Peaceful, Easy Feeling

In The Home

Photography by Sally Kolar

Tranquility and lots of space make a Bartram Trail home the perfect retreat for this Evans family.

For Wendy and Aaron Leggett, their house in Bartram Trail, where they live with sons Jackson and Bryson, offers the best of all worlds.

They have the neighborhood setting that Aaron always wanted, but the wooded area behind their Evans home offers a feeling of seclusion as well.

“We like the peace and quiet,” says Wendy. “We like having plenty of space between the houses.”

Natural Light

The Leggetts, who moved into their home in February 2022, always knew they wanted to build a house. It was just a matter of finding the right design.

“On weekends, we would go look at houses,” says Wendy. “We stumbled across a house in another neighborhood that had this floor plan. This was the one floor plan we saw that we agreed on everything.”

However, the couple made some changes to the design to incorporate their wish list into the home. For instance, they extended the second-story loft to the front of the house. They also removed the dormers from the second story and added cedar columns on the front porch.

“Everybody tells me that the cedar columns make the house stand out,” Wendy says. “The hardest decision we had to make about the house was what color to stain the cedar columns.”

The country-style farmhouse features five-panel doors with black matte hardware throughout the house, and the first story includes white oak hardwood flooring.

“I like the look of hardwood. I like the sound of it under your feet,” says Wendy.

All of the windows and doorways in the house are topped with heavy trim work as well. The windows along the back of the house also offer a view of the woods.

“We never close the blinds. We like natural light,” Wendy says.

The living room features a two-story ceiling with windows up high on the wall, a windmill ceiling fan and built-ins on each side of the fireplace. The family likes to play board games together – “Beat the Parents” trivia game is a favorite – and they conveniently stash them away in the built-in cabinets.

However, this sports-loving family (think baseball, football and professional wrestling) also keeps a giant tic-tac-toe board, which has brown footballs and red pieces in the shape of the state of Georgia as the Xs and Os, on display on the bottom shelf of the coffee table.

Shiplap behind the gas brick fireplace stretches to the ceiling, and faux greenery extends across the mantel. The gray walls offer a contrast to the white built-ins.

A piece of word art featuring Wendy’s motto – and a good-natured warning to others – sits on a shelf. The block of wood says, “Please stop petting my peeves.” Apparently, Aaron knows his wife well. He gave the word art piece to her for Mother’s Day one year.

The adjoining kitchen features quartz countertops, lots of drawers, double ovens, a farmhouse sink in the island, two pendant lights with Edison light bulbs above the island and white grout between the 4-inch-by-12-inch subway tiles on the backsplash.

In addition, the kitchen includes a gas stovetop with a griddle instead of a range and a pullout spice rack by the stovetop.

The view is so nice that Wendy doesn’t even mind spending time there. “It’s so pretty looking out the windows when I’m standing at the sink,” she says. “It makes me feel like I’m in the mountains or the foothills.”

Outlets in the walk-in pantry in the hallway let the Leggetts store appliances in the space.

While the casual dining area features a round oak table, the formal dining room includes a farmhouse table where a bench on one side provides ample seating. The dining room has a trey ceiling, wainscoting, high chair rail and linear chandelier as well.

A walk-in area to the master bedroom and a second-story guest room offers added privacy so that the doors don’t open directly into the hallway. Like the dining room, the master bedroom also includes a trey ceiling.

The adjoining master bath features a built-in tub surrounded by white subway tile and gray grout, an all-glass walk-in shower, porcelain tile flooring, two vanities and quartz countertops. Open light bulbs make the room brighter, and the bath leads to a master closet with built-ins.

In addition, the master closet connects to the laundry room, which has tile flooring.

The boys’ bedrooms upstairs are connected by a Jack and Jill bath, and all three of the upstairs bedrooms feature a cathedral ceiling.

By extending the space to the front of the house, the Leggetts also gave themselves room to add a reading nook to the upstairs loft. A wall sconce is posted on each side of the window that offers plenty of natural light for reading.

Coming to Life

When the house was under construction, Wendy visited the lot daily. While construction initially seemed slow, the house really began to take shape for her when the final details such as lights and appliances were installed.

“We saw the house come to life. In the last couple of weeks, so much happened,” says Wendy. “Everything just fell into place. I liked the excitement of seeing the progress every day.”

The Leggetts enjoy sitting in the black rocking chairs on the front porch of the house, which features a hardy board exterior with brick accents. The front porch, which includes a stamped concrete floor and a knotty pine tongue-and-groove ceiling with a natural stain, is slightly sloped so water runs off of the house.

“We put an iron railing on the front porch, and it really sets off the house,” says Wendy.

A stamped concrete floor and knotty pine tongue-and-groove ceiling with a natural stain are repeated on the covered back porch. This space also features a ceiling fan, a TV and wicker furniture with navy cushions for maximum R & R.

On the couch, a lumbar throw pillow with buttons says, “welcome to the porch.” The doormat, which sits on top of a navy and white striped rug, reads, “Our Nest.”

“One of the things we really love about living here is that deer come all the way up to the house in the evenings. We also love to watch lightning bugs at night,” says Wendy.

No wonder the back porch is her favorite spot in the house.

“It’s so peaceful and quiet,” she says. “We can sit there and relax.”

Aaron has a simple explanation for his favorite place to spend time, which can change from one moment to the next. It’s “the quiet spot, whatever that is.”

They planted azaleas – a must for anyone who lives in this area – in the yard, Wendy says – and her uncle built the raised planters that are filled with petunias and other flowers on the patio.

With all the TLC they have put into their home, the Leggetts plan to stay just where they are for the foreseeable future. “I want my boys to grow up in the same house and make memories here,” says Wendy.

However, that doesn’t mean they won’t be open to making changes in the coming years.

“HGTV is our favorite channel. We like watching home renovations and builds,” Wendy says. “It’s always a work in progress. That’s the fun thing about having a house.”

By Sarah James

Photography by Sally Kolar