Home Of Aimee And Chad Hill
article by Maré Brennan | photography by Martin G Meyers
When Aimee and Chad Hill became only the second owners of the home which King Stubb’s designed for community leaders Frances and Grayson Guthrie in 1937 and built for a whopping $4,400, to say that a lot was on the line was an understatement. Sited directly across the street from Monroe’s Triangle Park, which is ground zero for the annual 4th of July Children’s Parade, the Hills were respectful of their home’s role in 20th century Monroe and of its architectural pedigree, Says Aimee, “We wanted our home to look as close to the original house as possible, but we also had to be mindful of the special needs of our son, Hudson.”
A major redux began in earnest after the couple acquired the home in 2012. Chad, an electrical engineer and owner of HCH, Inc., says, “Aimee and I sat down, and we drew out what we envisioned for this home, what we thought it could be.” From those sketched plans, Larry James finessed a set of working plans to help the family realize their renovation dreams. To create an open concept living and kitchen area, a wall that split the center of where the kitchen is now was completely removed. A garage and new wing for the couple’s teenage daughter, Chandler, increased the footprint of the home. A screened porch was also added that transitions from the main living area to the pool and open air cabana and outdoor kitchen. The master bedroom was completely renovated, removing an existing bath and creating an en suite. For the renovations, Brian Allen’s BRACO was sourced as the contractor for interior spaces while Thomas Woods’ contracted the exterior renovations and additions. Landscaper Al Hayward executed the landscape installations based on plans developed by local landscape architect Patrick Trisler.
Says Chad of the project, “Everything was gutted down to the studs, exposing old knob and tube electrical which was replaced and providing the opportunity to fully insulate the home. Hudson’s room was acoustically wrapped as well to provide an extra layer of soothing quiet. David Shively with ShiveCo was brought in to create three separate zones of air conditioning to make each unit last longer and efficiently cool each zone of the home. Existing oak floors were salvaged, and Dupuy Flooring was able to match the old oak planks with new, staining them a dark shade of walnut, to create a unified open concept space between the living room and kitchen.
Margaret Moses worked with Aimee and Chad to design their interior spaces, helping chose paint colors as well as fixtures. In the home’s foyer, a set of nesting consoles of reclaimed wood is positioned beneath a large canvas pained by Moses. A set of built-in cabinets in the living room features glass doors with X-shaped decorative mullions custom designed by Aimee and built by Rucker Cabinets. The shelves are filled with objets d’art, books and even framed sketches of trees rendered by one of the sons of the original owner who is now an architect.
The living room is filled with comfortable seating, including leather club chars in blue with nailhead trim. A plantation desk of Chad’s since his early college days was given a new lease on life by Aimee, who painted the desk with Amy Sloane’s charcoal grey chalk paint. “It’s super easy to paint with, and I didn’t have to sand or prep!” says Aimee.
A tip the pros know is that pocket doors are a life and space saver. In order to keep an unrestricted view of Hudson and allow the Hills to limit access, pocket doors leading into the dining room are horizontally split in two. The top panel can remain open while the bottom panel acts as a barrier. In addition, pocket doors save valuable floor and wall space, since there is no swing to account for.
“When we first bought the home there was a wall which separated the now open concept kitchen and living room right down the middle of the kitchen,” says Chad. The kitchen features a six-burner Wolf range and hood, as well as a Sub-Zero refrigerator, freezer and wine cooler. For convenience, the couple added a pot filler above the range. A trio of vintage schoolhouse pendants which illuminate the island were a find from Rosemary Beach. Chinese wishbone counter height seating allows kids and adults to gather at the island. A large undermounted sink and easy to care for white quartz with grey veining countertops put the fun in functional in Aimee’s kitchen. “I cook often, and I cook messy,” she laughs.
Just beyond the living room, a screened in porch beckons visitor to stretch their legs and head out doors. The X detailing is carried forward into the mullions on the screen porch as well. Wood floors are painted a modern grey and topped with a bold, graphic rug and generous wicker club chairs. Vintage string lights with Edison-style bulbs hang artfully above head. There is no need to wait for a holiday to enjoy festive lights! Night time is definitely the right time. Adding a touch of green to the space, two large fiddlehead ferns are placed on either side of the doorway.
In the master bedroom a large Margaret Moses painting is positioned over a camel back sofa. Mongolian curly lamb pillows in a soft grey hue lend soft texture. Two small square canvasses by Claire Crawford are hung above a chest of drawers. Drapery in the master bedroom was sourced at Fabulous Fabrics. The linen upholstered headboard creates a backdrop for casually chic bed linens in hues of grey, white, khaki and soft blue. The en suite master bathroom features a floor of octagon white tiles with a patterned grey square inset into the mix. An oversized, glass steam shower with white subway tiles is punctuated with a horizontal banding of Carrara marble subway tile. A luxurious oval soaking tub puts relaxation as a top priority and adds to the spa like feel. Modern sconces with frosted glass cylinders are placed on the mirrors, reflecting light back into the space. Custom cabinetry built by Rucker Cabinets is topped with Carrara marble.
The backyard addition and pool was designed by Patrick Trisler and includes an outdoor kitchen and open air pavilion that are placed on axis with the inviting pool. A large cypress header beam with rivet detailing adds a touch of ruggedness to the white washed, brick columned space. Jalousie shutters hide an air conditioning unit on one side and pool equipment on the other. An outdoor fireplace provides warmth on cool evenings spent watching sporting events or movies on the flatscreen television. Minimalist shelves of cypress add symmetry to the space on either side of the fireplace and above built-in cabinets topped with bluestone countertops. Chad, who happens to be super handy, built the cocktail table from leftover cypress planks and industrial pipe. “We live out in the backyard,” says Aimee. “The fireplace is great in the winter, and the pool is perfect in the summer. Since we finished the outdoor space, this is where we entertain.” Aimee got the idea for the astroturf rug in the outdoor pavilion during a trip to California and wanted to incorporate the look in her own project. All weather wicker sofas are dressed in a myriad of navy and white patterned pillows. Aimee recalls, “When we were talking to Patrick about what I wanted this back yard to look like, I showed him photos of spaces I liked, but most of all I wanted functionality and simple clean lines. Like our pool. I love how simple it is and squared off, nothing complicated. I really wanted a ‘cocktail pool.’ And cool and natural color combinations are what I was going for.”
Ewing Aquatic from Shreveport installed the pool which features a self-cleaning option making pool cleanup a breeze. Jets pop up and make water flow to the drains, making vacuuming pools obsolete.The pool doubles as a water feature with three copper fountainheads, which spout arcs of water into the pool. To help alleviate drainage issues, the pool is raised slightly higher than the backyard surrounding it. Concrete coping around the pool and stepping stones which lead from the screen porch to the poolside are created from a uniquely treated, white concrete with a rock salt finish, which stays cool to the feet when the weather is hot. The pool features a unique built-in bench seat, and LED lights add to the pool’s ambience.
Palisades zoysia in a vibrant hue of green grows lushly in the gaps between the pools coping and the oversized poured concrete stepping stones. According to the homeowner, an old fashioned push mower is the best solution to cutting the grass between the concrete steps. Pat Trisler adds, “A layer of clipped boxwood with arborvitae fern delineate the gardens. Raised beds are filled with Fielder’s white azalea, and star magnolia are underplanted with dwarf gardenia and machofern. The shady south side of the Hill’s home is where Henry’s dog run is located, shaded by a multitude of dogwoods and mature trees. On the side, viburnum shows off its big puffy flowers for a springtime show and provides a multitude of clippings for casual floral arrangements throughout the season..
According to Chad, his proudest moment from the renovation encompassed finding a treasure trove of old bricks buried in the back yard, digging them all up and then using them to construct the front entry stairs, sidewalk, columns and patio.
The renovation of the Hill’s quaint King Stubbs is nothing short of spectacular in its scope to modernize the interiors and fit them to the family’s unique needs while respecting the history and heritage of the home as well as Stubbs’ mastery of proportion and scale.