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Living: Lauren and Wyatt Jenkins’ Home

By Courtney Phillips

Sixteen years ago, Lauren walked into Wyatt’s home for the first time. Last year, it became her home, too.

 Upon graduating from East Carolina, the Fayetteville natives and high school sweethearts began their married life in Fayetteville. Two homes—in Briarwood and Woodlands—and two beautiful children later, they bought and settled into Wyatt’s childhood home in Vanstory Hills.

After a full renovation, the home is invitingly modern and elegant—packed with color, fun and happy memories.

The Grand Tour

From the foyer of the brick Federal, guests are beckoned to the living room—a formal, yet welcoming space. A celebration of families woven together, the room features classic antique pieces, like Wyatt’s grandmother’s secretary and Lauren’s grandmother’s chest.

The colorful sofa and chairs—the first glimpse of Lauren’s vibrant signature style—have been in the living room since the home was built. Mr. Jenkins gave them to Lauren, who updated the upholstery with an intricate robin’s egg blue chinoiserie and coordinating coral. Their son, Snyder, and daughter, Avery, smile cheerfully from a portrait by Mary Tucker Southerland of Greenville, North Carolina or South Carolina.

Whimsical elements of interest, like a brass cricket box on a formal side table and polka dot taper candles in an ornate candelabrum, enliven the space and create a lightheartedness found throughout the home.


The dining room is a testament to quintessential southern hospitality—a table for eight, her great-grandmother’s gleaming silver service and Lauren’s wedding crystal. Hints of greenery, topiaries and an abundant, blooming table arrangement breathe life into the room.

Lauren isn’t intimidated by bold color, and she balances it tastefully. Classic white wainscoting bolsters her favorite paint color, Begonia, a bright coral by Sherwin Williams. “I always paint the dining room this color,” said Lauren of their two previous homes in Fayetteville. “I love it.”


Though the home was built 26 years ago, it was immaculately maintained, which simplified many facets of a traditional remodel. While some jobs proved arduous (wallpaper removal took two weeks), many areas of the home required only fresh paint and fixtures, like the kitchen cabinets.

New granite countertops, a grey glass subway tile backsplash and freshly-sanded hardwood floors give the kitchen a look reminiscent of new construction.

Lauren softened the clean, cool lines of the kitchen with custom Asian-inspired drapery in the breakfast nook. A bay window overlooks the picturesque back yard where, at dusk, twinkling white lights begin to illuminate the shrubbery and lawn. “We put them out in December, but they will stay. I love looking at them,” she said in the easy way requisite of one tasked with changing a home she already loved.

Den Living

The den is sumptuously appointed with a traditional grey sectional and oversize coral trellis-print chairs from Southern Design Furniture, a Fayetteville favorite in the Great American Market Place flea market on Raeford Road.

To update the space, Lauren addressed brass accents that were popular when the home was constructed and painted the walls, built-in shelving and the fireplace. The result is clean but cozy and begs a relaxing visit—or a roll on the plush white carpet with Snyder and Avery.

Sunlight streams in via the adjacent sunroom, a bright space with a coastal feel. White wicker furniture and colorful art are illuminated by walls of windows and skylights. Formerly a back porch, the space offers exposed brick and is a charming nook in all weather. “I love it out here, even when it rains,” said Lauren.

Fit for a Prima Ballerina

 “I have to show you my favorite room,” said Lauren, weaving through space after well-designed space to Avery’s bedroom. “I found this and designed the room around it. It reminded me of Avery,” said Lauren, motioning to the “Beautiful Ballerina” print by Kristina Bass Bailey. To create a look that will grow with Avery, Lauren interlaced primness and fun with custom pink buffalo check bedding and accents of cheetah print and feathers. Avery’s monogram hangs above the bed – white, counter to a delightful shade of pink.

Changing Hands

An extensive renovation with two small children is far from ideal, so Wyatt’s dad—from whom they purchased their home—graciously lived through the changes, oftentimes supervising the process.

Over the course of a year, Mr. Jenkins watched his home transform into that of his son and daughter-in-law. “I can’t imagine being in his shoes as we took his things away,” said Lauren as she listed the changes they made—from chandeliers above, to the modern wood-look ceramic tile on the laundry room floor.

She chuckled as she recounted the process, remembering that Mr. Jenkins slept in what is now Avery’s pink palace—fresh pink walls and all. “We are forever indebted,” she said gratefully. “We will never be able to repay him for living through it all.”

Where Credit is Due

“We are blessed to have what we have,” said Lauren, as she walked through the home, highlighting the work and craftsmanship of others far more frequently than acknowledging her own vision.

From Debra Ingram, who helped select fixtures and impeccable paint colors, to David Cox, the masterful painter who rolled the colors onto the walls, Lauren exudes gratitude.

She raves of the inspired work of Debra Woodell of Creative Accents, who shepherded interior design. Lauren chose unique and eye-catching fabrics, but relied on Debra to bring her dream into reality. Debra made the window treatments, bedding in the master bedroom and in Avery’s room and covered the exquisite living room furniture. “Debra knows what I like and the look I want,” said Lauren.

“Robin Kelly at Lisa’s Custom Framing made all of my mirrors and did a great job,” as she explained how she creatively dealt with odd dimensions.

 Lauren and Wyatt worked with Carolina Window Fashions to select and install their 3.5 inch, single-panel plantation shutters. Mid-South Lighting, Hubbard Kitchen, Bath & Lighting and Olive Glass and Marble helped make their house a home, as well.

Perched at the kitchen table, a find from Ballard Designs, Lauren excitedly lists outstanding projects she and Debra are working to address—a rug here, a window treatment there. She gives simple advice to those who might embark on a similar task:  “Don’t settle, just to get it done. It gives you something to look forward to,” she said smiling. “Take your time. It’ll come together.”