The Mendenhall Business Women’s Club to sponsor Annual Tour of Homes

The Mendenhall Christmas Tour will be held on Saturday, December 2,  from 4 to 7 p.m.  this year’s tour features three  homes.

Homes on the tour are those of Leslie and Donnie Thomas and Cathy McCormick, 611 Main Street;  Jeanie and Johnny Gregory, 101 Durr Avenue; and Shay and Paul Barry, 2956 Cato Road, Braxton.

 Refreshments await guests of the tour at New Beginnings on Main Street.  Amanda Wilburn Johnston, owner and operator, says she is excited to have a part in this year’s Christmas tour.  Lynn Stephenson will provide the Christmas goodies.

 The Mendenhall Christmas Tour is hosted each year by the Mendenhall Business Women’s Club.  “We gratefully acknowledge and thank each of our participants,” said a club spokesperson.  All proceeds are used to fund area senior scholarships as well as local projects for the improvement of Mendenhall.

 The cost of the tour is $10.  Tickets may be purchased tickets from any member of the Mendenhall Business Women’s Club.  They are also available at Peoples Bank, PriorityOne Bank, New Beginnings and at any of the homes scheduled on the tour that night.

As the fourth owners of their historic home in Mendenhall, Cathy McCormick and Donnie and Leslie Thomas say they are so pleased to be able to be part of this year’s Christmas Tour of homes. 

Cathy McCormick said, “Our home is a large farmhouse style that, according to local historians and family members of past owners, was originally built by the Middleton family in 1913 using re-purposed lumber from their general mercantile store which they closed in Westville, Miss.  Later the home was sold to the McIntosh family but Mr. Middleton remained living upstairs until his death.

“ In 1990 the Fortenberry family bought the property and lovingly restored it to its original glory.  In June of 2016 my sister Leslie Thomas and her husband Donnie Thomas and I purchased the property and live in it together.  Since the purchase we have continued to update and improve this wonderful historic home and have decorated it in our own unique farmhouse/bohemian  style.

Our decorating theme for this year is “T’is the Season to Sparkle.”  We have mixed traditional and bohemian styles to create a very unique style all our own.  Rather than Christmas trees in every room we have chosen to decorate mannequins with lots of sparkle and bling.  Each room in the house has its own color theme and style, including a country kitchen suffering from OCD (Obsessive Cow Disorder).  Leslie and I  both love “junkin” and repurposing old items into new treasures.  The majority of our decorations are homemade or “treasures”  we have picked up from our “junkin” trips to local antique stores, flea markets, and auctions.  We hope everyone will enjoy the unique approach we have taken to “dress” our home for the holidays.

Johnny and Jeanie Gregory built their new house in Mendenhall in 2015. Anthony Garner with Solid Rock Construction poured the pad to the house, which is right behind Jeanie's parents’ home where she grew up. With Anthony's assistance and instruction, Johnny and Jeanie did most of the work themselves after Anthony got the house framed. Johnny and Jeanie spent many hours after they got off from work at their regular jobs by painting, wiring, building the cabinets , etc. They chose a craftsman style home to build, and they wanted their own special touch and work put into the house.

This year, Johnny added on an addition to their house right off East Street and onto Durr Avenue by building a garden house with a front porch. Johnny loves music and loves spending time in the cute little addition by playing his guitar and singing. Jeanie loves flowers, so with her special touch with flowers and a green thumb, the house is surrounded with beautiful flower beds. The garden house sits just a few yards back from their lovely home.

Johnny and Jeanie are enjoying their new home here in Mendenhall. They love their little neighborhood and, of course Jeanie's parents, Joe and Genevieve Patterson, love having them so close.  They get to hear Johnny playing his music in the evening and enjoy beautiful flowers all around .

Johnny and Jeanie have decorated their home with traditional decorations. Jeanie loves all of the memories from her childhood Christmases and has "borrowed" some from her mother. The decorations will include a lot of green and red colors, gumball trees, Santa Clauses, cotton stems, pine cones, candles, and Christmas trees, which will include a magnolia tree among many other festive decorations.

The home of Paul and Shay Barry is located at 2956 Cato Road, Braxton.  Paul and Shay built their home in 2004, and a complete renovation was done in 2016 by Walt Fewell Construction.

 The home is warm and welcoming upon entering the driveway with its well-manicured lawn, beautiful roses in the flower beds, and large southern front porch with gas lanterns at the entrance. 

The spacious home features five bedrooms and four bathrooms, interior antique brick archways that separate the open kitchen area from the living rooms, and antique heart pine flooring.  Shay enjoys decorating her home, both inside and outside.   Everything was handpicked by the homeowners. 

 The open kitchen is definitely the heart of this home, and a dream kitchen.  It features white cabinets with glass upper cabinets for additional lighting and display, oversized brushed nickel and crystal knobs for a touch of elegance, as well as Alaskan White granite countertops and a marble backsplash.  Each of the home’s two interior fireplaces was designed to be elegant and modern with white carrera marble. 

 Additional storage areas for Paul were built in with cabinet doors from Lakeside Moulding which were backed with large mirrors.  The kitchen and living areas are bright, comfortable and elegant. One of the most sentimental features of the home is the cypress beams which were handed down from Shay’s grandparents to her parents.

 The Barry home is decorated in hues of silver, white, gold, and copper for Christmas.  Some of the decorations include a 10 foot Christmas tree in the formal living room, as well as individual trees in each of the children’s rooms. The children’s trees are decorated specifically to reflect their personalities.

The love of Christmastime is well displayed throughout the entire house, from the wonderful smell of the wreaths that hang inside the home, to the lights, garland and large angel displays outside the home. 

 Paul and Shay enjoy being outside, playing and working in the yard with their children.  The exterior of the home is surrounded by large flower beds which are beautifully lit at Christmas time.  The backyard is one of the family’s favorite places to be on a beautiful day.  The gunite pool is surrounded with large stone, and the outdoor kitchen, fireplace and large patio make for a perfect entertainment atmosphere. 

 Each year, the Barry’s enjoy hosting the family Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners in their home. They also enjoy traveling and spending time with their friends and family.   Paul and Shay are so thankful for the honor of having their home featured in the Tour of Homes for 2017 and invite everyone to come out enjoy the decorations.