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My New Home: From Downtown condo to Tudor Revival house

Emily Adams Keplinger || Special to The Commercial Appeal

Published 7:01 a.m. CT Aug. 24, 2021

Petya and Kyle Grady love their new home. Craig Collier For

Petya and Kyle Grady lived in Downtown Memphis for many years and said they absolutely loved it. However, living in a condo became a bit crowded after their daughter was born.

“We had our baby, Rumi, and honestly we would probably still live Downtown if it hadn't been for the pandemic,” Petya said. “My husband and I were both working from home, on Zoom calls all day long with

a toddler. We had a gorgeous two-bedroom condo, but most of our space was wide open and, other than one balcony, we didn't have outdoor space of our own. We were really on top of each other.”

Front elevation Craig Collier For

Petya works in corporate innovation for Terminix and is a co-founder of CodeCrew. Kyle is an educator and works for Freedom Prep Academy. It got to a point where they really felt like they needed more rooms and a yard so that they could let their little one roam. Petya said the family was really happy with their move, but that it was such an emotional move that she cried the day their condo sold.

“We wanted a home in Central Gardens, on a ‘pretty’ block — we knew we’d know it when we saw it,” Petya said. “We didn’t want a HUGE house, but we did want three bedrooms and two bathrooms. We also had having a beautiful outdoor space with established plants, but no big trees, on our list. We have pretty busy lives, so we were hoping we wouldn't need to do too much work on the home — but we also tried to be realistic. We knew having a charming, older home almost always meant that some work would probably be required.”

The kitchen was refurbished by a previous owner and offers plenty of storage and prep space. Craig Collier For

The couple called Sowell agent Leigh Martin to assist them with their house hunt. Petya worked with Leigh's partner, Margo, at Lokion, where they became friends. Margo taught Petya to drive (at 37) and then Margo and Leigh became godparents of the couple’s daughter.

“Leigh helped us buy and sell our condo, and then helped us buy our first house,” Kyle said. “She is truly family to us at this point. With Leigh’s guidance, we only looked at properties we truly liked. We didn't look at more than 10. We put in two offers that didn't work out before our third offer got accepted.”

The living room is a comfortable space with plenty of seating for when family and friends gather. Craig Collier For

The Gradys paid $410,000 for their Tudor Revival-style home in Central Gardens, with more than 2,400 square feet of living space. The house, built in 1926, had their requisite three bedrooms and offered 2½ bathrooms.

Previous owners had built an addition to the home and had renovated the kitchen.

“We love the light and the layout in the house,” Petya said. “There’s a beautiful open flow in the back of the house. A window in the central staircase lets in so much light, right in the middle of the house, that it feels like the house glows from within. There are built-in bookshelves throughout the home (the previous owner was a librarian) and for the first time in our lives, we were not running out of book space the moment we moved in.”

The master bedroom uses a muted color palette to add the feeling of relaxation at the end of the day. Craig Collier For

The couple said the biggest difference between their new home and their former abode is the outdoor space. Petya added, “Being able to hang out in this magical backyard, to meditate and drink coffee in the morning, to do yoga under the magnolia, to let Rumi play with chalk and work on her leaf collection, to watch our dog bask in the sun or listen to the birds, to have people over for drinks all feels pretty luxurious, especially during this time of relative isolation due to the pandemic. When we lived Downtown, we were always going out. Living here, we have friends over all the time. It feels more intimate.”

When asked if they had changed anything since moving in, or if they had changes planned for the near future, Kyle said, “We added central heat/air as soon as we moved in and repainted the entire interior of the house. However, we are holding off on major renovations for now. We are most likely going to do a kitchen remodel, but we wanted to live in the house for a little while before we committed to any big changes. We are lucky that we don't HAVE to do anything big. Like any old house, things are not all perfect, but we kind of like that.”

The furniture in the guest bedroom goes well with the original hardwood flooring. Craig Collier For

As for their neighborhood? “We have amazing neighbors and bump into friends every time we are out for a walk or a run,” Petya said. “Plus, we love that Leigh and Margo live around the corner from us. We love the beautiful trees here in Central Gardens and we admire the effort and attention our neighbors put into caring for their homes. Overall, we just love that every day feels like an invitation to be outside and so close to nature ... right in the middle of the city.”

Ample storage space for books and media was on the Grady's list of must-haves when searching for a new home. Craig Collier For

Emily Adams Keplinger is a freelance reporter who produced this feature for the Advertising Department.

Check out The Commercial Appeal article here


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