Mornings at the Malouf home begin with a cup of coffee and a walk with the dogs around the premises. “There’s always something blooming somewhere,” says Gardner Malouf. Lemon, fig and satsuma trees; blueberry bushes; and herb and strawberry gardens mingle among the woods, shrubbery and plants.
Gardner found the estate, an acre of homes and grounds near the heart of Magnolia Springs, as a bachelor. He was driving by one day and spotted a “for sale by owner” sign in the yard. “I walked in and immediately felt like it was my home, “ he says.
Two years later, he had someone to share his charming abode with when he married his wife, Courtney, at St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church in Foley. After the ceremony, they spent some time taking pictures amid the backdrop of their lovely home. “It was such a special and quiet time that I will always cherish,” Courtney says.
When Courtney first saw the bungalow, she was taken in by its charisma. “It was beautiful without trying too hard, ” she says. The house, now a blend of both of their styles, is a cohesive mix of traditional and modern furniture that draws on the color scheme of the subtle palette of its natural surroundings. “Gardner and I have very similar taste so it is fun to choose new items for the place together, ” Courtney adds.
Last August, the couple welcomed baby Gardner Jr. “You can definitely tell that a family lives here now,” Courtney laughs. She and Gardner both come from big families, something that’s very important to them. Gardner, who owns Malouf Furniture in Foley, is a third generation owner of the store, which originated in Greenwood, Miss. (His grandfather started the company in 1946.) “Our family homes were always places for everyone to gather, ” he says. “They were designed in a way that felt inviting and comfortable.”
And that hospitable dynamic has carried over to the couple’s Magnolia Springs abode. “With the open floor plan, we’re always together,” Courtney says. “I can be cooking in the kitchen, but we’re still all in the same room, relaxing after a long day.” Gardner enjoys having a glass of wine with Courtney or rolling around on the floor with Gardner Jr. “Life definitely isn’t as quiet as it used to be, but in all seriousness, marrying Courtney and having Gardner Jr. were the two greatest moments in my life,” he says.
Planters of greenery and blooms flank the front steps. Courtney fills pots all around the property with seasonal plants and flowers. Gas lanterns, handmade in Mississippi, leave the front aglow at night.
The Malouf family – Gardner, Courtney and baby Gardner – brings youthful energy and style to the old property.
The original front porch is now enclosed but surrounded by windows letting in ample natural light and views of the greenery. The space is a great place to relax, visit and unplug.
The couple designed their ideal outdoor living area, and Robert McCown brought it to life. It was all brush beforehand, but now they spend a lot of time enjoying the space. “I had to put a TV out there to watch football, ” Gardner says. “And we go through about a cord of wood a year burning fires in the fireplace.” Comfortable wicker and upholstered furniture makes the space a cozy, alfresco getaway.
The couple’s crisp, modern aesthetic carries into the living room. The streamlined chocolate and cream houndstooth chairs make a statement with bold pattern.
Above the dining table, a light fixture from a Catholic church in Ireland hangs from 12-foot ceilings.
Inside built-in wood shelves, white pottery is displayed on top of Courtney’s art book collection. A gold frame holds a photograph of the couple from their wedding rehearsal party at Steelwood Country Club.
Blue hydrangeas complement the couple’s blue and green pottery collection on a whitewashed table. In the background, wood panels run horizontally along the wall. “I like to use fresh flowers, nice candles and crisp white sheets, ” Courtney says.
With big families and lots of entertaining, “We fill up that kitchen fast, ” Courtney says.
The couple’s collection of McCarty’s Pottery is displayed around the home. Handmade in the Mississippi Delta, each piece features a trademark brown line, representative of the river.
There is no overhead cabinetry, leaving space for large windows over the countertop and plenty of natural light.
A front porch light burns above the National Register of Historic Places plaque on the Maloufs’ guesthouse. The home originally belonged to Jesse King and still stands with all its original wood. King, a local legend, was a shopkeeper at Moore’s store in Magnolia Springs for 60 years.
Pathways around the property are surrounded by lush landscaping. An arbor and wood picket fence contribute charming character to the yard.