The Welcome Inn | Exterior

Written by Jenny Marrs on . Posted in , .

Over the course of 7 months, this project challenged us in more ways than we could have ever imagined, but in the end, it was so worth it. Dave and I walked through this “as-is” house in 10 minutes and made a snap decision to buy it and fix it up. The road was long, bumpy and, yes, there were moments we wondered if this time we had taken on more than we could handle. In the end, we were able to restore this house to the imperfect beautiful gathering place we had envisioned. The Welcome Inn is now open and ready to be a happy refuge to all who stay there.

BEFORE

First of all, we knew we didn’t want to change too much of the exterior look of this stately 1870s house. The house had originally been a 160-acre orchard with a working farm. It was important to us that we preserve the stately charm of this quintessential southern home. That included keeping the big porch, grand front entrance, circular driveway and high columns true to their original form.

We kept the original shape of the circular driveway and enhanced it with reclaimed brick along the edges, as well as along the front of the house. We also added flagstone pavers to the walkway from the front porch to the garage. Both porches (the bottom level and the second floor) were in bad shape. The wood was rotted, maybe from termite damage. Dave replaced all the wood in the two front porches and welded new metal railings to secure everything together. We added new siding, a new roof and painted the entire house white to bring it back to its former glory. Where there had been windows in the front, we switched them out for French doors that flank both sides of the front door, and we added floor-to-ceiling blush-colored shutters. The gas lanterns on the front porch add a finishing touch, true to the house’s southern charm. 

Now, about the columns…

The original columns that were holding up the roof were basically sawdust inside. It’s possible that these busy little bees had been hard at work for close to 100 years. When we talked to one of the previous residents, who had lived there as a boy in the 1940s, he remembered the bees had been there even back then.

We called on our local bee expert, Steve, who estimated that between the two beehives, we had about 50,000 bees! Steve managed to save many of the bees with his special bee vac and transfer them to a safe temporary location while Dave built a bee box. The bees didn’t detour us. When life gives you bees, make honey! We put the bee box in the back garden of the house and will reap the benefits of honey. Now, the bees are not only part of the history of this house, but they’re also part of the Welcome Inn’s signature.

As for the columns, Dave scored a great deal on recycled natural gas pipes. He fitted them into the place where the original wooden columns had been. The metal pipes will last a couple hundred years, and they provided us the opportunity to do something we love to do – which is to repurpose old materials. Painted white to match the house, these beautiful columns are the most prominent feature of The Welcome Inn’s exterior. 

AFTER

SOURCES

Front Door Hardware | Emtek 

Rocking Chairs | Cracker Barrel 

Copper Gas Lanterns | St. James Lighting 

Copper Electric Lanterns | St. James Lighting 

Landscaping | Sharums Garden Center NWA 

Shutters | Southern Shutter Co. 

Garage Door Coach Lights | Kichler 

Shutter Paint Color | Farrow and Ball Setting Plaster #231

Garage Door Paint Color | Farrow and Ball Setting Plaster #231

Exterior Paint Color | Benjamin Moore OC-17 White Dove

Back Porch, Smokehouse & Courtyard

BEFORE

AFTER

SOURCES

Smokehouse Dining Table | DJM Collection

Smokehouse Dining Chairs | DJM Collection

Stonework | MLW Stone

Coachlights | Kichler

Outdoor Furniture | Outer

Outdoor Coffee Table | Lowes

Outdoor Side Table | HK Living USA

Fountain | Forever Design LLC

Custom Porch Swing | Dave Marrs

Chicken Coop | Carolina Coops

Ginko Tree Courtyard Furniture | Walmart

Chicken Coop Paint Color | Benjamin Moore OC-17 White Dove

Wall Paint Color | Benjamin Moore OC-17 White Dove