Even before Katy Stevick had at last settled on Benjamin Moore’s Sabre Gray – after swathing some 15 wooden boards in various shades of blues and grays to find just the right hue – she could see beyond the peeling pale green exterior of The MacPherson House.
She envisioned yoga on the lawn. Live music. Children playing. Sunrises. Wine on the porch. Warm muffins and hot coffee. Happy visitors relaxing in a home away from home. And all of it set against the backdrop of a thriving downtown scene. Welcome to MacPherson House Bed and Breakfast, where history meets hospitality.
Katy and Michael Stevick are a military couple with roots in this town that are shallower than many; they’ve lived here only about eight years. Yet, they’ve opted to stake a substantial investment in the belief that Fayetteville can be a desirable destination with much to offer to those just passing through or those deciding to stay awhile. That belief hasn’t wavered in the face of either a global pandemic, Michael’s deployment or the challenges that come with tending to a toddler who is both active and adorable.
“Something I’ve always been passionate about is seeing downtown come to life,” Katy Stevick said. “I’ve always loved the idea of a downtown that the actual community gathers in. When
the opportunity came up to be part of this story we were thrilled.”
The Stevicks closed on the purchase of The MacPherson House in May, buying the home from Dawn and Bill Hester, the couple who had first turned the 1920 structure into a bed and breakfast. The house, named for one of Fayetteville’s founding families, was moved years ago from South McPherson Church Road to its current location at 701 Hay Street.
“This house found me,” Katy Stevick said. With the Hesters’ blessing and encouragement – including the passing on of the original, decades-old keepsake house plans - the Stevicks began
extensive renovations to the house to get the bed and breakfast up and operating again.
Katy Stevick grew up in Fredericksburg, a small town in Central Texas known for its old-world charm, wineries and hundreds of bed and breakfasts. Her parents, Tina and Tull Johnson, are the owners of Fredericksburg’s The Mulberry House “My parents met on a construction site,” Katy said. “They taught me everything I know about constructionand restoration.” The Johnsons traveled to Fayetteville to pitch in as work got underway at The MacPherson House. Katy’s father rewired the delicate, original antique light fixtures on the
first floor. A clawfoot tub in the downstairs bedroom, original to the house, was lovingly restored by Katy’s mother.
“It has a 1926 stamp on the bottom,” Katy said.
Meanwhile, before he deployed in June, Michael Stevick managed to check off an impressive list of projects the way some people check items off a grocery list. Among those projects was the task of digging out a retaining wall on the side of the home. The newly revealed wall enabled the construction of a sturdy and lovely flight of concrete steps that lead visitors from the parking area to the inviting front porch.
Friends helped, as well, with everything from sweeping up sheetrock dust and moving furniture to entertaining “the littlest innkeeper,” 2-year-old Audrey.
Some four months later, and despite challenges that would likely have left a less cheerful person in tears, Katy is ready to begin welcoming guests. The house features five bedrooms, each with its own fireplace, private bath and soothing color scheme. Each room also offers thoughtful touches like original artwork, paintings and antiques. Michael Stevick purchased nearly every impressive piece of furniture from local shops.
Each of the original windows has been scraped by hand, reglazed and painted. The windows are double hung, so they can be opened from the top or bottom.
“We didn’t replace a thing that we didn’t have to,” Katy said. “When there were broken panes of glass, we would replace the individual panes.”
The basement, which has been renovated to eventually house an apothecary and an events space, also features a wellness room for spa services and yoga classes. Hayat Hakim, who closed her Hayat’s Yoga off Raeford Road during the pandemic, has joined the team as holistic wellness coordinator.
“The vision of creating a botanical mini-retreat vibe infused with holistic modalities is our inspiration,” Katy Sevick said in announcing Hakim. “We hope that you will experience a whole body, mind wellness experience while visiting our bed and breakfast.”
While many of the amenities will be for guests, the Stevicks plan to host public events as well. The giant pecan tree out back inspired the idea of a future annual pecan festival. The basement and sprawling grounds eventually will be perfect for weddings and other parties. Work on a honeymoon suite in another of the rooms is already underway.
Accommodations have been made to keep guests safe during their stay at The MacPherson House. A big dining room table eventually will hold plates of pecan pancakes and breakfast casseroles. But for now, guests will be able to enjoy individual continental breakfasts in the guest rooms or at outdoor seating, including on the “Zen Balcony.”
Otherwise, fall is in the air, pumpkins are on the porch and the doors are open.
“We are up and running,” Katy Stevick said. “We are ready for guests.”