On a blistering Summer day in 2018 while riding his motorcycle over the steep hills of the Heritage Village neighborhood that runs along the rambling Cypress Creek, Austin Shirey found a red For Sale sign for a baby blue, vinyl cabin hidden in the back of the woods on Creekside Drive and immediately made an offer. Surrounded by towering oak trees and woven ivy, the 2,000 square foot home overlooked the winding creek— a secluded lot, full of potential, only minutes from downtown Florence, Alabama.
However, what Austin believed was the creek-side cabin of his dreams, seemed like a renovation nightmare to wife Lyndon. Walls needed to be taken down, bathrooms gutted, every inch painted, floral drapes removed, and the baby blue vinyl had to go— but Austin had a vision. Immediately, the entire exterior of the home was re-sided in Hardie-board, then painted black– a romantic change, inspired by Scandinavian homes clad in black board and batten siding, that made this modern treehouse melt into the lush, green forest. Next, every square inch of the interior of the home was painted white, and the hardwood floors were refurbished and white-washed to continue the fresh, Scandinavian style throughout the main living area to create a simple, open, bright space that would keep the focus on nature, which spilled in through every window.
In less than a year, the renovations were complete with most notably, a full master bedroom and bathroom reconstruction upstairs, finished with a walk-in rain shower, a bonus room in the basement, a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace in the living room, and a screened-in patio on the back deck to enjoy throughout the Summer. Every inch of the house was touched and methodically planned in order to create the most relaxing space inside and out. And as renovations concluded, Lyndon had fun decorating with her sister-in-law and tying in touches of Midcentury Modern decor with the simple, clean style. The results are refreshing and calming — a breath of fresh air that creates a peaceful, inviting space.
The main living floor is open and airy, with soaring 22-foot ceilings, that show off the custom-built stone fireplace, and includes the kitchen, dining room and living area. A stunning addition to the living room is the industrial, modern wooden staircase, with a custom-made powder-coated iron railing that leads to the upstairs loft-like Master Bedroom. The Master Suite boasts incredible views of Cypress Creek, set up in the trees where sunbeams dance across the floor, creating a private, restful retreat.
However, one year later, in a surprising turn of events, the dream cabin has been sold. Never one to sit still for too long, Austin, owner of Greasy Hands Barber Shop, saw potential in another home and jumped on the chance to own a one-of-a-kind Midcentury Modern stunner, which he plans to slowly restore to its former glory. And while the Shirey’s are looking forward to planning their next home-project, they admit they will miss many things about the unique cabin, including sitting on the back porch and listening to the babbling creek, while deer amble through the trees. Yet, knowing the Shirey’s, their next home renovation will be just as memorable and will be another reason to Show off the Shoals.