May 7, 2015 | View on Facebook
The annual Greater Birmingham Parade of Homes kicks off this weekend, but we couldn’t resist sharing a sneak peek of one of the gorgeous featured homes in the Mt Laurel community. We’re chatting with Kay Green of Kay Green Design, who decorated the interior of this stunning house.
“I think Birmingham is a very sophisticated city, and my team geared the décor to fit that level of sophistication,” says Green. “It’s somewhat eclectic, with mostly clean lines and a few rustic touches.”
The front door opens to a spacious, welcoming great room. The cozy living room is filled with oversized furniture and opens to a gourmet kitchen that would inspire any chef.
“The kitchen is a big feature of the home,” Green says. “I especially like the built-in seating; it’s comfortable and allows guests to gather and watch the chef cook.”
The banquet seating also allows for fabulous views of the screened back porch and secluded, wooded area surrounding the home. The porch beckons for Saturday mornings spent in the sun with a cup of coffee or evening after work with a glass of wine.
The home includes 5 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms, which means every bedroom has its own private bath, a fabulous feature that is hard to come by.
“It has an awesome floor plan,” shares Green. “In addition to the master suite, the home has two more bedrooms on the main floor, which can be used as a guest room and an office. I think that’s really smart.”
Green and her design team enhanced the home’s architecture with the addition of various wall and ceiling treatments, such as the paneling in the master bedroom and soffits in the dining room.
Says Green, “We made sure these additions to the home were simple so that homeowners could easily duplicate it themselves.”
The B-Metro blog team is excited to share even more from this home at our live social media remote this Saturday morning with Birmingham Mommy and Unskinny Boppy. Learn more about the Mt. Laurel community at www.mtlaurel.com #livemorefully
The Pihakis Family
May 14, 2015 | View on Facebook
Nick Pihakis has been a Birmingham legend since he opened Jim ‘N Nick’s with his father 30 years ago. When Pihakis isn’t overseeing some of Birmingham’s best restaurants, you can often find him cooking with his family at his home in Mt Laurel.
It all started in 2000, when Pihakis was asked to cater the brand-new Mt Laurel community’s open house event.
“I couldn’t believe how beautiful Mt Laurel was,” says Pihakis. “I immediately brought [my wife] Suzanne back the same day, and we put a contract on our first house. We were the community’s first residents.”
It didn’t take many Sunday dinners at the Pihakis home before the rest of the family decided to join the community. Now, Nick and Suzanne, their daughter Catherine, and Suzanne’s parents, Ward and Ann, call Mt Laurel home.
“This place is a slice of heaven,” says Pihakis. “We really love the original house styles and the outdoor spaces, as well as the small town community feel.”
Pihakis loves his home in Mt Laurel so much, in fact, that he recently opened a new restaurant within the community: Mr. Harry’s Chickin De-Lux, where the Pihakis family are regulars. We’ll be back with Pihakis to talk more about Mr. Harry’s a little later.The Pihakis family have truly found their home in Mt Laurel, and they were just the first of the hundreds of families to do so.
“We see a lot of familiar faces, and everyone here is very friendly,” Pihakis says. “It just feels right.”Learn more about the family-friendly feel of the Mt Laurel community by visiting its website at www.mtlaurel.com. Join us next week as we share more about one of Birmingham’s most treasured communities.
Nature & Amenities
The moment we arrived at Mt Laurel, we knew we were someplace special. From the tree-lined streets to the corner ice cream shop, we can’t help but feel at home in this all-inclusive neighborhood community.
We’re chatting with Ray Jackson, a Mt Laurel resident and its VP of Sales and Marketing, who explains that the success of Mt Laurel as a community all started with a focus on nature.
“Mt Laurel has a respect for preserving nature,” says Jackson. “It’s important to know that 40% of the neighborhood will remain devoted to enjoying nature and the outdoors.”
Between the trees lie every amenity imaginable, including several restaurants, a library, the dentist, and the corner grocery store. So, which feature is Jackson’s favorite?
“Spoonwood Mountain Lake tops the list,” he smiles. “There are over 40 canoes, kayaks, and small lake boats dry docked there by many resident families, and the sandy beach and swim platform are ideal for summer swimming.”
Each of the comfortable amenities in Mt Laurel were added with a focus on creating gathering places for residents to connect and experience the joys of life.
“My wife, Janet, enjoys neighborhood yoga classes several times a week,” Jackson explains. “And our miniature Australian Shepherd, Cool Hand Luke, loves his walks at the dog park.”
The average neighborhood certainly doesn’t come with the creature comforts of Mt Laurel, but then again, Mt Laurel isn’t your average neighborhood. It is a family-focused community that allows its residents to achieve its motto: Live More Fully.
“This community offers so much more than just a home on a street in a typical subdivision,” says Jackson. “It encourages us to get outdoors and enjoy living.”
Learn more about the Mt Laurel community by visiting its website www.mtlaurel.com.
Meet the Town Builders
May 28, 2015 | View on Facebook
“The beauty on top of Double Oak Mountain in Mt Laurel is awesome and inspiring,” says John Freeman, Sr., the Vice President of the Town of Mt Laurel. “Being here is like being in a resort on vacation.”
A builder with 63 years of experience, Freeman built Mt Laurel from the ground up back in 2001. Now, Freeman continues to build and grow the charming community alongside his son, Bryan Phillips. With a focus on preserving the beautiful nature surrounding Mt Laurel, these town builders easily find inspiration when constructing the neighborhood’s traditional craftsman homes.
“We build to the existing topography, so we are able to keep more of the mature trees and plantings,” explains Phillips. “This really adds to the charm of the homes and stands out from other communities.”
Many of the neighborhood homes incorporate stone exteriors, which are locally harvested from Double Oak Mountain. Details like this set the character of a Mt Laurel home apart from any other.
“Our main focus of the homes we build in Mt Laurel is the quality of workmanship and unique design,” says Freeman. “Our homes are built to be passed on from one generation to the next.”
For these multi-generational builders, Mt Laurel isn’t just a building site; it has truly become home.
“I liked Mt Laurel so much that my family built our home here,” says Phillips. “I couldn’t imagine raising a family elsewhere.”
“It’s the perfect blend of community and nature,” he continues. “The trees, lake, hiking trails, and school—it is really something you have to experience to appreciate.”
Click through the photos below to see a few of the craftsman-style homes the town builders have built in Mt Laurel. We’re sure you’ll see why so many Birmingham families love to call Mt Laurel home.
Find out more about the community at www.mtlaurel.com