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My New Home: A modern and retro mix in Vollintine-Evergreen area

Commercial Appeal Memphis logo Commercial Appeal Memphis 12/8/2020 Emily Adams Keplinger, Special to The Commercial Appeal
a group of people sitting posing for the camera: Ian, Coco Bean and Kaci love their home in the Vollintine-Evergreen Historic District. © Craig Collier for CommercialAppeal.com Ian, Coco Bean and Kaci love their home in the Vollintine-Evergreen Historic District.

Kaci Murley and Ian Nunley both work for local nonprofit organizations. Kaci is the deputy executive director at Overton Park Conservancy. Ian is the program officer for Vibrant Spaces and Communities at Hyde Family Foundation. They had been renting an apartment located within walking distance to Overton Park.

“We were at a phase in life where we were ready to build financial equity, and at the beginning of the pandemic we quickly realized that we needed more space to work, cook, play and grow,” recalled Ian. 

“We wanted to stay in Midtown and stay close to Overton Park,” added Kaci. ”However, we wanted something a bit quieter, just still accessible. Also, we wanted a green backyard for our husky, Coco Bean, to run and play. We hoped to be in the Snowden Elementary district for any future kiddos we might have who might attend there.”

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The couple contacted Helen Akin, an agent with Crye-Leike. They were introduced to Helen through Tracey Burke, one of Kaci’s former professors at Christian Brothers University.

a fire hydrant in front of a house: Front elevation © Craig Collier for CommercialAppeal.com Front elevation

“We began searching during the pandemic lock-down, so we mostly looked online at maybe 20 properties,” said Ian. “This house was the first and only home we actually toured –- the second we walked in we knew we wanted it.”

a living room filled with furniture and a fire place: The sunroom was once a mud room. Some comfortable seating and a change in flooring have made the repurposed room one of Kaci’s favorite places in their house. © Craig Collier for CommercialAppeal.com The sunroom was once a mud room. Some comfortable seating and a change in flooring have made the repurposed room one of Kaci’s favorite places in their house.

Kaci and Ian bought a traditional brick home, built in 1940, in the Vollintine-Evergreen Historic District. They paid $235,000 for approximately 2,000 square feet of living space, with three bedrooms and 1½ bathrooms. The house had undergone a renovation throughout. The kitchen’s all-white cabinetry had been accented with new granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and a designer backsplash. Custom millwork blended new and vintage woodwork. The bathrooms had been updated. Not to mention, there was a new 30-year roof. Additionally, there was a new bonus room on the second floor that could serve as a fourth bedroom, office or playroom. 

“We loved that the house had a cozy sunroom with a bead board ceiling, as well as lots of attic space, a new roof and a new HVAC system, sleek new kitchen appliances and a big backyard,” said Kaci. “The contractors also kept all of the built-in cabinets and shelving throughout the house, so the house had both a modern and retro vibe, which we love.”

a kitchen with a stove and a refrigerator: The kitchen is brand new and features painted cabinetry and granite counter tops. © Craig Collier for CommercialAppeal.com The kitchen is brand new and features painted cabinetry and granite counter tops.

“This home is larger than where we lived previously and is located on a less busy street,” said Ian. “Plus, we now have our own backyard in which we can entertain guests. Most importantly, as first-time home-owners — it is a place we own!”

The couple said they love living on Rainbow Drive. It is a u-shaped street right off McLean Boulevard. 

a living room filled with furniture and a large window: The dining room is not only used for eating, it also has extra seating. © Craig Collier for CommercialAppeal.com The dining room is not only used for eating, it also has extra seating.

“We are located in a cove, so we love how little traffic there is,” said Kaci. “Our neighbors are so helpful and friendly. Everyone has a story to tell and we all take time to stop and talk. Also, being so close to the V&E Greenline, we’re enjoying getting plenty of outdoor exercise.”

When asked if there were plans to change anything in their new home, Kaci said, “When we moved in, one of the first things we did was repaint the ceiling in our sunroom. We chose to follow an old Southern tradition of using a color that is described as ‘haint blue’ which is said to bring good luck to the home. Also we wanted to enhance the mid-century feel of our house and began furnishing our home with vintage finds from antiques stores along Summer Avenue.”

a living room filled with furniture and a large window: A four poster bed anchors the master bedroom. © Craig Collier for CommercialAppeal.com A four poster bed anchors the master bedroom.

Ian added, “In the spring we plan to build a backyard deck to give us more space to grill, relax, and spend time with friends and family. Perhaps we will build a covered patio over it one day (and add a pool). And there is a sunny spot for a vegetable garden and a perfect oak tree to build a tree house. Lots of adventures to be had here.”

Emily Adams Keplinger is a freelancer who produced this story for the Advertising Department.

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: My New Home: A modern and retro mix in Vollintine-Evergreen area

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