After years of just visiting Lake Martin, Montgomery natives Jack and Kem Anderson bought their home here in 2005. In 2018, they began a two-year renovation that doubled their footprint and transformed their cabin into a space that accommodates their growing family.
“We loved our cabin and our location in Windermere, but we needed more space for our parents, children and grandchildren to visit. When COVID-19 hit last year, we decided to move to the lake full-time, so we are happy we were already into the renovation. This will be our forever home,” Kem Anderson said.
The Andersons hired Delicia Fuller Interiors in Montgomery to handle all the details, including interior design, new furniture and décor. Anderson asked Fuller to use a navy and cream upholstered dining room chair in the color palette and inspiration for the house. With that in mind, Fuller created a warm and inviting, rustic yet modern, dream come true for the Andersons. She even kept the couple away from the house for two weeks prior to a big reveal after everything was in place.
Builder Skip Jones of JDJ Builder in Prattville expanded the three-bedroom cabin to a home with five bedrooms, four and one-half baths, an additional den and an office. New decks and a covered porch, along with a boathouse and additional storage under the deck, completed exterior renovation. The interior work added reclaimed wood and texture to the walls and ceilings and updated tile and fixtures. It also included new windows and French doors that opened up the back of the house to the decks and the porch.
A barrel ceiling of reclaimed wood greets visitors at the double glass front doors and marks the split between the old cabin and the new addition, although the joining of the two is seamless. New hardwood floors, stained a mix of aged pewter and bark, were installed throughout the home by Prattville Carpet and Flooring.
The long foyer showcases a low bench with pillows parallel to a buffet table and a mirror against shiplap walls painted Finnie Gray by Sherwin Williams. Two-hundred-year-old reclaimed beams were used as headers for the doorframes. A hall on the right leads to an elegant half-bath and an oversized laundry room with plenty of cabinets, a dog washing station and a table for folding. The grass cloth on the hallway walls is a favorite for Anderson.
“In the cabin, I had a stack washer and dryer in a little closet, so I really wanted a large laundry room and a place to fold. We go through so many towels when everyone is here. We also added a closet here in the hall, I call it a Costco closet, to store appliances and bulk items like paper towels,” she said.
At the end of the foyer, French doors open onto the deck. To the right, a new den features two full walls of windows with transoms, accented by two walls of 19th century white Sedona stone from MC Stone and Acme Brick in Montgomery and one stone wall with windows, along with a stone fireplace. The smooth, coffered ceiling contrasts with the chunky grout and the texture of the stone.
Fuller selected dark navy rugs for the room and chose matching white sofas, patterned club chairs and leather recliners to create the comfy space in front of the fireplace. The Andersons ordered a custom pool table from Sawyer Twain to get the perfect look for the room. Cabinetmaker Jimmy Varner of Varner Woodwork in Montgomery built a pecky cypress bar and recreated a built-in spectator bench that the Andersons had seen out West – a large cabinet with seating, as well as storage for pool cues on the sides. Two round, wooden coffee tables sit between the couches, and a high-top cypress table with stools adds additional space for watching a game of pool.
“We are very cozy people. We asked for dimmers on every light, and we want you to be able to put your feet on the furniture. The couches she found are so comfortable. Actually, we had a dark beer spilled on one of the white cushions, but I just unzipped it, washed it, spread it out to dry and put it right back on,” Anderson said.
Just past the new den, the Andersons added a bedroom and bath, an office and the master suite.
The office was built using pecky cypress for the doors, bookshelves and a built-in desk that overlooks the lake. A grandfather clock, one of only three items taken from the couple’s home in Montgomery, transitioned perfectly to its new office home at the lake house.
The luxurious master suite is just past the office and features a vaulted ceiling with decorative trusses and vertical shiplap on the walls. The room is large enough for a full-sized sofa at the end of the bed, along with concrete columns to serve as end tables. Octagonal closet systems organize his-and-hers closets. Jack’s closet was built as a safe room and storm shelter, and a hidden door on one wall of the bedroom opens to a fitness room.
“I really think our bedroom is the most beautiful room in the house. Delicia did such a good job making it exactly what we wanted,” Anderson said.
The dramatic bathroom centers on a large soaker tub. A wooden chandelier hangs in the center. The water closet wallpaper is a navy and cream animal print while dark navy and cream Carrera marble walls make a bold statement in the glass shower. Blocks of grass cloth sewn together, alternating vertical and horizontal lines, create texture and a visual difference from that of the grass cloth used in other areas in the house.
The original cabin – on the opposite side of the front foyer – was completely renovated to blend with the new addition. A ceiling of reclaimed wood accentuates the kitchen and contrasts with the sleek quartzite countertops. The same quartzite is used for the backsplash behind the range. Textured, creamy subway tiles in a herringbone pattern were selected for the remaining backsplash under the cabinets. Varner built the kitchen cabinets to the Andersons’ specifications allowing for a large coffee bar behind closed doors. Cabinets were painted French Beret by Sherwin Williams. The quartzite island, created from one 10-foot by 4-foot slab, includes seating for five on gray leather bar stools.
“We love to cook. In fact, we cook every night, so the kitchen was very important. The outdoor kitchen was relocated in our plans several times, but it’s in the perfect place now, and we do enjoy it,” she said.
Four reclaimed beams form an ‘X’ on the tray ceiling in the dining area. The same beams are on the vaulted ceiling in the old den as well, where the original stone fireplace stands. A large sectional and cushioned ottoman coffee table provide comfortable seating in front of the fireplace.
Two bedrooms remained in place just off the den, although they were completely transformed. Light green sheetrock in one room is now a creamy white, and grass cloth in the other was painted the same creamy color. A large bathroom, specifically designed for the grandchildren, has an extra-large tub, low hooks on the wall for the towels and whimsical turtles stamped on the wallpaper.
Upstairs, a loft overlooks the den through a custom designed railing. Two twin beds with trundles offer additional sleeping space in the loft, which is just off the room that was the cabin’s original master. The old master now contains a king-sized bed, as well as a sleeper sofa.
Additional decking and a large covered porch expanded the home’s outdoor living space with several sitting and eating areas, plus the outdoor kitchen.
Brian Fuller, Fuller Landscaping in Prattville, updated the landscaping. An area near the front door features a large blue heron water fountain, affectionately called Big Bird, that was original to the first cabin.
“We love having lots of family here for sunset cruises, cooking and the fire pit. The renovation makes that so much easier,” Anderson said.
Two hallways in the home display treasured black-and-white photos, identically matted and framed in silver, highlighting many good times shared on the water. With the home’s added space in the same wonderful location on Lake Martin, the Andersons have room to spare for making more unforgettable memories.