Creating Cozy Convenience

The Hamilton Home


When the last of the Hamilton children flew the coop, Joni and Bob knew it was time for a change. With no children to chauffeur to and from school anymore, they were ready to find a home that suited their new normal.

“It was time for us to slow down a bit,” explains Joni. “Our house also wasn’t being used like it once was. All of our common spaces were on the main floor, so we barely ever went upstairs or to the basement. It was just too big for two people.”

Upon the recommendation of a few friends, the Hamiltons began to consider the Ooltewah area as a place to put down roots.

“We first visited the Cambridge Square development when there were just three model homes. I remember thinking there was no way I was going to like it. “It took some convincing, but when I finally agreed to check out the models, I was blown away at how spacious the homes felt. It didn’t feel like I thought it was going to feel,” shares Joni.

Within no time, Joni and Bob found themselves living in a new house, built by Barry Payne of BP Construction, that they could make their own.

“I have only ever lived in older homes, so it has been really nice to not have that maintenance and upkeep that comes with them,” says Joni. “It was refreshing to be able to come into this house and design things how I wanted them.”


By Christina Cannon | Photography by Creative Revolver

(Photo by Christina Cannon)


Before ever stepping inside the Hamilton’s home, Joni’s affinity for a cozy and classic look is apparent. Dark brick comprises the exterior of the home, and a spacious covered porch wraps around the house in an L-shape. Three-plank pallet shutters hang to each side of the first- and second-story windows, and a porte-cochère sits to the right side of the home, allowing for covered overflow parking and easy access inside.

Entering through the home’s front door, visitors are immediately welcomed with a warmth that Joni tried so hard to achieve.

“I don’t really like the antique, traditional look, but at the same time I’m also not a fan of an ultra-modern aesthetic,” explains Joni. “When people come into my home, I want them to feel at ease. I wanted everything to be comfortable and timeless.”

A brushed gold light fixture hangs overhead, while an oriental blueish-gray runner leads visitors down a hall to the main living spaces. To the right of the foyer is a small enclave that houses the family’s grand piano.

“We’ve had this piano for 30 years, and I knew I didn’t want to get rid of it when we moved,” explains Joni. “When we were deciding on a lot to pick, the floor plan of this house played a major role. This space is the perfect place for the piano.”

The enclave, which was originally designed as a small dining area, also includes a fine china cabinet that the couple purchased specifically for this home, and a blue and white patterned accent chair is tucked away in the corner.

“I’ve always had a lot of built-ins everywhere I have lived, so when we moved, I had to make a few purchases to accommodate some of my things,” explains Joni. “It’s taught me that I don’t need as much stuff out though. I’ve learned that I like a more scaled-down, simple design.”

Continuing down the hallway, visitors find themselves in a large open space that is truly the heart of the home. To the left is the couple’s cozy living space, and with an array of seating options, it invites guests to sit down and relax. A beige sofa grounds the light earth tones of the room, while two accent chairs and two patterned armchairs with matching ottomans create a perimeter that encourages conversation. A large flat screen hangs above a fireplace encapsulated by subway tile, and the mantle above ties into the trim throughout the rest of the home.

“This room, along with the kitchen, is where we spend most of our time,” explains Joni. “We love the open feel of this space. Our last home had a lot of rooms that were closed off from each other, but now when we entertain, we’re still basically in the kitchen, and we really like that.”

Turning toward the kitchen, Joni’s clean and classic style comes to life. A large quartzite island anchors the kitchen and provides plenty of prep space, while three studded barstools allow guests to engage with those in the kitchen.

White cabinets, which match the home’s trim, line the back of the kitchen, and the same subway tile found around the fireplace can be seen in the backsplash. Subtle veining runs through the countertops and provides a bit of texture and warmth to the space. This warmth is bolstered by two large gold pendant lights that hang over the island.

“I love this soft gold color. I was a big fan of the brass that was popular decades ago, and then I got to where I hated it. Now I like it again, and I’ll be in trouble if it ever goes out of style,” Joni jokes.

To one side of the island is a dining space that is far from usual for the Hamiltons. The duo has always had a formal dining room, but Joni knew that was something she wanted to give up when it came time to design her new home. The result is an elegant farmhouse table fit for a group. An L-shaped bench provides intimate seating, while four ladder back dining chairs round out the place settings.

“Part of what I love about this setup is, if we have a lot of people over, we can also sit a few people at the kitchen island, and it still feels like we’re one big group,” explains Joni.

Just to the right of the main living space is perhaps the home’s most dynamic room. This room was originally on track to be a screened-in porch, but during the later stages of construction, the Hamiltons decided to completely enclose the space, turning it into a sunroom. With two large windows and a set of French doors, the space has ample natural light, and an exposed brick wall to one side adds a touch of character.

“We don’t mean for it to happen like this, but a lot of the time when we have company over, all us girls end up in this room and the guys stay in the adjoining living room. The guys can get pretty loud, so I usually end up getting up and closing the door,” laughs Joni. “We also spend a lot of time out here in the summer too.”

In addition to a gray wing-backed chaise lounge, the room also contains a three-seat sofa and a patterned blue armchair. A small round, wooden table is perfect for putting together puzzles, playing games with friends, and seating just a few more people during large holiday gatherings.

“Sometimes Bob will also use this room to take business calls,” explains Joni. “This room is sort of a catch-all.”


Dillon, Joni, Bob, and Haley Hamilton

Dillon, Joni, Bob, and Haley

Further into the main floor of the home is Joni and Bob’s master suite.

“I wanted this room to be just as cozy and relaxing as the rest of the house,” says Joni. “I loved the colors in the bedding, so I based everything else in this room off of that.”

Gray-green walls travel upward to a tray ceiling, while a king bed sits in the middle of the room and is bookended with an iron frame. A large wooden wardrobe provides additional storage, and a neutral textured rug rests on top of the wooden floors, which run throughout the home.

Continuing further into the master suite, visitors are transported to a space fit for a king or queen. A light, yet warm tile is arranged in a herringbone pattern, and large, white subway tiles line the walk-in shower. The subway tiles continue into an enclave that houses a deep soaking tub.

“I don’t use this tub very often, but it is extremely comfortable,” says Joni. “I just wanted this to be a space where we could relax and unwind if we needed to.”

The opposite wall of the master suite features a spacious vanity with dual sinks. Gold-framed mirrors hang above, and to the right is a space for Joni to apply her makeup in the mornings or before heading out for a night on the town.

“I’ve always had a place to get ready in the mornings, and I knew that I wanted that in our new home,” says Joni. “The counter was originally supposed to extend all the way to the wall, but we ended up dropping it down and carving out space for a chair.”

With barely over a year in their new home, this style of living still feels new for the Hamiltons. The duo has traded small spaces and traditional furnishings for open spaces, simple patterns, and warm palettes, and they couldn’t be happier with their decision. The end result is a bright and classic home that creates the cozy convenience the couple was after. CS

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