Home Tour: A charming 1927 home in Elizabeth with its own bourbon bar
After a major renovation in 2016, this couple’s home features gorgeous additions including a spa-like master bathroom and an enviable basement complete with its own wine and bourbon bar. They gave the Agenda a peek inside—and the scoop on the talented team behind the inviting home.
Who: Dwight Bailey (47), Vicki Morton (47), Grace Morton (14), and their dogs, Weller, Lucy, and Axl
Jobs: She’s a nurse practitioner and he’s a pediatric critical care physician.
Their story: Bailey purchased the Elizabeth neighborhood home in 2007. When the pair, who are engaged, began considering renovating the home, they initially looked around at other neighborhoods, contemplating a move. “We wanted to make sure we weren’t going through the renovation process unnecessarily,” says Bailey. “But we could never find anything that was a better fit than this house. We loved this house—we just knew it would take some effort to convert it.”
The home: The top two stories of the 3-bedroom, 3.5-bath home is 2,400 square feet, but the finished basement has added an additional 1,000 square feet. After the renovation, the home features a more open floor plan, two-sided gas fireplace, modern kitchen with white marble countertops, and an over-the-top basement entertainment area. Numerous large windows throughout look into the house’s private and wooded backyard, giving it a feeling of seclusion even in the middle of the historic neighborhood.
Basement bars: Before its renovation, the home’s basement was primarily used for storage. Today, it’s the owners’ favorite space. “We tend to congregate downstairs on any given night,” says Morton. It’s easy to see why. In addition to a beautiful wine bar featuring walls lined in bottles and custom-made white oak countertops, the space features a speakeasy-like bourbon bar that would rival any restaurant’s in town with hard-to-find bottles like WhistlePig The Boss Hog Black Prince and John E. Fitzgerald 20 Year.
Treehouse shower: Originally, there was a sitting room area with a small deck off the upstairs master bedroom. When the home was renovated, that space became the luxurious master bathroom. The deck was closed in to create an oversized shower space with windows facing into the treetops. Tile that looks like old wood lines the walls, enhancing the rustic-meets-sophisticated look.
Shops and Inspiration
Natural charm: “Our builder and designer did an incredible job of maintaining the home’s character,” says Bailey of Peter Vasseur, the home’s builder and Craig Jackson, its designer. “They not only realized our ideas, but they brought in a lot of their own perspective and unique ideas.” The result? A home brimming with interesting details. The wood floors in the basement and the wood paneling over the fireplace is reclaimed pine from an 1842 South Carolina home that was owned by a Civil War general, and a 1927 brick stove in the basement—now behind the bourbon bar—is still in its original condition.
Into the woods: Morton’s father, John Wendorf, has done woodworking as a hobby for many years, building furniture and even custom cabinets for his friends. For the home, he used raw white oak wood from a South Carolina farm to craft the wine bar top and the shelves that hold the bourbon, giving the space a natural cozy feeling. “He made everything in South Carolina and brought it up here,” says Morton.
Top shops: The home features a variety of local touches—including an old beer barrel from Plaza Midwood brewery, Resident Culture, and a spirits barrel from local distillery, Doc Porter’s. The home’s furniture comes from a variety of stores such as Restoration Hardware (the dining table, chairs, and light fixtures), World Market (the sitting room sofa and wine bar chairs), and Nadeau (the foyer table and blue hutch in the basement).
Want to see the home for yourself? It’s one of 10 private residences on tour at the annual Elizabeth Home & Garden Tour happening this Friday and Saturday.
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