After spending years away from Lake Martin for college, jobs and starting a family, Alexander City natives Nan and Jerone Jackson returned home to Pitchford Hollow 17 years ago. They loved their Russell cabin there, so when it came time to build a forever home, they selected an interior lot in Russell Lands’ Willow Glynn neighborhood in Pitchford Hollow.
“I really feel like we are up in the mountains,” Nan Jackson said of the just-completed home that sits high on a hill but has a beautiful lake view. “We have all the trees and the birds and the lake just down the hill.”
As a professional decorator and designer with her own company, Jackson designs and decorates homes. Starting immediately after the foundation is poured for a new house, she selects everything from exterior colors, stone and wood types to linens, drapes, the perfect pillows and everything in between. She said making selections for her own home took lots of research and a long time, but she and her husband would not change one thing about the finished product.
“My idea for the exterior was the architectural style seen in the Hamptons on Long Island. And inside, I wanted subtle. We worked with architect Larry Furlong, and he listened to everything we wanted. Derryl Thomas contracted to oversee the project,” Jackson said.
Three panels of mahogany and glass, with the front door as the center panel, span the wide entry leading from the front porch into the 4,300-square-foot home. A brass chandelier lights the way across a soft rug, with an accent wall of pecky cypress wainscoting to the right and a pecky cypress barn door for the powder room on the left, built by Ken and Sandra Megs with Creative Cabinets in Alexander City.
Installed by Michael Sims Flooring, the white oak floors remain their natural color with just a coat of polyurethane and no additional stain. Small blue, elliptical shaped glass tiles highlight the powder room floor, adding a splash of blue that is carried throughout the home. Jackson credits Paula Robbins at Henry Tile with offering expert advice.
As the home is designed to flow easily from the great room onto the covered porch or into the kitchen and dining area, the great room shares equal billing as a beautiful focal point with the other living spaces. A large sofa and four rocking club chairs frame the fireplace, built from concrete peacock pavers resembling textured, old stone.
“Bruce Sharpe did an amazing job with the fireplaces. His creativity just brought it together beautifully,” Jackson said.
Both sides of the fireplace are adorned with matching antique sideboards and mirrors. A rug defines the space, which is filled with different textures in the upholstery and pillows, from heavy chenille to embroidered cotton. All of the Jacksons’ new furniture and rugs came from Mathew’s Furniture and Design in Atlanta – designers with whom Jackson has worked for more than 30 years.
“It definitely takes a team of people to put everything together. It’s not just about my inspiration. In fact, the day we moved in, Don Easterling and Nina Nash came from Mathew’s, and we installed every piece of furniture and hung every item on the wall in one day,” Jackson said.
The walls in the home are painted with Sherwin Williams’ Crushed Iced; the trim is White Dove. Although painted the same color as the walls, the wooden kitchen cabinets and the island contrast with the drywall color due to the difference in surfaces. The countertops and backsplash are a white Cambria product. Gray barstools provide seating at the island.
“We decided to go with the Cambria for the lifetime warranty. Anything can be spilled on these countertops, and nothing will harm them. I also decided not to add electrical outlets in the backsplash. All the outlets are under the cabinets with the lights, so the backsplash is smooth and uninterrupted,” Jackson said.
Jackson is happy that her kitchen has tons of built-in storage space plus a pantry. The massive and unique Antonio Bertazzoni range serves as both functional and decorative centerpiece in the kitchen.
The dining area features a round table and an antique Irish cabinet and hutch to show off Jackson’s collection of classic Blue Willow china. Adjacent to this area, Jackson’s favorite room sits behind what she considers the statement piece in the house – two oak barn doors with cobalt blue glass insets. With the doors closed, walls of glass offer a clear vantage into the room.
“I call this room my she-shed, and I love it. It’s just peaceful. Soft furniture and lots of plants. And I decided on a brick fireplace to add a different little flair than stone. The brick came from Acme Brick, Tile and Stone in Montgomery, and I love that it looks old. The dark blue and white drapes are made from Schumacher fabric, and I knew when I saw it that I had to have it for my she-shed,” Jackson said.
Another area with Jackson’s touch of architectural detail is a hallway from the great room to the master bedroom. In addition to adding shiplap on one wall, Jackson mounted three floating shelves to display large, antique glass bottles.
The master bedroom, purposely simple and open, provides the sanctuary the couple desires after a hard day’s work. Soft linens in neutral colors, along with warm, dark furniture, create the required relaxation space. All of the linens in the home are from Traditions Linens. A small screened porch off the side is a perfect, private space for meditation, as well as for Leo the cat to watch the squirrels. Special antique pieces, including a hand-painted tole mirror that belonged to her mother, add nostalgia and character to the room. Custom draperies complete the space.
Porcelain 12by12 tiles cover the master bath floor and are carried, in a smaller size, onto the shower floor and wall. The Jacksons added a shower system with three heads at different levels, selected from Ferguson Plumbing Supply, and a teak bench that can be moved where needed. Creative Cabinets built floor-to-ceiling cabinets on one wall to add an enormous amount of storage space.
On the main level but opposite the master suite, Jackson has beautifully appointed two guest rooms with king-sized beds, comfortable linens and handmade drapes. A wall between the two rooms became the optimum space for a grouping of framed paintings and prints of dogs.
Jackson has collected artwork featuring dogs and dog figurines for years. Between the guest area and kitchen, a built-in bookcase features many of those figurines, along with books and other special pieces Jackson found at art shows on Lake Martin.
Three levels of outdoor living space present fabulous entertaining possibilities – two are flagstone just off the kitchen area; the lower connecting to the covered porch. Plans for the large patio include a conversation area and a fire pit. Furniture upstairs on the covered porch is Summer Classics, selected because it’s easy to clean and no problem for wet swimsuits. The teak table offers seating for eight.
“I love flowers and plants, inside and out. I have large containers, but I also like smaller ones with ferns and herbs and succulents. It’s such an easy way to decorate a table. My favorite part of the porch – I love the birds that visit. We have two Eastern bluebirds that must have a nest underneath the porch. They sit in the tree and watch; then, they come down to the birdbath on the rail,” Jackson said.
Upstairs, the Jacksons included two large rooms and a bathroom with a tub for the grandchildren. One room is a study, and the other is a playroom with two queen beds.
The mud entrance from the garage includes a coat closet with a tornado room. Jackson chose a whimsical Schumacher wallpaper featuring pencil drawings of birds of all sizes and shapes for the laundry room. The light fixture and the drawer pulls are acrylic, adding yet another bit of fun.
“I could not have done this without the best subs ever: Tony Bishop, Cocker Bailey, Lin Rogers, Chris Baker, Chris Sims, Caleb Brasell and the Clowdes brothers. I love these guys and their crews,” Jackson said.
Years of planning, selecting a beautiful lot and finding the perfect pieces have paid off for the Jacksons. Nan and Jerone share their new home with their dog, Gracie May, and their cat, Leo DiCaprio, all four enjoying visits from children and grandchildren.