Leaving your job at the front door when you go home isn’t always necessary – especially if you make your living in the home business like this Evans family.
Some people just can’t leave their work at the office. However, for Suzanne Lilly, who owns Hardwood Floors & More, bringing her work home has its advantages. The Champions Retreat home she shares with Greg Honeymichael, a Realtor, and their blended family (aka the “Honeylillies”) is filled with hardwood floors and well, more.
“I’ve got every single finish in the house that you can imagine,” says Suzanne. “The whole house is a reflection of my work.”
From natural stone to reclaimed brick, the house has an eclectic blend of materials. Despite the mix, however, the home has a feeling of timelessness and tradition.
“I see how rapidly design changes, so I try to make the right choices,” Suzanne says.
Neutral Palette, Pops of Color
The ambiance of the home is set with the wide front hallway inside the double front doors. “I love wide halls in old houses,” says Suzanne. “All of the halls in the house are really wide.”
A pair of red leather chairs sits on either side of a black chest, and the curved staircase in the hall was built onsite. “We painted the staircase with exterior paint instead of staining it,” says Suzanne.
A wall of reclaimed brick with an arched doorway leads to the master suite. All of the reclaimed brick in the interior and on the exterior of the house was salvaged from a building in Anderson, South Carolina.
The flooring in the house features random-width red oak slats of 3, 5 and 7 inches with a dark brown stain. “They’re not perfect,” Suzanne says. “I had them milled to have a lot of character in them.”
The hallway extends into the galley, a cozy seating area featuring a barrel ceiling with panels, painted wood walls and three antique brass light fixtures.
With its intimate setting, the galley, which also connects to the family room, might offer the perfect spot to curl up with a book. However, Suzanne says, the kitchen and family room, along with the screened-in porch, are “where we live.”
Suzanne and Greg like to cook together, and the kitchen is designed for double duty so they both have plenty of room to work their culinary magic. “Most people do double dishwashers. We did double sinks,” Suzanne says.
The kitchen includes two side-by-side stainless steel farmhouse sinks and two vegetable sinks – one in the island and another in a counter against a wall. While leathered granite countertops cover the perimeter counters, the island features a traditional granite countertop. A pair of pendant lights hang from the coffered ceiling above the island, which has a black finish that contrasts with the white cabinets.
“All the appliances are hidden. We put the appliances that couldn’t be hidden in the butler’s pantry,” says Suzanne.
The coffered ceiling in the kitchen also extends into the adjoining family room, which has white – yes, white – furniture. “People ask me why I have white furniture in the room we use the most,” Suzanne says.
And she has an answer for them. The white furniture in the family room and on the screened-in porch is covered in removable fabric. “I wash it twice a year – once before Thanksgiving and once before the Masters,” Suzanne says.
“It’s OK to venture out,” says Suzanne. “I have a neutral palette and pops of color, and I like to switch up accessories.”
The porch includes a raised hearth brick fireplace, which backs up to the fireplace in the family room. A flat-screen TV hangs in a nook in the fireplace, and an outdoor kitchen with honed granite countertops is tucked in a corner. In addition to a beige couch and the chairs covered in the washable white fabric, furnishings include a wood table with wheel casters. Equipped with heat lamps and three ceiling fans, the porch is a favorite gathering spot year-round.
“I stay out here more than anywhere else,” says Suzanne. “I love the porch. The kids sit out here, and we watch a lot of sports.”
The back porch as well as the front porch also features porcelain tile flooring. “It’s the only non-natural stone in the house. It holds up to weather,” Suzanne says. “Everything else in the house is a natural stone.”
To take full advantage of their outdoor living space, Suzanne and Greg have a weekly tradition they would not miss. “Every Sunday we grill out,” she says. “We usually have boiled peanuts, and our kids, their friends and our friends stop by.”
Getting Her Goat
The master bedroom has double doors that open to the outside. The room also includes a four-poster bed, a chandelier and a fireplace featuring irregularly shaped squares that were handmade from pottery material.
Even the master bath includes a gas fireplace of oyster bay marble in a herringbone pattern. “We raised up the fireplace so you can see it from the bathtub,” Suzanne says.
In addition to the stand-alone tub, the bath features marble countertops, a wall-mounted TV and two antique nickel chandeliers with rock crystals. The computerized walk-in shower features oyster bay marble on the walls and a marble floor with a basket weave pattern and black accents.
The house is full of details such as the six-paneled doors throughout the home and the cypress ceiling in the dining room. An antique brick wall, a bronze vessel sink and copper lights accent a half-bath.
Ironically, though, Suzanne’s most prized possession didn’t come from Hardwood Floors & More. It came – of all places – from the Columbia County Fair. And what is it? A wood billy goat head that was carved by the fair’s chainsaw artist in 2012.
She originally had planned to buy a stuffed Australian goat that she found online, but she decided it was too expensive. “I took pictures of the goat to the fair and showed them to the chainsaw artist. He worked on the carving during the fair,” says Suzanne.
The billy goat carving hangs on a wall in the piano room, which also features a grand piano, crystal chandelier and coffered ceiling. Suzanne’s passion for the billy goat grew out of her pet name for her children, whom she called “Lilly billies” when they were young.
“When we had the earthquake a few years ago, I could hear all of the chandeliers rattling. But all I could think about was the billy goat carving. I didn’t want it to fall off the wall and break,” she says. “It’s my favorite thing in the house.”
By Sarah James