Sidewalk Society

Posted On November 4, 2022

Lake Carolina neighborhoods are perfect for this family of four

By Katherine Pettit »  Photos Jay Browne

Kim and Ian Toogood are living in their second home in the Lake Carolina community and they couldn’t be happier.  “Our sons have so many friends here and there are always kids coming and going,” Kim said. “Our cul-de-sac is a magnet for children gathering and we feel like it’s a safe area for them.” The couple met in the air force at Luke AFB in Arizona, where he was an F-16 pilot and she was a Continuation Survival Training Instructor. She was originally from St. Louis and he was born in England but grew up in the U.S. and spent his formative years in South Georgia.  “Ian has no English accent, but he doesn’t have a southern accent either,” Kim said. She’s correct.  His voice gives no hint of his past geography.

When they left active duty, Ian began to work for the Air National Guard, at McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Eastover.  Lake Carolina was a perfect community and location for them.  Fast forward 13 years and after retirement, he now works as a pilot for American Airlines, based out of Charlotte. “It’s still a great location for us because he can jump on I-77 and be at the Charlotte airport in no time,” Kim said. “And, our family wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”

Their boys, Tanner, 13 and Avery, 9, aren’t the only reasons they love the community.  “There’s just something about the ease of sidewalks to everywhere, trails for bikes and walks, and the golf cart lifestyle,” she said.  “We can be in the town center in minutes, for dinner or special events.”  Ian shared the many events their family enjoys, from outdoor movie nights, to the local farmer’s market and the Village church youth activities, which the boys both participate in.

Kim helped organize the annual golf cart parade, and there are progressive dinners and get-togethers for almost every occasion. She also loves her book club.

And there are so many neighbors and friends.  Several years ago, when Kim was diagnosed with breast cancer, everybody helped out.  “I didn’t cook one meal while Kim was going through treatment,” Ian said. And now, cancer free for several years, Kim is more active than ever.  “We’ve been working on the Sandhills Children’s Garden,” she said, noting that it is almost complete.  “It’s a project I really love.”

If she has a guilty pleasure, it might be searching for antiques and collectibles at her favorite haunts.  The house reflects some of her finds.  There is military memorabilia in the house as well, “but we try to keep it low-key,” said Ian.

The two-story brick is traditional, with plenty of room.  The entrance porch has a temporary gate, to keep their Bernedoodle puppy, Charlie, corralled. It’s a great spot to chat with friends and watch the children play. The front door has recently been beautifully decorated by Katie Whinnery, who owns Perfect Petals with her mom, Karen Hood. They decorate for a variety of special events, including weddings, pop-up picnics and seasonal and holiday themes.  

To the right of the entry is an office, where many of their military mementos can be found.  To the left is the dining area, where you get a first glimpse of the striking wall color found throughout their house.  “Almost everyone asks about the color,” Kim said.  “It’s Sherwin Williams Sea Salt and the walls change colors a bit when the light shifts.  We love it.”  A large natural peace symbol adorns the wall. “We want it to be the first thing a visitor sees,” she said.  The plantation shutters throughout are top quality, still functioning as they did on the day the family moved in.  “They came from Accent Blinds and the craftsmanship is incredible,” Kim shared.

Through the door is the spacious kitchen, with granite countertops and wall tile from Real Value, headquartered in Columbia.  It was sourced through Galloway Family Homes which built the home. They had completed about 95% of the construction when the Toogoods purchased it.

The open plan leads into the breakfast area and the family’s living room.  A door leads to the back porch, small deck and backyard where the boys’ fort is the neighborhood’s kid headquarters.  Kim’s resourcefulness is evident here, with floor length curtains which can be closed for privacy or protection from the elements.  When Ian suggested she “go ahead and talk about them” I knew there was a story. “These are drop cloths,” she said. “When one needs to be replaced, it’s no big deal.” She says it’s a work in progress, but it feels cozy and comfortable.

Here is where the family enjoys the deer who visit their backyard and the creek that runs behind their property.  Cute, but perhaps a bit less welcome were the raccoons who navigated their pet door and often could be seen peering in the windows from the porch to the family room.  Avery’s raccoon drawing is attached to the window, amusing the family, but once frightening a babysitter who wasn’t prepared for a critter sighting.

Back inside, a short hall to the left leads to a guest area, with a full bath doing dual duty just outside the  bedroom and accessible to guests visiting for the evening, or staying overnight.

Around the corner and beside the stairs is a half bath with a whimsical portrait of Ian in Admiral attire. “We have a sense of humor,” Kim said, laughing.  The wiring for the home is tucked away in what looks like a closet, just beside the stairs to the second floor.  “We both love how the wiring is discreet,” she said, noting that Troy, with CWS Wiring services, did a fabulous job with all the electronics throughout the home.

There is striking artwork that can be found through-out the first floor. Some of it came from Anna Majure Decor, which is housed in the Ivy House, an antiques mall with more than 60 booths full of treasures waiting to be discovered.  It's one of Kim's favorite destinations, along with Southeastern Salvage, another favored resource for hidden objets d'art and other delights.

Upstairs is where the private living really happens, with a family sitting area, computer desk, workout equipment, and a wall display of the boys’ favorite nerf guns.  “It has to be a very special gun to make it on the wall” Kim said, grinning.

Down the hall is the laundry room, bathrooms and bedrooms for both boys and a dedicated costume room—filled with dozens of costumes to please the most passionate dress-up aficionado.

The hall is covered in framed awards and achievements highlighting the boys’ prowess. One of the shower curtains features a replica of the Periodic Table, in hopes of a bit of learning during shower time.

The left side of the upstairs is the primary bedroom with private bath, closet and ample sitting area. “I thought this was more than we needed,” confided Kim. “Now, however, as the boys are getting older, it’s a lovely retreat for us.”  On the wall are four black and white photos of Kim with one of her children. “We were going to keep it up every year, but as they grew, the boys began to rebel,” she said. An upstairs porch makes a great viewing area for ‘kid central’ and cool evenings. During the pandemic, they devised a candy shoot so Halloween trick or treaters could receive their goodies “hands free.”

The house also has a large basement where their 18 Christmas trees are stored, out of sight, but available at a moment’s notice. They take holiday decorations very seriously.

Clearly, this is a family which loves to play together, as well as with friends and neighbors.  For them, Lake Carolina and their two-story traditional offer a comfortable, friendly world for day-to-day life and easy access whenever adventure beckons.

Thanks to Lake Carolina Properties for introducing Columbia Living and its readers to the Toogood family.