The Magic is in the Details


Builder Alicia Huey is full of creative design ideas, on view everywhere in this year’s Ideal Home.

Written by Jane Reynolds/ Photography by Edward Badham

Alicia Huey—who built this year’s Ideal Home for the Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders Parade of Homes—found her passion for homebuilding while volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. She loved the spirit of teamwork and seeing people’s efforts come together to improve a family’s life. She also loved building itself—the act of creating something out of nothing—and Huey decided she wanted to be in the industry. That was 18 years ago, and as president of AGH Homes Inc., Huey feels like she’s found her true calling.

While Huey continues to volunteer with Habitat whenever possible, the private sector allows her to work with her clients to achieve their vision and indulge some of their most creative ideas—as well as plenty of her own. In the Ideal Home, she had full reign to showcase some of her favorite trends in homebuilding, her own artistic vision, and an innate understanding of how families live.

The open floor plan downstairs begins with an entryway defined by walls clad in thin brick, creating a warm transition from the outdoors in. The foyer leads into the dining room, family room and kitchen, with nuanced details throughout to create a cohesive and inviting feel.

In the kitchen, Huey chose a 48” Viking range in cobalt blue, which contrasts nicely with a rustic hood made of reclaimed wood. The large island features a quartz countertop that mimics the look of concrete, while one crowning jewel is mostly hidden but no less valuable—a spacious, walk-in pantry.

The downstairs is flanked by two bedrooms. The first is a flexible space that could also be used as an office, small library or media room. The master suite is a showpiece, defined by a generous bell-shaped opening in the ceiling clad in reclaimed wood with a long chandelier hanging from the top. The shower in the master bath is nearly a room unto itself, with three shower heads and a tub that’s located inside in the shower. One of Huey’s favorite accents is found here. “Everybody wants a bench in the shower,” she says, “but I thought outside the box and decided to put in a big boulder instead. It’s a statement piece in the shower. And if somebody really wants a bench, I can put an acrylic bench over the top of it.”

The second floor also features Huey’s imagination on full display. Whimsical touches include a loft inside one bedroom, replete with a lilac-painted wood fence in place of a half wall and a matching lilac ladder leading up. Adjoined by a Jack-and-Jill bath, a second bedroom features a regulation-sized basketball hoop. The third upstairs bedroom is more formal but contains a whimsical feature of its own: a ceiling cutout with dormer windows. “This was a dormer in the attic,” Huey says, “but I thought, ‘What a waste! Why have windows in the attic when I can open this up to have windows in the bedroom? l like to call it the stargazing room.

“The Ideal Home is a chance for me to showcase my creativity in different things I’ve done as a builder in general and as a female builder in particular,” she continues. “So there are elements that may seem a little atypical or out of the box, but I also try to think about the way you live in a home, the everyday living. And so far, people seem to like it.” 

BEHIND THE SCENES

Builder: Alicia Huey, president, AGH Homes Inc.

Home Plan: David Smelcer, David Smelcer Plan Design

Interior Decorating: Cindy Davis, Davis Design Interiors

Lighting: Mayer Lighting Showroom

Cabinetry: Oak Mountain Cabinetry

Closet Design: Classic Closets

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