By Anna Grace Moore
Photos by Lauren Ustad
Jamie and Alan Wood’s majestic home is a staple of cultural appreciation. The couple’s love of traveling is almost as strong as their love for each other. Their love story, they say, began as they each started working for Alabama Power on the same day.
“Actually, [Alan’s] mother was my high school counselor,” Jamie remembers. “I met his dad the first day because his dad was in HR. Tom [who is Alan’s father] said to Alan when he came home that day, ‘I met somebody that started today that you need to meet!’ Alan said, ‘I already met her.’” The couple’s fairytale affection blossomed as they got married a year later and sometime after welcomed their two children, James and Hayden.
The couple notes that they moved from Birmingham to Homewood to Indian Springs before finding this property in Olde Weatherly where they decided to build their forever home.
Once the pair started drawing plans for the build, Jamie says she wanted the home to have an artistic and eclectic style. “Alan being a ham radio operator exposed me to a love for other countries,” she explains. “All the variety of the ethnicities, we love it! We love ethnic foods, but we love the unique design. When we went to Morocco, I said, ‘this is my style!’” Jamie remembers being in awe of the raw beauty in Moroccan architecture. “I love the tile, the stonework, the intricate wrought-iron detail… just all of the beautiful ways they do things,” she says.
Jamie knew that her and Alan’s dream home would incorporate aspects of different cultures. “I think your house needs to be a reflection of you,” she says, smiling. “We wanted our home to be comfortable, beautiful, open.” Although their home draws upon Middle-Eastern design, Alan and Jamie have aspects from each of their travels hidden deep in the rich beauty of their home. Together, the couple participates in mission trips including past ones to Mexico, England, India and other parts of Europe and Central Asia.
What catches a guest’s attention at first may be the Moroccan tutor arch with stained glass windows. However, when a guest leaves their home, he is filled with an overwhelming sense of love and appreciation for culture. Culture in which everyone is invited, differences are celebrated and fellowship remains the foundation for friendship.
Jamie’s aunt Elaine Swoger is a legendary abstract artist. She so kindly gifted Jamie and Alan with a turquoise and plum piece that some say they see as a ballad of ballerinas. Based upon the colors in the painting, Jamie added plum-red curtains and a hand-stitched comforter to tie the room together.
Being up so high, Alan and Jamie joke that the higher they are to heaven, the closer they are to God.
Jamie enjoys mixing modern with antiques in her tranquil fellowship spot. When people sit down to eat a meal together, they bond with one another. The Persian rug and octagonal arched ceiling add to the room’s ethnic value. The cellular window arches, too, aren’t something you see every day in an American home, but they allow a lot of light to stream in and brighten the room with blissful elegance.
The pair knew they wanted a bright, open kitchen that felt inviting and ethnic, too. To add to the brightness, Jamie requested white cabinetry with silver finishes, which she had installed by Lane Cabinet Company. Tim Sims with Premier Granite and Marble helped her find her accent color, a pale and olive green, in her subway tile backsplash and green island granite. The appliances, too, have a professional look thanks to Jamie’s supplier, Siano Appliances. However, the ethnic attribute in her kitchen is her kitchen runner, which is from VarageSale.
Alan and Jamie’s living room is what makes their home a staple Moroccan maskan. Maskan, which can translate to “home” in Arabic, is fitting for their quaint house in the hills. From the curved ceiling arches to the red leather sofas from VarageSale to the vibrant blue and red hues in the rug from Eighteenth Street Orientals, this room transports you to a land far away.
The master bathroom is one in which is inspired by Alan and Jamie’s travels to Morocco and Egypt. The bathroom tile reminds Jamie of the Middle East as both the pattern and the colors share an ethnic feel. Not pictured is another abstract of Elaine Swoger.
Alan and Jamie’s master bedroom is intricately designed with elements of their family tree.
Contractor: Kenneth Carter
Architect: Becky Noland
Red leather sofas – VarageSale
Living room coffee table – Attalla
Entryway Light fixtures: Resale
Interior Designer: Robin Fink
Kitchen Cabinets: Lane Cabinet Company
Kitchen Appliances: Siano Appliances
Kitchen Countertop & Backsplash: Tims Sims with Premier Granite and Marble
Stairway rug – Issis & Sons Pelham
Foyer rug, living room rug and dining room rug – imported from Morocco
Kitchen runner – VarageSale
Fireplace Rug – Eighteenth Street Orientals
Ceiling Fans: Dan’s Fan City
Outdoor Light Fixtures: Baker Lamp and Lighting
Front Door: Imported from Egypt
Front Porch Tile: Vintage Station
Concrete Driveway: Eugene Kiley
Stair Tile: Robert F. Henry Tile Company
Tutor Arch: Imported from Morocco
Landscape Designer: Charlie Thigpen
Landscape & Lighting Service: Tommy Fish at Thomas Contractors, Inc.
Art Studio Abstract: Elaine Swoger
Exterior Brickworks: Mark McMullin & Company