Wes and Tera Wages have spent the better part of their marriage traveling the world. They’ve seen the ancient temples of Kyoto, ambled across Egypt on camels, splashed in puddles with elephants in Chiang Mai, and brunched on the cobblestone streets of Paris— all in search of magic. Yet, that spark of joy, sense of wonder, and search for that sweet spot to make lasting memories was always right here in Florence, Alabama. Since moving back to the Shoals they’ve welcomed four children and carved out a life in downtown Florence where they’ve discovered the real magical moments are found in taking evening strolls under large oak trees down Tuscaloosa, stopping to talk to friends at Wilson Park, and meandering down Court Street after dinner as a family. However, as they walk to work and enjoy the people, culture, and places of downtown Florence every day, their adventures alway begin on Poplar, in a navy 114 year old bungalow, which they have completely gutted and restored to serve as their homestead and safe space.
Tera, who has always had a love for color and fun patterns, began with refreshing the outside of her home— the navy house with a pink front porch swing stands out amongst the white cottages, and brick two-story houses. The charming entrance makes way for an entire home filled with pops of color against fresh, white walls, perfect for pictures and Tera’s video and photography business: Armosa Studios, which she owns with her husband Wes on North Court Street. Their natural sense of creativity and design made renovating their historic home a fun challenge, where they took the opportunity to tear down walls and create an open living space for entertaining, a master suite, and a kids’ hangout spot on the second floor. The spacious 4 bedroom, 3 bath house now boasts tall ceilings, refinished hardwood floors, and all of the historical charm to match the beautiful updates— a welcomed change from the 600 square ft apartment they lived in for 2 years and turned into an Airbnb just a few blocks away.
While many of the historical details of the home have been left in place, Tera took every opportunity to add her own personal touch to each space and make sure the home was not only a reflection of her sense of style but of her kid’s love for fun, color, and creativity. Every room is filled with bright books, colorful photographs, pillows, and art. The large windows throughout the house let in streams of light and show off the wallpaper, which Tera loves to pick out due to its ability to take both bold and subtle patterns and transform an entire space. Her overall style is an eclectic, midcentury modern vibe with unique light fixtures from West Elm, and wallpaper from Anthropologie, Etsy, and Kate Zaremba. Their style and vision extends throughout their house and is most prominent in the main living area where they opened up walls and designed the kitchen for every day living and entertaining, while the master suite is a relaxing spot complete with a claw foot tub, walk-in shower, and plenty of natural light.
However, what they have created is more than just a collection of rooms, it’s a special space where there is laughter drifting down from the stairs, the kids are walking barefoot onto the front porch to swing, and doing cartwheels in the kitchen waiting for cookies to bake. While Wes and Tera have worked hard to cultivate a life of adventure, perhaps their most important one is creating a home where the kids know they can always start walking down the sidewalk with ice-cream from Trowbridges, with their friends after school, or with future prom dates and and find a safe space where they feel most like themselves.