Charleston porch, accessed by the bedroom, overlooks the courtyard and swimming pool below. To the right, the master bath houses a contemporary white soaking tub and a walk-in shower with a skylight. Walls are covered in white painted cottonwood, and a sliding barn door separates the bedroom and bathroom.
Outside the home, a fiberglass swimming pool casts an aqua-colored glisten in the courtyard. Fourteen-foot walls double as a projector screen for outdoor movie watching. On the other side of a separate smaller courtyard housing a table is a place to play bocce ball. Carolina laurel offers the courtyard privacy from the street outside, and ample seating areas throughout the outside and inside create the perfect setting for entertaining family and friends. “When we have lunch on Sunday we’ll usually have around 22 people,” says Buddy. “We tell family to come and everyone to bring a friend.”
“My favorite part is Sundays when we have all the grandkids running thorough here and there’s plenty of room for everybody,” adds Carylon. “There’s lots of outdoor space and it just fits our family. It’s all about family.”