Lake living is mostly about the outdoors with people like the Wests purchasing water view homesites in the middle of fox dens, eagle’s nests and flower-eating whitetails. “We like Grand Rivers because there’s always something going on and it’s close to Paducah and Metropolis,” Sally said. “Since college, I’ve had a boat, and in 1998 we started back on the lake with a houseboat. Today we have a pontoon,” Terry added.
The Wests’ love for the beautiful countryside and family traditions inspired much of the rustic lake home’s look and feel. Terry, who has an agriculture engineering degree from Murray State University, and has lived on a farm most of his life, said he wanted to find unusual materials for the house in this area and combine them with Sally’s finds, such as stained glass and unique antiques, to create a comfortable home for family and friends to visit.
Sally (formerly Harris) is also an MSU graduate with degrees in elementary, special education, and educational administration. She is Director at the Metro Center at Shawnee Community College. Her love for education is reflected in special nooks and crannies throughout the house with a colorful Murray State memorabilia section in the finished basement and a “school days” collection on the top floor of this three-story home.
“Everything in our house is distressed and allows for kids to play and friends to prop their feet up and really enjoy being in a place where they don’t have to worry about damaging anything,” she noted.
This five-bedroom home, built by Metropolis builder Orville Bailey, has four exterior porches and is a Reward System House. This designation calls for one-foot thick concrete from the basement to the rafters. It will withstand wind up to 200 mph and saves 40-60% in heating and cooling.
Terry recalls that in the 1960s when his dad, Ivan, was buying and selling farm land, he travelled with him through Indiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. “I was impressed with the porches we saw. This Southern style that we used for our lake house is similar to those and is a porch style that keeps the house cool all summer.”
When the Wests first thought about building in Marina Village, they wanted a log cabin, but had to change to something more fitting for the neighborhood. They chose the 5,100-square foot Adirondack plan designed by William Poole that features vinyl and concrete shingles, two large fireplaces, hickory wide-plank flooring from the Amish, and staircases in front and back.
An unusual wooden sunburst design is found in several places, also marking the work of Poole. Other unique features include doors leading to the bonus room and one to the basement. “They are nearly 100 years old and were brought from five farms Dad owned, and then put altogether. For about 30 years, I stored timber and the doors waiting to build and finally incorporated them into this house. They were in bad shape, but carpenters and painters brought them back,” Terry shared.
Tumbled marble tiles and stained glass, a weathered wood framed vanity mirror, and distressed hardwood all contribute to this old-but-new atmosphere in every bathroom. One has a steam shower.
All bedrooms are carefully appointed by Sally with themes from nautical to “Go West.” Children Natalie, 29, a speech pathologist in Oahu, Hawaii, and Chad, 35, a Dallas attorney, have their own rooms when they come home, of course.
Another 100-year-old item -— Terry’s great-great- grandfather’s rocker, plus an old gun of his grandmother’s, a butcher block from Tennessee, and a wooden Captain’s wheel that Sally found while collecting accessories, add their own rustic flavor to the décor. “We even traded a set of encyclopedias for a piece of stained glass when we were young and first collecting!” Sally chuckled.
The massive hand-carved pine mantel and staircase posts, the heavy hand-hewn beams in the dining room, where one of the wood-burning fireplaces offers seasonal warmth and glow, and interesting collectables distinguish this beautiful lake home from most others.