Bright and comfortable: There are no better words to describe Elin and Tim Murphy’s waterfront house in Fairhope.
“The home was built in 1904, and when we bought it in 2002, we knew we wanted to take it back to its original bones, ” Elin says. The house belonged to the same family for most of its life, and the Murphys wanted to preserve it while adding a few contemporary details and cheerful furnishings.
The Murphys worked with architect Clay Adams, of Walcott Adams Verneuille, as well as custom homebuilder Tom Bierster. During the renovation, the team tore down walls that were not original to the house, added a downstairs master bedroom, updated the kitchen, converted an old porch into a delightful sunroom, and hurricane-proofed the place.
Elin calls it a “holiday and someday retirement” house. The couple lives in Kansas City, but has deep ties to Mobile Bay from their days at Spring Hill College. More recently, two of their four children attended Spring Hill. “We often drove down to Fairhope, and when we saw this house, we loved it right away, ” Elin says. “My sister, Kristin Drlicka (who lives in Pensacola), and I did most of the decorating ourselves, and we had so much fun with it. We wanted a coastal look, but not too beachy — white walls and dark floors. Then we splashed it with bright colors and local art. We love it!”
by D. Fran Morley