In this final installment, The East Alabama Living Showcase Home puts on clothes, so to speak, as the builder, Michael Dilworth of Dilworth Development Inc., and the interior-design team of Vignettes coordinate paint, preference, furniture and fixtures to blend the very unique tastes of the owners, Jimmy and Johanna Bottoms.
While photos of the interior were unavailable at the time of publication, we hope you’ll join us for the open house (see side bar, page 75) to see the difference between building a house and creating a home. Cobblestone pavers line the walkway to the front stoop. Details abound in every nook and cranny including the pecky-cypress ceiling in the stoop covering the front door. The house opens into the family room as a natural walnut flooring runs the expanse. Dilworth recommended the flooring because of the unique coloring.
“I love all the different colors in the floor because you can match any furniture color to it,” Johanna says. “What I love most about the house is that it is homey and cozy, but it’s got the bling bling that I like.”
Linda Ayers of Vignettes collaborated with the Bottoms and Dilworth on the interior design from conception. A beautiful Oushak rug and comfortable upholstery pieces in terra cotta, green and umber hues are grounded by large-scale antique pieces in the family room and kitchen area. The breakfast room features a round table from England with upholstered chairs, an antique French buffet/hutch and an antique French iron chandelier.
Ayers encouraged Johanna to upholster her kitchen chairs. “I told her it must have been a long time since she had children,” Johanna laughs as she refers to her 10-year-old son Jaret. “But Linda convinced me to do it once she promised to spray the fabric with a finish that would allow me to hose it down after Jaret and his friends get a hold of it.”
Prior to the family area, a warm study sits to the left off the front door with deep-stained paneling and coffered ceilings. Patty Diskin of Vignettes created a relaxing yet regal retreat for the Bottoms with purposeful play between masculine- and feminine-design elements.
“Understanding the role of an aged patina in achieving beauty and comfort in a room is essential to a beautiful space. When it is right, you can see it, feel it and the room sings,” Diskin says. Showcased throughout the study are selective 19th century English porcelains and bar accessories, and custom lighting with linen and parchment shades. A full bath sits off the study.
An elegant dining room, decorated by Cheryl Daniel of Vignettes, faces the front of the house. “Johanna’s only request was that the wall color be terra cotta,” Daniel says. Daniel added the “bling” with an antique crystal-and-bronze chandelier from an old European hotel. The beautiful antiques include a circa 1760 carved oak vassilier and a circa 1820 Louis XV enfilade, both from the South of France, in addition to a painted Italian trumeau mirror. A Turkish Oushak rug and draperies of fabric from Kravet Couture complement the antiques.
The dining room empties into a butler’s hall with wire-mesh cabinet doors, walnut countertops and amber-glass-mosaic tile backsplash, connecting the dining room to the kitchen. A focal point in the kitchen, a particular collaboration between the builder and designer, is the stack-stone cook top with heavy crown moulding. Less-formal cabinetry hugs the walls with granite counter tops and a breakfast area overlooking the backyard.
A mud room sits off the kitchen with a door leading into the garage. Floored in brick, the hearty room has a bench and plenty of storage as Jimmy and Jaret return from the outdoors. “We wanted to create a room more rugged as an extension of the masculinity of the garage and outdoors, and as a transition into the formality of the rest of the house,” Dilworth says.
In the half-bath, a copper-painted ceiling reflects the light from the tree-branch fixture. Dilworth incorporated old barn wood in the cabinetry. A copper-vessel sink sits on top of a slab of rock for the counter.
Forgoing the traditional wrought-iron railing for the stairs, Dilworth installed a wood railing with diamond cut-outs and a white-wash finish. A guest room (or the Bottoms’ granddaughter’s room — depending on who you ask), Jaret’s room and bonus room comprise the upstairs. Light plays a dominate role in the house with plenty of windows. Much of the glass is diamond-beveled providing a more elegant appeal while ensuring privacy.
As you walk into the master suite, you are clearly entering Johanna’s territory. The walls are painted in a soft sea-foam green with a custom-built purse-and-shoe closet. Lovely toile curtains frame the English Regency bed, upholstered in silk/wool buffalo check from Lee Jofa.
Just past the closet is the master sitting area complete with a flat screen TV and plenty of built-ins. One wall of the master bath is nothing but square mirrors turned on the diagonal. A mirror framed in silver hangs over the diamond-shaped glass flanked by sconces with glass prisms. Swarovski crystal pulls on the cabinetry complete the master bath.
“Jimmy only had a few requests — the antler chandelier outside, the cobblestone pavers in the driveway and a new recliner. He left everything else to me, but was always standing by to let me bounce ideas off of him.”
Three large doors separate the family room from the back deck lending a plantation-style appeal with their large frames. An expansive outdoor fireplace with wiring for a flat screen composes one side of the deck while a cooking area sits across from it. A deer-antler chandelier hangs above, fitting Jimmy’s passion for the outdoors. Guests will enjoy the barn-style table with chairs while listening to Auburn football piped in through the surround-sound stereo.
The outdoors is every bit as detailed as the indoors. An exterior fireplace and eating area is surrounded by an expansive water feature complete with a stream and waterfalls. Dilworth expanded the outdoor utility room to accommodate Jimmy’s hunting paraphernalia and his Rhino all-terrain vehicle. A small grassy area sits behind the outdoor living room, ready for lots of preteen football players.
“We were looking to buy something already built, but couldn’t find that perfect house. I am so glad our realtor, Sherry Adcock, introduced us to Michael and the idea of purchasing the East Alabama Living Showcase Home,” Johanna says. “Michael (Dilworth) and his project manager, Spencer Sisson, were always very accessible. Everyone on the Dilworth team has been so eager to be sure that we were pleased with every aspect of the project.”
Dilworth promises a closing date in mid-June, in time for the Bottoms’ 30th wedding anniversary. Prior to that, we hope you’ll join us for our East Alabama Living Showcase Home Open House.
Open House Information
302 Bentley Drive
The Manors Section of White Oaks, Auburn White Oaks subdivision is located off Bent Creek Road in Auburn, just off I-85 Exit 57. Turn into the subdivision, cross over the bridge and take a left on Danbury Drive, entering the Manors. Turn left at the stop sign onto Bentley Drive.
Agents from Prudential Preferred Real Estate will be on-site to assist during the tour.
Friday, May 21 – Sunday, May 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Monday, May 24 – Thursday, May 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Friday, May 28 – Sunday, May 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission is $5 per person, but all proceeds benefit the Food Bank of East Alabama. Since 1993, this organization has grown from serving more than 15,000 pounds of food a month to more than 275,000 pounds of food a month to needy families. Distribution sites include more than 150 community programs such as soup kitchens, churches, shelters, etc. Beneficiaries are the elderly, battered women and children, unemployed workers and families in crises.