By Karin Glendenning
Community News Writer
Brenda and Sandy McKay live in the heart of Hixson, but the 15 beautifully landscaped acres that surround their yellow Victorian home create the felling of a rural oasis.
“It’s like living in the country,” said Mrs. McKay, named Hamilton County Teacher of the Year in 1997 and a second-grade teacher at Bib Ridge Elementary School.
Located down a winding drive amid lush plantings and lots of mature trees, the house has a wrap-around porch on the front and one side and a deck on the back that overlooks beds filled with hydrangeas, caladiums, hostas and impatiens.
“Sandy’s passion is the yard,” said Mrs. McKay. “He did every bit of landscaping and brick work around the flower beds.”
On one side of the house are grape arbors where Mr. McKay grows scuppernongs, muscadines and concord grapes and several tomato plants. Although Mr. McKay planned and implemented the landscape’s design, Green Thumb Lawn and Landscaping maintains the grounds, Mrs. McKay said.
The McKays built the house in 1988 after touring lots of new homes in Atlanta. They said they decided on what they liked, and Mr. McKay, an engineer, did the architectural drawings to incorporate the details they chose into their plans.
The house is a two-story framed structure with a living room, dining room, kitchen and breakfast area, den, sunroom and master suite on the main level and two guest bedrooms and an office on the second floor.
The unifying color throughout the home is pink, from tones of deep rose to a pale shell shade. Local interior designer Marsha Yessick, a friend of Mrs. McKay, helped her select window treatments and fabrics. “She and I worked together. I would pour through magazines and give her pictures, and she would work her magic,” said Mrs. McKay.
The home lends itself well to entertaining with the kitchen open to the breakfast area and the den and beyond to the sunroom. The living room and dining room are adjoining and share the same window treatments of rose, black, white and gold fabric and rosy walls with white trim.
The master bedroom is a pink and cream dream, papered with a pink floral and complemented by ruffly floral bed coverings and curtains and a rose-colored carpet that stretches into the spacious master bath with a garden tub and walk-in shower. Mrs. McKay said that interior designer Margie Burgin helped her with the bedroom’s decor.
Upstairs a large bedroom, where Mrs. McKay’s mother stays when she visits, is papered in a magnolia blossom print on a pale pink background. A second guest bedroom is done in shades of green with rose accents. Mr. McKay’s office, also on this level, sports paisley patterned wallpaper for a more masculine look.
The next project for the McKays is to build a new office for Mr. McKay above the semi-detached two-car garage. Mr. McKay said he will panel the room with planks that came from cherry trees that once grew on the property. “I have 7,000 board feet of cherry that I’ve been saving,” he said.
The McKays love living so close to everything the Hixson community has to offer, but revel in the seclusion their large acreage provides. “It’s just a little piece of heaven,” Mrs. McKay said.
E-mail Karin Glendenning at firstname.lastname@example.org