BY AMANDA WELLS | PHOTOS BY JAMES PATTERSON
When Debbie and Jeff Good’s twin daughters flew the nest, they found themselves itching for a new project.
The Goods, who have long lived in Jackson’s Fondren neighborhood, a central location to their three local restaurants and corporate office, weren’t necessarily looking to pick up and move—not very far, at least. “Fondren has been a big part of our life,” says Jeff, who originally hails from Salt Lake City and Debbie from Memphis. “Our families live away, but Jackson is home for the four of us. We decided to look ahead into the future and really establish a homestead here.” With a decision to buy a neighboring house, they did just that. The Goods purchased a vacant and “distressed” house a mere street away from where they raised their children and called home for more than twenty years. “I WOULD WALK OUR DOGS BY HERE AT NIGHT AND THE MORE I DID IT, THE MORE I FELL IN LOVE WITH THE FEEL OF THE ENTIRE PROPERTY,” remembers Jeff. The home was built in 1950 in a traditional style and the Goods know of three different families that lived in it through the years.
In 2005, the house went through a major renovation, converting what was the existing garage into a step down kitchen. “In 32 years of marriage, we had never worked with a designer before and usually did everything around our house ourselves,” explains Jeff. “We decided we would use a designer this time around and it has been the most luxurious treat!”
The Goods enlisted the help of their couple friends Brennan Hovell and Erik Kegler, who just so happen to also be a dynamic design duo. “We went to dinner one night at Brennan and Erik’s house and it was so beautiful yet so comfortable too,” recalls Debbie. “I wanted to live like that. It was approachable, not fussy, yet completely and totally gorgeous.”
When Brennan and Erik took on the Goods’ project, they dove in, getting to know exactly how Jeff and Debbie live. “Erik asked questions about how we would use the space off our kitchen, whether it would be fancy and stiff and such,” says Jeff. “Shortly after this discussion, I snapped a picture of Debbie sitting at the coffee table, cross-legged on the floor, with a plate of cheese and a glass of wine. It was the best way to explain how we live.”
Brennan and Erik took that sophisticated, yet com- fortable depiction to heart and went to work, creating a space that would work seamlessly for the new empty nesters. “We wanted to create a nice place for them to hang out and just enjoy each other’s company,” says Brennan. “We wanted to make it comfortable, cozy, and also wanted to capture the vibrancy of their personalities.”
The two incorporated Debbie’s stunning collection of rugs and antiques with some fresh, new pieces to capture the ambiance they were after. In the keeping room, which overlooks the kitchen and sitting area, sits the in- spiration for the project—a sofa that has been in Debbie’s family for over 200 years. It was reupholstered in a dramatic dragon-themed Carleton V fabric. “THIS WAS A FABRIC I HELD ONTO JUST WAITING ON THE PERFECT CLIENT AND PROJECT TO COME ALONG,” explains Erik. “Debbie has a love of textiles and seeing the pieces that Jeff and Debbie owned already, I knew this was it.” The vintage reproduction fabric served as a jumping off point for the rest of the space and the home as a whole.
The interior got a fresh coat of various shades of white paint, depending on how the light hit certain spaces. The airy hues set the ideal backdrop for rich colors and warm wood tones. “I went to pick up paint and was shocked at how many different shades of white they kept handing me,” laughs Jeff. “Once applied, it all made sense.”
Not only did the designers focus on the Goods’ lifestyle, but also set out to embrace the style of the house. “It is so important to really embrace the house you have,” says Erik. “IF YOU DON’T, YOU JUST CONTINUE TO CREATE MORE DESIGN PROBLEMS BECAUSE THE WHOLE PLACE WILL ALWAYS FEEL DISJOINTED.” The new traditional style embraced at the Goods’ home feels fresh yet timeless, with comfortable and ample seating, senti- mental heirlooms throughout, and luxurious drapery.
“For me, every day when I come home, it feels like I’m going on vacation,” says Jeff. “This house has had a lot families that have made their mark here. We’re excited to be the current stewards of this home. I envision a lot of joy happening in this house.”