The Beechwood Farm is located in Fitzpatrick, Alabama, in East Alabama. This newly constructed homestead has the look and feel of the 18th-century farm where homeowner Debra Koehler spent her summers as a youngster. Koehler and her husband Todd Turner, as well as their children Jack and Lauren, can now fish for catfish and bass and play on the 600-acre property, which also has a horse stable and barn. They may have farm feasts with family and friends at the nicely finished barn type residence, which boasts a 14-seater farmhouse table.
The couple collaborated with architect Keith Summerour to create a dogtrot home, which is a typical raised, breezeway-split type dwelling common in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. From the reclaimed wood floors to the porcelain doorknobs, Melanie Millner was the designer who helped achieve historical realism in every element of the 2,500-square-foot barn type building. The 14-person barn style house has entertained up to 25 friends and family members for holidays, fishing weekends, and Debra and Todd’s wedding.
With an eclectic combination of furnishings and decor, the barn type house is full of charm. To give the living room space an assembled-over-time look and feel, Debra chose the wingback chair and the spindle chair. Debra’s grandparents’ farm provided the wood for the rustic mantel in the house. They were able to enclose the dogtrot’s breezeway, which was originally where people would cool off on hot days, with iron-and-glass doors because the barn style house has central air. Instead, it’s been transformed into a long dining room with seating for 14 people around a wide cypress trestle table. The home’s chandelier lights are made from reused chickenwire, and a working potbelly stove adds to the rustic farmhouse vibe.
Debra has been collecting plates with a wild game theme for approximately five years; the plates hold a special place in her heart because she used them at the couple’s wedding celebration, which took place in their barn. In the hutch, they look beautiful with a few pieces of white pottery and her favorite glassware, which she purchased on a shopping trip to Atlanta. There is no drywall in the barn type house, which boasts a wood-paneled kitchen. The house is full with antiquities, including a converted mechanic’s bench that serves as a gathering spot for the family around the island to cook, snack, and play games.
A hand-stitched quilt made by Todd’s grandmother hangs in the bedroom, and it served as the creative inspiration for the entire guest room, starting with the red-orange paint on the French doors. Another historically realistic element is the Laredo iron bed, which balances out the sweetness of the graphic flower theme. The porch was inspired by Dogtrot homes, which had porches that spanned the entire length of the house. The screened-in porch can be used as an entertainment space, a mudroom, or a place to take a nap.
Designed and Built by Summerour Architects.