A Rustically Modern Retreat
It’s a mélange of rustic and modern, antique and repurposed, elegant and accessible. This home is perfect for a family that knows what it likes.
By Katherine Pettit Photos by Carter Wade
Turn into the driveway of this gated community in Lexington and architect icon Frank Lloyd Wright comes to mind. With five acres surrounding the house, the effect is a woodsy retreat and that’s exactly what Columbia natives Caroline and Hance Jones had in mind when they began to research what their new home would become. They’re both passionate about the west, traveling to Utah frequently and recently to Montana and Colorado. “We wanted land and space,” explained Caroline. Hance shared that the couple loves modern rustic. The result is all of the above, in an amazing vision come to life.
A rustic hedgestone is enhanced by cement-based exterior cladding which will never rot, succumb to termites or burn. The board and batten style is practical and appealing. In the middle is the yellow tower – focal point and entrance. Designer Tim Mclendon was passionate about the color, and although it took some convincing for Hance to agree, everyone is happy with the look, especially against the dark siding and the woodsy yard. There’s no doubt where to find the front door.
Caroline Jones is a dancer and choreographer. She’s also a certified health coach and works with a number of organizations supporting healthy eating and lifestyles. “At heart I’m an educator,” she laughed. Hance Jones co-owns Carolinas Retail Partners, a commercial real estate company that’s been in the Columbia area for the past fifteen years.
With busy careers, they share responsibilities (with help from family) for their active toddlers, Crews, three and Ashby, 20 months. All of those elements came into play as they began to plan.
“We looked at so many homes online after we found this property, which is in a conservation easement, which means the land will be protected,” said Caroline. “My sister renovated a house in Cottontown and found some great wood for us to incorporate, and we contacted Celtic Works to help us finish the design details, with the help of Gregg Marcy.” The couple formerly lived in the Elmwood area in downtown Columbia, and noticed several homes they really liked that the builder had completed. Caroline said, “We liked the energy and skills of the owners, John Strevens and David Barry. John is artsy and David knows the numbers. They are good people and excellent builders.” Hance agreed. “I thought Celtic Works’ buildings and renovations were eye-catching and neat looking,” said Hance. “We developed a rapport with them as we worked through our plans together.”
John Strevens feels the same. “Hance and Caroline certainly made this a fun journey for all of us,” he said, adding, “The project really interested us from its inception, as they wanted to create a look from the homes they had seen and fallen in love with in Colorado.”
"Celtic Works’ pre-construction planning process helped Hance and Caroline make some value decisions on different areas of the home,” said David Barry. “Aaron Pazarena navigated them through this process so well. Chris Steyne, from our company, was very involved in the project management and helped get the job completed in a timely manner."
Designer Tim McLendon, a neighbor and friend, was called in to help put all the pieces together. “I loved working with Hance and Caroline on this very personal project and it was extremely gratifying to merge all of our creative abilities,” Tim explained. “My goal was to fuse the house with its natural surroundings and create the perfect getaway for an awesome family.”
Entering the home, the fusion becomes instantly clear. The foyer chandelier was created by Hance from a repurposed whiskey barrel. His woodworking skills are apparent throughout the home. An abstract painting by Caroline’s late uncle Ed Lewis graces the wall. Two Asian-inspired porcelain vases sit on a wooden table. Caroline’s mother, the late Joan Lewis, was owner of the Santee Shoppe specialty boutique in Boozer Shopping Center, an institution in Columbia for years and known for its tasteful antiques and gifts. The vases are among many items from her collection and the store, which closed in 2006 after Joan’s passing.
Antique farm tools are artfully arranged on the wall, and above, clerestory windows add light to the room and highlight Hance’s fixture. To the right is the guest bedroom and bath with a gorgeous vanity, again a Hance Jones creation from reclaimed wood. The bath is the home at a glance – stone, wood, new, old and handmade and repurposed.
To the left of the foyer is the kitchen, dining area and living area. “We realized early that we both wanted open and airy, with lots of windows to enjoy natural light and the woods around us.”
The focal piece of the kitchen is a massive island made from Delicatus granite – white, with gray veining and touches of purple (Caroline’s favorite accent color). The cabinets were designed and built by Lin Keesy of Grain Fine Cabinetry, with hardware from Ikea. The back wall was carefully created from barn wood reclaimed from a North Carolina barn and installed by Celtic Works. In the corner is a wine rack, which Hance fashioned from an old whiskey barrel.
The kitchen morphs seamlessly into the dining area. A large window box is another reclaimed wood creation from Celtic Works carpenters, and the dark wood dining room table was built by Caroline’s father. For a touch of whimsy and practicality, the chairs are thoroughly modern, as is the Lite House-sourced fixture above the table.
Next in the open area is a large sectional sofa, focused on the stone fireplace and gorgeous stairwell, which leads to the children’s area.
Upstairs are two bedrooms with individual bathrooms. In one, the map-of-the-world shower curtain offers teachable moments at bath time. Their playroom is open to the stairwell (with child-proof barrier, of course), and a full length, well-used chalkboard covering the wall. (When I visited, I was invited by Crews to draw a dinosaur, but I know my limits and chose a bunny rabbit sketch instead. He approved.) Toys are everywhere, encouraging educational and recreational play time under family supervision.
Back on the main floor is the master bedroom wing, starting with an open study for computer work and lounging. The wall contains more paintings from Uncle Ed, as well as creations from friends. A treasured poster commemorating an event memorializing Caroline’s mother holds a place of honor on the wall.
The bedroom offers more evidence of Hance’s creativity, with the couple’s headboard designed and built from reclaimed wood. It complements the furniture and keeps the rustic theme going, which continues into the large walk-in closet and master bath. Elegant fixtures and custom wood cabinetry created by Grain Fine Cabinetry look great together – accessible, yet elegant. The laundry room, with storage, is just next door.
Together, the guest wing, main living area and master bedroom wing form a U shape, which envelopes the pool area in the back of the home. Hance and Caroline wanted clear visuals of the pool area to keep an eye on the children from any point in the home. Celtic Works supervised the building of the pool, which was created by Gary Bowen from Country Waters Inc.
The portico is cool and inviting, with a large TV under the eaves. It’s been used for entertaining as well as family dinners in the summer. There may eventually be a fire pit to keep the outdoor lifestyle going year round. It’s a perfect gathering spot for all ages to mingle and enjoy the woods and water. “I wanted the house to keep the pool area secluded, yet visible,” Caroline explained. The setting is lovely any time of year with a completely natural look and feel in the back, and inviting landscaping in the front.
To the side of the home a large garage offers storage and a place for Hance’s woodworking projects. Perhaps a dance studio will eventually be carved out for Caroline, but that’s not a top priority. Since they completed building and moved in less than a year ago, it’s still a work in progress. “I can’t decide what to put on the landing of the stairs,” she said. No worries. Everything that’s important is in place and functioning beautifully.
As I left, Crews showed me his garden, where microgreens and kale were growing. He handed me a tiny kale leaf, with this advice, “It’s good for you.” Apparently, his mother’s emphasis on healthy eating has been absorbed. I thanked him and left, munching on the microgreen and inspired to create a kale salad for dinner.
Celtic Works celticworks.com
Country Waters Inc. Countrywaterspools.com
Tim McLendon timmclendondesign.wordpress.com
Grain Fine Cabinetry grainfinecabinetry.com