The James Home
Amber and Adam James loved their spacious home in McDonald, Tennessee, but with both of their jobs in the city, it wasn’t long before the drive started to take its toll. Add to the mix all the obligations of their two sons, and this family was always on the go.
By Christina Cannon / Photography by Creative Revolver
Once the Jameses decided to look for another place to put down roots, convenience was of the utmost importance. Working with the team at McCoy Homes, the Jameses were also in search of a home that would allow them to turn their hustle and bustle lifestyle into one rich with quality conversation and family time.
“We ended up picking this option based on location. It’s close to our kids’ school, and my mom is nearby, which is super convenient,” explains Amber. “We were having a hard time finding exactly what we wanted in the right place at the right price point, so we just decided to build it ourselves.”
Approaching the James home, a modern farmhouse flair is immediately present. White board-and-batten siding pops against the dark matte gray hues of the roof and window frames. The front door, gable brackets, and columns provide a rustic touch and play off the tongue-and-groove ceiling of the porch, as well as the garage doors.
Stepping inside, the farmhouse feel gives way to a style more transitional in nature. “I learned a lot through the building process. Before we started, I would have told you I loved the farmhouse aesthetic,” says Amber. “But as I started picking things out, some areas became more traditional. Some even swing a little more bohemian, and I ended up just filling my home with whatever I liked.”
One such element can be found in the office – a space that has been a godsend with both Amber and Adam’s demanding jobs. In this room, the otherwise light and airy space is grounded with a statement wall complete with dark gray wainscoting. This matches a tufted office chair tucked under a desk in the middle of the room, while a leather armchair in the corner provides even more seating.
Amber and Adam James with their sons, Connor and Collin
Walking past the office carries visitors to the family’s more formal seating space. White wainscoting runs two-thirds of the way up the wall, and paired with two stately columns, it helps to define the space from the adjacent living room. A wooden table rests on a trellis rug and is surrounded by an array of seating options that range from a wooden bench to contemporary parsons chairs and traditional dining chairs.
“We typically use this space at least once on the weekend. Even if it’s just the four of us, we’ll eat a meal over here, and for some reason, it feels a little more special,” says Amber. This space is also home to any Sunday suppers with extended family or special meals like those at Christmas or Thanksgiving.
Open to the dining room is the living area, which is truly the heart of the home. “A lot of the time, we come in and we’re all doing different things,” says Amber. “When we’ve been away from each other all day, it’s nice for me to be able to be in the kitchen and still talk to the kids while they’re in here.”
A sectional in the center of the room allows for plenty of seating for family and friends, while a brick wall at the front of the space houses a fireplace, streamlined wooden mantel, and flat-screen TV.
“I don’t like a lot of bright colors and tend to prefer neutral tones,” explains Amber. “I want my home to feel cozy but clean.” The browns and grays that Amber is so fond of dot custom built-ins on either side of the fireplace, which draws the eye up toward a coffered ceiling that features rustic wooden beams and recessed lighting.
The open floor plan that is such an integral part of this family-friendly home leads visitors into the kitchen and adjacent dining area. A walnut-stained range hood mirrors the color found on the beams throughout the house, giving the room continuity.
Four slat-back chairs are tucked under an island overhang and seat the Jameses for most of their weeknight meals. Marble countertops run throughout the space and tie the gray island cabinetry in with the simple white shaker cabinets found on the perimeter.
Gray subway tiles and stainless-steel appliances match the room’s hardware and further contribute to the sleek and clean aesthetic of the space. An area to the left offers the perfect place to set up a buffet-style meal, making entertaining a breeze.
“The kitchen and the size of the island really sold me on this house, and it’s been lovely to have,” says Amber. “I can be working on dinner, and Adam or the kids will sit right here and work on homework or just chat – there’s always more than enough room.”
Gray-stained oak floors carry guests from the kitchen down a hallway and to the master suite, which mimics the clean and cozy atmosphere of the rest of the home. A comfortable palette of neutrals washes over everything from the matching nightstands to the textiles to a chaise resting in the corner of the room.
“We pretty much just use our bedroom to sleep in, but I do really enjoy our bathroom. There’s a lot of things I wanted, like a soaking tub and more space, that I have now with this room,” says Amber.
Granite countertops run from one side of the room to the other and pull in the color of the cabinetry with their veining. Towers on each side provide plenty of storage and keep clutter out of sight, while his and hers vanities are bisected by a makeup area.
“I didn’t think I would use the makeup vanity when I first saw it in the plans, but I decided to leave it, and I’m glad I did,” says Amber. “I sit and do my makeup every single day, and it’s one of those few times that I feel like I get a portion of my day to just sit and do something for me instead of for somebody else.”
Perhaps the most engaging part of Amber and Adam’s master bathroom is the brick that cloaks the front of the room, mirroring the fireplace on the other side of the home.
“At first, I was considering doing shiplap here, but that was one of the areas that Adam really put his foot down. He was pretty adamant about wanting the brick wall, and I’ve got to give it to him – I think it was the right call,” says Amber.
On the opposite side of the room are the couple’s walk-in shower and footless soaking tub. Colors and patterns take a back seat in this part of the bathroom in order to let the accent wall shine and round out the spacious but inviting area.
“We’ve honestly loved everything about this house, and I’m not sure I’d change a thing,” says Amber. “There’s plenty of room, it’s functional, and we love the open floor plan. Once the kids are out, we will likely downsize, but for now, we’re enjoying getting to spend more time as a family.” CS