Home On The Park
Updated: Jun 1, 2019
Written by Ginny McCarley | Photographed by Joe Worthem
A Memphis couple finds their dream house in an unplanned move to Oxford.
Lisa and Hunter Mitchell weren’t planning to move. But when they received an unexpected offer on their home in Memphis, they decided to give living in Oxford a try.
The couple owned a condo in 800 Park, which they stayed in for getaway trips and football weekends, so they moved in temporarily after closing on their home in Memphis.
“We wanted to see what we thought of living in Oxford, and we absolutely loved it,” Lisa said. “We liked the location [of our condo] and we loved being by the park. But our condo was too small for full-time living. We needed more space.”
Once the couple determined they would be staying in Oxford, they asked real estate agent Clay Deweese with Nix-Tann & Associates to help them find a home in the same neighborhood, that would have space for their home offices.
When the Mitchells first toured their current home, which faces Pat Lamar Park, they instantly fell in love with it and decided to make it their own.
Inside the home, the Mitchells took down a few minor walls and refinished the floors, with interior decorator Julie Montgomery overseeing the renovations and decorating. The open floor plan and vaulted ceilings create a crisp living space with plenty of room, while the plush furniture and inviting decor are perfect for entertaining.
“We wanted the house to be comfortable first and most importantly,” Lisa said. “We are not extremely formal people, but we do love having people to our home.”
It was very important to the Mitchells that the pieces they love from local artists such as William Dunlap, Twin, Nicole Lamar and Sarah Otts had a special place in their home.
Oxford artist Bradley Gordon completed two paintings for the space, including a very special commissioned piece that hangs in Hunter’s office. The portrait features their dog Lady (now deceased), sitting at their hunting club.
One of the best features of the home is that the open layout still provides much-needed individual areas.
“The home has two offices, I have an office and [my husband] has an office, [but] we don’t have to be in the same space,” Lisa said. “There is separate living, but it just feels open and airy.”
Besides the proximity to the park, one of the selling points for the Mitchells was the home’s spacious backyard, where they focused much of their attention.
In addition to clearing a few trees and putting in a fence for their active labs, Rain and Kate, the couple worked with landscaper Bo Smith of Smith Lawn Management LLC, to landscape the yard. Smith added a retaining wall and planted bushes to create a vibrant, leafy landscape.
One of Lisa’s goals was to have a pool, a dream realized in this space with a large, tranquil pool designed by Lantz Foster with Madison County Rock and Pool. The area is lined with bricks and features a soothing fountain.
“I’ve always wanted a pool, and this is actually our first one,” Lisa said. “[But] talking my husband into it was a big deal.”
While Lisa’s wish was for the pool, the couple also installed a large outdoor kitchen for Hunter, who is an avid griller.
Though they moved into the home in the spring of 2017, the outdoor renovation wasn’t complete until the end of last summer; the couple can’t wait to break it in this year.
“We’ve had dinner parties where people have come to eat at the pool, but this is actually our first full season with it,” Lisa said.
Although the Mitchells still drive up to Memphis often, since their business, Memphis Plywood Corp., is there, they both appreciate the slower pace of Oxford and plan to stay for a long time.
“A lady at our church told us that our life would begin to revolve around the [university’s] academic calendar, and she was right,” Lisa said. “You just kind of just live by a little bit of a different schedule. It has been fun. We miss things about Memphis for sure, but we’ve loved Oxford, and we’re really getting to know some nice people.”
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