Great Gatsby Christmas
The Vaughan Home

By Lee Ann Taylor • Photography by Brian W. McDonald

Tim Vaughan of Geneva, Alabama, came to Dothan, Alabama, to buy a pair of tennis shoes and left with a 1927 French provincial craftsman home in the heart of Geneva. The friend with him that day told him the property was for sale, and it didn’t take long for Vaughan to know he had to have it, though he had no intention of leaving his family farmhouse of 59 years. “I fell in love with the house,” he explains.

A member of the Geneva County Historical Society, Vaughan has long had an appreciation for the area’s past. “My roots being in Geneva and Chancellor, I just wanted to renovate a home I felt had historical significance,” he says. “It was a home that had been forgotten, and I wanted to bring it back to life.” He bought the home in October 2012, just in time for Geneva High School’s homecoming. “I didn’t even have lights or running water,” he says. “It was a bring-your-own-flashlight party.”

But Vaughan quickly dug in, ready to restore the home to its former glory. The residence previously belonged to a family of collectors, and Vaughan began the process of sorting through their belongings. “I did not renovate this home. I restored it inside and out,” Vaughan says. “I kept it Geneva. I kept it Coastal South.”

Where imperfections and character collide, there is beauty. Restoring the home allowed for some freedom and a no-apologies approach to imperfections. “This home survived the flood of ’29,” Vaughan tells. “If there’s imperfection of any kind, I blame it on the flood.” The only room exempt from the restoration-only approach was the kitchen. Vaughan knew the end goal was to entertain, and his philosophy on parties—“the bigger, the better”—would require a kitchen that was up to the task. “I wanted it caterer-friendly, and that is exactly what I got,” Vaughan expounds. The extra-deep, commercial sinks have been used for everything from washing dishes to icing down wine, and the fridge has storage for days. It is a caterer’s dream.

A front room with a separate exit is said to have been a doctor’s office at one time and a lawyer’s office at another; it now serves as a seating area. An interior wall was removed to open the space to the rest of the home. Vaughan employed the help of The Lampman in Dothan to make the existing lighting look “1927 new,” and together, they created a fixture match for the front ...  [subscribe to read full article and see more photos]