The Waldrep family’s relaxed home has all the features needed for the perfect staycation.
By Candice Graham | Photography by Philip Slowiak
“We’re a relaxed family,” says Melissa Waldrep, “and we want our home to be relaxed, too.” The Apison, Tenn. home of the Waldrep family is just that. With plush, oversized furniture and recreational features indoors and out, the charming home built by family patriarch Larry Waldrep of Waldrep Construction is just as inviting as it is relaxing. Cherry double doors lead from the rocking chair-clad front porch into the home that Larry, Melissa, Ellie, and Luke Waldrep have made all their own.
An entryway leads left into a dining room with easy elegance. The focal point of the room is a custom-made dining room table. After seeing a coffee table of the same design, Melissa had it made to scale as a dining room table. Its unique square shape allows up to eight people to sit comfortably while still remaining close. A sage green wall color along with tweed-covered dining chairs and light fixtures create an earthy feel in the room. A touch of luxe is added by grey curtains flanking a wide window with front porch views.
In the great room, natural elements are carried through by a stone fireplace and sweeping oak floors. A plush chocolate brown leather couch, an oversized velvet chair, and a matching ottoman face an entertainment center where the family can watch movies or warm up by the fireplace. The family spends most of their time in a smaller, more intimate keeping room which is open to the kitchen and filled with plush golden couches with brown-and-blue striped pillows.
Having lived in the home for eight years now, the family has made a few minor renovations over time. The keeping room recently underwent a slight transformation. Floor-to-ceiling gray stone was added to the existing fireplace and wooden planks with a dark stain were placed over the pitched ceiling, making the room feel warm and woodsy. This room serves as an extra space for TV watching for the kids or as a place for the family to gather during meal prep.
An avid cook, Melissa wanted her kitchen to be a practical space that was easy to clean up. Two-toned cabinetry – cherry and white – creates a visual contrast, and neutral-toned granite countertops provide a sturdy and stylish cooking surface. Backsplash tile was selected for its easy splatter cleanup.
Oil-rubbed bronze was chosen for hardware throughout the home. Black high top chairs center the bar and offer a place to have a quick, casual meal. However, a wooden table with picnic-style benches is where the family has most of their meals. Chocolate brown walls and white wainscoting create a cohesive look throughout the kitchen and common areas.
The master bedroom features an elaborate tray ceiling and ample floor space allowing for a couch and in-suite entertainment center. “When I first saw the room I wasn’t sure how I was going to fill it out, but it’s actually nice having another place to get away,” Melissa says. Sage green walls, the same color as the dining room, create a relaxing tone, and rich wooden furniture fills out the open space. A loveseat and TV area provide a space for Melissa and Larry to relax while the kids watch shows in another room. The room is finished with taupe curtains that are pulled to the side.
A hallway with doors to the left and right leads to the master bathroom. Behind each door is a closet – one for Melissa and one for Larry. The bathroom has similar his and her features. His and her countertops, sinks, and cabinetry line the walls and an unframed rectangular mirror hangs over each. Ceramic tile is used on the floor and in the walk-in shower, and the same granite used in the kitchen is used on the bathroom countertops as well. An oval-shaped tub rests below an arched window with white shutters through which crisp natural light enters the space. Oil-rubbed bronze faucets and knobs are used throughout the bathroom.
Upstairs is the kids’ portion of the house. Ellie and Luke’s rooms, and the playroom in-between, are vibrant and youthful, with Ellie’s painted in hot pink, and Luke’s, a bright blue. Bunk beds in each bedroom provide extra room for overnight guests. A Jack-and-Jill bathroom was converted to two separate bathrooms for Ellie and Luke so both could have their own space. Artwork by Ellie lines the walls of the upstairs hallway, including a painting of the Tivoli Theatre she did as part of an art project at Boyd-Buchanan.
The downstairs portion of the house bursts with college football pride. Crimson reclining couches and chairs and plenty of University of Alabama paraphernalia make the main basement room the perfect place to be on game day, even though the house is divided (Melissa is an Auburn fan, Larry roots for ‘Bama). Pennants of each school in the SEC circle the tray ceiling. Beyond the TV room is an in-home bar area complete with a mounted TV, bar stools, neon signs, and a kitchenette for serving up drinks and snacks. In the center of the room is a pool table that can be converted into a surface to play pingpong. Laminate hardwood floors are used throughout the downstairs for easy cleanup. Vintage Alabama football photos are hung gallery-style around the room to complete the look.
Also downstairs is a room where guests stay when they visit and a large bathroom that doubles as an indoor pool house for the kids to use after swimming in the backyard. Plus, a home office downstairs serves as a place for Larry to work from home, complete with ample storage space housing excess pieces from his construction company.
Outside, the Waldreps’ backyard is a suburban oasis. With its lime green and blue cushioned lawn chairs and pillow-clad patio furniture, it’s the perfect spot for grilling out with friends and neighbors on warm nights or basking in the sun on summer days. Their bright blue pool is both a fun feature and a place for the Waldrep kids to practice their swimming skills (both are competitive swimmers). Complete with a fire pit, bright umbrellas for shade, and a basketball goal, from the inside out this home has all the features anyone would need for a perfect staycation.