By Karin Glendenning
Community News Writer
Nancy and Tuffy Oakes built their home in Hixson 28 years ago and have loved living in their neighborhood and raising their three sons, Andy, Will and Lucas, there. “We love the convenience and the friendly neighbors,” she said, adding that their subdivision is both quiet and safe.
Four years ago they embarked on a renovation that included tearing out walls, adding new windows throughout the house and installing new siding. Mrs. Oakes said she is very happy with the results.
During the remodeling, what were once a living room, dining room, kitchen and den were transformed into a more open and practical space. “We took four small rooms and made them into three large rooms,” she said. What was once the living room became a spacious dining room, a new kitchen now encompasses the former dining room, and the wall between the new dining room and the den was opened and flanked by white columns.
The new kitchen and breakfast area now stretches from the front to the rear of the house where it opens onto a large screened porch. The kitchen has light yellow walls and a border featuring a white trellis pattern and red strawberries. The cabinets have a natural finish and the counters are a soft gray green.
Mrs. Oakes, a kindergarten teacher at Soddy Elementary, has furnished the porch with blue and white painted furniture and floral chintz cushions giving it a most comfortable and inviting look. A fanciful wind chime from South America and lots of birdhouses, which she collects, are placed along the porch’s railings and potted plants hang and sit everywhere. To provide privacy, a stand of bamboo grows down the side of the yard and makes the porch a very secluded retreat. Beyond the porch is a deck full of flowering planters leading down to the backyard, landscaped with beds of perennials and a small pond.
Mrs. Oakes’s love of collecting is evident throughout the home. Quilts, old linens and pottery as well as items with sunflowers or ladybug motifs are just a few of her favorites. The table, chairs and cabinets in the deep red dining room came from her parents’ home. In the china cabinets she has arranged all sorts of interesting and beautiful pieces that were her grandmother’s and have special meaning to her. And in every room is at least one piece of furniture her dad, Jack Watson, built.
A bath, located beside the guest bedroom, was recently redone and has red and white gingham wallpaper above the white beaded board wainscoting. A black and white tile floor completes the bright design, punctuated by whimsical accessories.
In the guest room, vintage linen towels hang from a rod over the bed. In another bedroom, used now as an office, quilts hang on the wall and cover a twin bed. The master bedroom is decorated in blue and white, and over the bed hangs an old stained-glass window and above it, a collection of plates.
Mrs. Oakes is enjoying working in her yard now that school is out. She has constructed beds in the front and backyard that are lush with hostas, lavender, hydrangeas, impatiens, begonias, yarrow, loosestrife, several varieties of ivy and roses. Though she admits that her garden does require lots of hard work, Mrs. Oakes said spending time there planting and weeding is the best kind of therapy and gives her lots of pleasure.
E-mail Karin Glendenning at firstname.lastname@example.org