A labour of love: the home of Johnny and Stacy Craig
Built in 1980, the home of Johnny and Stacy Craig of Munford is now a showplace. It didn’t necessarily start out that way. Reverend John and Zantha Stavely, a former Methodist minister in Munford, built the original 1100 sq. ft. home as a four room house with a living room, dining room, kitchen, and bedroom. It was a comfortable home for the couple, and full of love.
“When we decided we needed to do something different from the home we built on Cullum Drive,” Stacy Craig explained, “I never dreamed we would actually rebuild a standing home.
Two days following the move into our dream home, our youngest child, Luke, was born. Two months later, he was diagnosed as being visually impaired with minimal chances of improvement. Struggling to live in a two-story home with a toddler that had no peripheral vision and no depth perception, much less the ability to see a few feet with clarity or color, we made a lifestyle decision to live in a safer, more functional environment for Luke.”
Stacy continued, “Being a Realtor during this time, I was approached to sell a sweet church lady’s home, who had recently passed. Little did I know, listing Mrs. Zantha’s home for sale would be our family’s blessing in disguise. Within two years of building our dream home, we sold it and bargained to repurpose the one level home that would allow Luke to live more comfortably. To date, that remains the best decision and investment yet for our family!”
“We loved the Stavelys. They were sweet church people; they watched me grow up and were at our wedding.” Stacy added, “They loved this place, and it is a real joy to know that I still have Mrs. Zantha’s Iris bulbs and other flowers growing around this house.”
The only wall that remained untouched during the remodel of the home was the wall with the kitchen sink. “We extended the living and dining room walls by twelve feet.” Johnny Craig began, “I drew the plans, added three bedrooms, baths, laundry room, the office, shop, garage, and a space that will eventually be a game room.” In 2005, the couple moved into a home that is so lovingly crafted and well made that it truly beams with joy, and is the ‘fun place’ to be for their family and many friends.
“It’s a new build, holds the essence of antiques and reclaimed wood, all with creative touches. It’s secluded, yet in the heart of Munford.”Johnny explained and Stacy added laughingly, “I just wish we had someplace to put the horses!” The couple has several horses that live on a nearby farm.
As you walk in through the secluded front of the home, the entry way presents you with a Southern Louisiana flair, iron posts give it a French Quarter look, with a slate mosaic on the floor. The mantle case opening was all built by hand. To the right, the dining room is a special room; Stacy’s great grandmother’s tea cups are on display, along with other china. “I have a ¾ raised panel wall with a barrell entry in this room,” Johnny continued, “In the living room, all of the woodwork is hand finished and the ceiling is cottonwood.” Johnny found the cottonwood, along with aged oak at a friend’s grandfather’s sawmill and bought it all for about $200, “give or take”. The piano was Stacy’s 40th birthday present, “I love to hear her play and sing,” Johnny explained. Charlie Chaplin stands beside the piano in his new home. He was a recent rescue from a remodel that Johnny found and brought home.
Another special find from the old tea room in Covington, was the couple’s vanity. “We’re tall, so I really had to work to make this fit. I took the top off and added a 6-8” band to accommodate our heighth.” Craig added. He retrofitted the top with lighting as well.
“Our favorite room is the kitchen,” Stacy continued, “I love the colors, everybody gathers there; it has a great sitting area.” The kitchen was finished in 45 days and has 60 sheets of MDF ¾ wood. Dupree Cooper built the original cabinets in the Stavely’s kitchen. Johnny matched his style in the cabinets he built for the rest of the kitchen. He even hand crafted the overhead vent hood with built in spice racks for Stacy. “I love my island that Johnny made, it has so much storage all around it,” Stacy smiled, “and the top is gorgeous.”
The top was pieced together with hand cut marble from Peru, except on the corners. Johnny explained, “I was looking for something different and I found these metal trivets [all four corners] in a store, loved them and thought that would be great for the corners.” A glass top covers the final version of the counter, which is a piece of art in itself. The ceiling in the kitchen is aged oak and in the center, over the island, is a wrought iron gate from a home in Midtown Memphis, that was getting rid of the ‘old’. Craig rescued it, brought it home and turned it into a light fixture. “I like knowing that my hands did it, my handprints are throughout this whole project,” Johnny laughed, “it’s a hobby house, it’s never going to stop.” The couple’s second piece of furniture that they bought after getting married also rests in the kitchen, holding their favorite everyday china.
“He changed every color that I picked out,” Stacy laughed, “but I’m glad he did because his creativity certainly made this home beautiful.”
As you walk to the back of the house, Johnny points out a newly hung awning made from tin and aged wood, “That’s what I mean by a hobby, that was Stacy’s mother’s day present.”
The back yard is beyond breathtaking. A sparkling pool is the jewel of the secluded haven with a wooden pergola style awning over the northern side. The stamped concrete is flanked by happy tables, chairs, chaise lounges and a secluded hot tub tucked into it’s own space with doors to shut out the world.
“This is our haven, I love this, we have parties and our older kids, Hannah and Caleb have loved this space as well. Everybody comes to our home because it’s a fun place, it’s a central location and it’s an easy place to relax.” Stacy finished.