When you’re FOF, moving means taking a lifetime of memories and trying to work them into a completely new space–while simplifying of course. We spoke to one FOF who downsized when her children left the nest, but managed to make her new house a home….
FOF Kathy McPherson and her husband Tom moved from the D.C. suburbs to the historical village of Pinehurst, North Carolina, where they constructed their 6,000 sq. ft. empty-nest “cottage” just last year. They chose a lot on Pinehurst No. 2, a history-rich golf course, to build their new digs.
“I wanted to create a place where old and new collide and past and future generations meet,” says Kathy.
In each room of the house, old and new live seamlessly side by side. For instance, Kathy designed the kitchen with a brand-new GE range alongside an antique butter churn passed down from her grandmother.
A carefully-edited collection of relics, such as a Barbie doll from Kathy’s childhood, manage to impart nostalgia without clutter. “I couldn’t imagine parting with any family heirlooms,” says Kathy. Anything Kathy didn’t have room for, she found a way to keep in the family. Her son, Richmond, got antique bedroom furniture passed down from his grandmother, and Kathy put other meaningful pieces in storage for when her daughter, Katherine, has more room. “I did give away furniture, artwork, toys… things that didn’t have sentimental value,” says Kathy. “That was easy.”
A history fanatic, Kathy throws annual birthday parties for Winston Churchill, (“We do Churchill trivia, serve all his favorite foods and hand out chocolate cigars as favors.”) loves to visit historical towns and shop at antique stores. But she also scores big at Pottery Barn.
And while Kathy and her husband expect to spend their twilight years in this house, they’ve built it with future generations in mind; a “bunk room” for grandchildren is on the second floor, and their dining room was built to accommodate 50 guests. They hosted their daughter’s wedding rehearsal dinner there last March.
“Our hope is that, just like the Pinehurst cottages of the 1800s, this home will still be serving a family 100 years from now, and it will be admired for the way it integrates into the village,” says Kathy. “As future generations of golfers pass by, I hope they look at our home and say, ‘Gee, that looks like a neat place to be.”
Images by Katherine Miles Jones