A Little Bit of Everything


When it comes to her own home, a local interior designer brings together a mix of traditional, contemporary and glamourous elements that demonstrate her passion for the process.

Written by Jane Reynolds; Photography by Edward Badham

 

Patsy Baird enjoys moving. She doesn’t mind the planning, packing, or deciding what to keep and what to give away. Most of all, she relishes designing new spaces from scratch, which happens to be her profession as well as her passion.

So after she and her husband, John, had downsized to a charming cottage on a pond at The Preserve in Hoover—only to realize they’d sacrificed valuable space they wanted for their children and grandchildren to come and visit comfortably—the Bairds didn’t miss a beat. They sold the cottage and put a contract on another house at The Preserve, this one sitting on a cozy circle across from a park, part of a stretch of new homes that were being built on Village Green Circle. “It fit our needs,” Patsy says. “It gave us all the space we need for our children and grandchildren to come and sleep over, and it gave me more rooms to decorate.”

Because it was new construction, the Bairds were able to choose their countertops and other surface materials, fixtures, colors and more from day one. They also added extra features, including wood beams in the keeping room/den, which has a sloped roof, to add interest and play off of one of Patsy’s favorite paintings with its elements of natural wood tones.

The downstairs features a shotgun-style floor plan on the bottom, from the living room, dining room and bar at the front of the house leading straight into the spacious kitchen, which is open to the keeping room, a favorite gathering space. Tucked off to the side is the master bedroom, with its own fireplace and luxurious master bath. Another small guest bedroom downstairs is reserved for two of the grandchildren. 

“I love that it’s open,” Patsy says. “We’ve hosted as many as 56 people at a party, and it flowed beautifully. Everybody can be together, but you also have different little pockets of places to hang out. And when the grandchildren arrive, they’re riding toys all through the downstairs.”

Meanwhile, there are two separate upstairs spaces—one is a sort of man’s “attic cave” for John, where he displays his collection of University of Alabama memorabilia; the other, much larger space features a loft playroom, full bath and two guest bedrooms. So while the house is deceptively small on the outside, reminiscent of a charming Georgetown townhouse, inside it features a full 3,700 square feet of living space. There is also a courtyard with space for a full dining table, a rockbed with bench seating, a small fountain, a small space for lawn games, and a favorite outdoor nook the Bairds’ grandchildren call the “reading garden.”

The Bairds moved in about a year and a half ago, and Patsy hasn’t stopped decorating yet. She chose mostly neutrals for the walls and upholstery, in large part of show off her ever-growing art collection. “I’m an art junkie,” she says. “If I have an addiction, it’s to original artwork—but I don’t like the expected.” Pieces displayed throughout the house include art in a variety of styles collected from places ranging from the annual Kentuck Festival of the Arts and Bluff Park Art Festival to an art gallery she discovered in Versailles. Several of the artists she loves to collect include Sloane Bibb and Paul Flack.

Patsy loves to mix the old with the new. Some pieces have moved with them from one home to the next, including not only the art but a chandelier John once gave her as a gift and even a favorite pair of draperies. Other fixtures and furniture were chosen specifically for this home—including a luxurious, custom-made, aqua velvet sofa in the living room, the first hint that aqua (or versions of it, including teal and turquoise) is Patsy’s all-time favorite accent color. “It’s just a color I have always loved,” she says. “It’s never been out of style.” It pops out in unexpected, often-subtle places—in the art, on the ceiling in the covered patio in the courtyard, in throw pillows and in metallic tiles in the backsplash on the bar that add a hint of glitz and glamour.

“I’m very eclectic,” Patsy says. “I love so many different looks, but I don’t like the expected look, so I’ll get a little brave sometimes and do things that other people won’t. I don’t want my house to look like anyone else’s, and I don’t think it does.”

 

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