Opening Doors Fall 2021

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Opening Doors Fall 2021

A Clayton Home Building Group Lifestyle Brand

Come on In! Autumn’s Best Decor, Destinations, Recipes & More


Golden Hour

Happy dog, Hank, relaxes on the porch of a Clayton Designer Cottage, one of thousands of various models built by Clayton Home Building Group across its off-site and on-site home building operations throughout the nation.


Fall 2021

A Clayton Home Building Group Lifestyle Brand


LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

W

elcome home! I’ve often heard that home is a state of mind, but I believe the houses we build are the foundations to the feeling of home we all crave and seek. Within these pages of our first edition of Opening Doors, we invite you to feel inspired, while cultivating and creating a sense of home. Whether you’re embarking on a fall road trip to find peak leaf color, enhancing your front porch with a pumpkin-and-succulent display, or diving into modern design tips and trends—the feeling of home and comfort can be found here. Each of our over 14,000 team members across the country is deeply committed to opening doors to a better life through listening, connecting and genuinely caring about our homeowners and their happiness. To us, it’s personal. Opening Doors is a way for us to give you a small glimpse at the extraordinary people that build your home. You’ll meet Stephany, whose striking success at our Sulphur Springs home building facility has taken our team by storm. You’ll learn about our commitment to sustainability and environmentally conscious methods that aim to reduce, reuse and recycle. Maybe you’ll even be inspired to pick up an album from our famed team member who is also a member of the Dirty Guv’nahs band. Opening Doors was created for you and your home living journey. Grab a cup of coffee, get cozy and ease into this curated collection of Clayton Home Building Group lifestyle stories. Get inspired and know our family is connected with yours every step of the way. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey home.

Opening Doors A Clayton Home Building Group Lifestyle Brand EDITOR IN CHIEF

Caroline Collins McKenzie CREATIVE CONSULTING & DESIGN

Erynn Hassinger Design

CL AY TON HOME BUILDING GROUP

Keith Holdbrooks President of Clayton Home Building Group Donie Wood Chief Customer Officer

Lexi Blackburn Director of Communications Paul Fortenberry Director of Marketing

Samantha Monnig Marketing & Communications Specialist Camille Stepp Marketing & Communications Project Specialist Marina Gibson Graphic Designer

CL AY TON CREATIVE & PHOTOGRAPHY TEAM

Bree Smith Director of Creative Services Deb Brienen Photographer

Heather White Photographer

Meghan Francis Photographer PRODUCTION & PUBLISHING

High Resolutions CONTRIBUTORS

Katie Christian

Charlyne Mattox

Keith Holdbrooks PRESIDENT OF CL AY TON HOME BUILDING GROUP

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MORGAN TRINKER

Morgan Trinker


Contents

PAG E 6

OPE N SE A S ON PAG E 6

Your one-stop guide for what to see, do and enjoy this autumn—from easy pumpkin displays and hosting the ultimate s’mores roast, to a fall color trek in your neck of the woods.

H AV E I T M A DE PAG E 5 8

PAG E 4 8

PAG E 28

Whether you’re a fi rst-time home buyer or looking for your forever home, this curated collection of Clayton Home Building Group models will help you fi nd just the right house for this phase of your life.

F E AT U RE S

H A PPY NE S S AT HOME Legends of the Fall PAG E 2 0

Seven ways to up the autumn ante in every room. Plus, pretty fall decor fi nds.

Material World

PAG E 28

Now trending: homes with rich color and ample texture.

Work From Home PAG E 3 2

Design secrets for carving out an effi cient and stylish home offi ce.

Mountain High PAG E 3 4

A Floridian follows her family tradition of heading to scenic Cashiers, North Carolina, for rest and relaxation—and fi nds her dream tiny home in the process.

For Keeps PAG E 42

The Mayfi elds create a dream home and new career on their family property in the heart of Alabama.

Gather ’Round

ON THE COVER Fall perks up on the porch of Clayton Bean Station’s Elite 3260 model at Clayton’s Legacy Park community in Loudon, Tennessee.

PAG E 4 8

Create an autumn bounty of savory bites and sweet treats that will have guests wanting to sit and stay awhile.

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Complement comfort with security. ecobee offers automated home monitoring you can rely on.

Visit ecobee.com to learn more.


Open season

GET T Y/ W. DREW SENTER, LONGLEAF PHOTOGRAPHY

What to see, do and enjoy right now.

HIT THE ROAD

Fall for Color

As the days get shorter and the weather becomes crisper, head for one of these destinations to take in resplendent autumn hues. Birmingham, Alabama

produced by CAROLINE M C KENZIE & L AURA KOSTELNY

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Open season Stay just outside of town at the Columbiana Inn. Built in 1889, the Victorian home is now a charming bed-and-breakfast, with six picturesque rooms. GRAB A BITE: Enjoy Alabama’s signature dish, barbecue, with a meal at Dreamland BBQ. Order their world-famous smoked ribs and don’t forget a side of fried okra. There’s also banana pudding for dessert—save room! WHILE YOU’RE THERE: Visit the Vulcan Park & Museum to see the largest cast-iron statue in the world. REST YOUR HEAD:

Dahlonega, Georgia

M

ore is definitely more when it comes to planning the perfect fall vacation. After months of sweltering temps, come autumn, we’re all on the lookout for more outdoor adventure, more fun alternatives for staying active and, oh yes—more bang for our buck. For those looking to get off the beaten path and do something simultaneously laid-back and adventurous, there’s a solution: leaf peeping. There’s a serenity that comes with getting your 10,000 steps while surrounded by leaves in rich reds, deep oranges and bright golds. For primo peeping, head to one of these locations and enjoy a kaleidoscope of color, quaint lodging, good eats and more.

Birmingham, Alabama

This picturesque Southern town offers rolling hills, shopping villages with charming momand-pop shops, as well as plenty of sidewalks and paths that are lined with oaks, alders and sugar maples. PRIME TIME TO PEEP: October

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While everyone associates California with the gold rush, the very first one in the U.S. happened in this quaint town located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. These days, prospectors come for the waterfalls, the wine from nearby vineyards, and the leaves of poplars, ashes and yellowwoods. PRIME TIME TO PEEP: Late October to early November REST YOUR HEAD: The Smith House has been hosting tourists since 1899. Stay in the historic lodge or book one of the on-site cottages. Enjoy snacking on home-cooked treats in the family-friendly dining room before strolling to the shops located only a block away. GRAB A BITE: Readers of The Dahlonega Nugget have spoken, and they say the Corner Kitchen Deli has the best sandwich in town. Bonus: The deli also serves up treats from its sister store, The Fudge Factory.

DISCOVER DAHLONEGA

Dahlonega, Georgia


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tour the Dahlonega Gold Museum, which is housed in one of Georgia’s oldest courthouses.

GET T Y/MARYANNE NELSON

WHILE YOU’RE THERE:

Albuquerque, New Mexico Home to an abundance of aspen trees, this city is also home to the famed International Balloon Fiesta (Oct. 2–10), wherein hot air balloons take off every

morning right in front of the picturesque Sandia Mountains. PRIME TIME TO PEEP: Mid October to early November REST YOUR HEAD: Prepare to be charmed by the Bottger Mansion of Old Town. Not only does it offer free snacks and comfy robes, the scenic location can’t be beat. GRAB A BITE: Ever had green

chili on your hamburger? If not, try The Frontier, located across from the University of New Mexico. They’ve been serving up the spicy combo for more than 50 years. WHILE YOU’RE THERE: The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science boasts an impressive fossil collection that will thrill visitors of all ages. Opening Doors

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Open season Durango, Colorado

craft beers. The restaurant also has a surprisingly interesting menu that features everything from muffuletta pizza to a Cajun boil. WHILE YOU’RE THERE: Book an Alpine Heli Tour and check out the leaves from above, or add an extra (two-) step while dancing to live music at the Animas City Theatre.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

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Durango, Colorado

This small town (population 18,000) is heaven on Earth for outdoorsy types. Here, you can fish, bike, hike, ride horses and go whitewater rafting in a single day, if you’ve got the energy. You can also take in the wonders of all the alders, firs, oaks, pines and spruces. PRIME TIME TO PEEP: Late September to October REST YOUR HEAD: Take a trip back in time and stay in one of the 88 rooms at the The Strater Hotel, which are outfitted with Victorian furnishings, Bradbury & Bradbury wallpaper and historic drapes. There’s also a museum in the lobby, but fear not—you also have access to modern stuff like free Wi-Fi, flat-screen televisions and sound machines. GRAB A BITE: Beer lovers, rejoice. The good folks at Steamworks Brewing Co. have won numerous medals for their

If you have retained anything from your classes in U.S. history, you’ll know this site is where the Civil War took a turn. You’ll find lots to see in the way of monuments and battlefields, as well as hickories, oaks and poplars. PRIME TIME TO PEEP: Late October REST YOUR HEAD: Established in 1896, the Federal Pointe Inn boasts plenty of memorabilia in the lobby and well-appointed rooms outfitted with four-poster beds and grand writing desks, as well as modern comforts like Wi-Fi and mini-fridges. GRAB A BITE: Not only is the Dobbin House Tavern listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it also offers tours, a curiosity shop and a menu with favorites like fish house punch and broiled crab cakes. WHILE YOU’RE THERE: Take a break from the history lesson and sign up for the Adams County Pour Tour, a craft wine, beer, mead, cider and spirits trail.

Brown County/Nashville, Indiana

While the name of the county doesn’t exactly suggest vibrant views, southern Indiana really does deliver with beautiful fall

GET T Y/MARC PRINCIVALLE FOR IMAGESCONCEPT.COM; GET T Y/AMYGDAL A _IMAGERY

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania


Brown County/ Nashville, Indiana

Pack a Picnic!

PRODUCT IMAGES COURTESY OF VENDORS (PRICES AND AVAIL ABILIT Y SUBJECT TO CHANGE); INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES/ VISIT INDIANA AGERY

Making a day trip out of your leaf-peeping trek? These fresh finds will let you serve up an on-the-go meal in style.

Picnic Basket, $67; food52.com.

Enamel Picnic Plate, $14; crow canyonhome .com.

Thermos, $60; pendletonusa.com

Corkscrew picnic knife, $35; shoptenzo.com

Blanket, $110; brontemoon.etsy.com.

color, including the rare yellowwood trees found in Brown County State Park. PRIME TIME TO PEEP: October to early November REST YOUR HEAD: Travel back in time when you check into the 1875 Homestead. This historic bed-and-breakfast is situated on 5 acres and offers free cookies and other homemade treats. All rooms come with luxury linens, private baths

and sitting rooms. GRAB A BITE: The Nashville House is a third-generation family business, which means they’ve had time to perfect staples like Hoosier baked ham and meatloaf. After you eat, you can shop on-site for homemade jams, walking sticks and local honey. WHILE YOU’RE THERE: Capture a moment in history by taking photos at the Brown County Pioneer Museum & Old Log Jail. Opening Doors

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Open season

A simple firepit is all you need to transform your backyard or campsite into prime territory for a s’mores party. (Start the evening with a weenie roast, and follow up with s’mores for dessert!)

LEFT:

Campfire Classic ENJOY A SWEE T PRIMER ON THE BASICS FOR CR AF TING AN ANY THING-BUT-BASIC FIRESIDE TRE AT.

E

ven if you happen to think that spending time in the great outdoors is, well, not so great, there’s one element of gathering around the campfire that’s always appealing: s’mores. The ooey-gooey, chocolateand-marshmallow combo has been a source of joy and Scout’s honor for almost 100 years. In fact, the first record of the dessert—then called “some mores”—can be found in the 1927 guide “Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts.” The tasty term was later shortened to “s’mores” in the circa-1936 Recreational Programs for Summer Camps. But the rite of stacking up graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate is hardly just for children. Those of us who long ago traded in our sashes and trunks for backyard fireplaces and well-appointed outdoor kitchens are still down for turning up the heat on a

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crisp, fall night and pair the melty, messy sweet with a glass of wine or whiskey, neat. So why has this particular dessert stood the test of time? The makings are inexpensive; they’re made with fire; and the end result is decadent and delicious. Even better, says food editor and recipe developer Charlyne Mattox, it’s easy to put your personal spin on the confection. Here, Mattox—a former Girl Scout herself—offers the lowdown on what to have on hand for s’mores that you and your guests can get fired up about.

Hot Rods. If you’re perusing Amazon, you’ll find there are a number of s’mores-specific skewer options, but you don’t have to get fancy. After all, when you’re roughing it, you’re likely using foraged sticks and branches. So when you’re at home, feel free to use whatever metal skewer or bamboo stick you have on hand—as long as it’s between 2 and 3 feet long. “That way, you’ll be able to hold the marshmallows over the fire without getting too close,” Mattox explains. Caged Beauty. Not everyone has the patience for

making one s’more at a time. Luckily, there’s some-

MEGHAN FRANCIS & DEB BRIENEN

GET OUTSIDE


thing for those who are interested in the art of mass production: The S’mores to Love S’more Maker. This contraption allows you to craft and cook as many as six s’mores at a time, and because it’s only $15, it won’t eat into your ingredients budget.

Claim to Flame. Obviously, there’s nothing quite like

STOCK FOOD/QUENTIN BACON; PRODUCT IMAGES COURTESY OF VENDORS (PRICES AND AVAIL ABILIT Y SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

sitting around a campfire or bonfire, but you can craft delicious s’mores on a grill, over an outdoor firepit—or even above a gas stove. It’s not how you bring the heat, says Mattox; it’s how you use it. “If you want a marshmallow with a burned outer layer —not melted inside—stick it close to the flame, catch it on fire and immediately blow it out,” she advises. “When you’re looking for a nicely golden brown marshmallow that’s melted all the way through, hold it 2 feet from the fire and rotate constantly. It takes about 30 seconds to get it perfect.”

The Fluffy Stuff. While there are tons of artisanal marshmallows available in a host of flavors—Hammond’s vanilla bean, Madyson’s cinnamon sugar, and even cookie dough–infused marshmallows from XO Marshmallow, to name a few—you can’t go wrong with a grocery store variety. “Go with a jumbo size—the smaller ones might not hold up to the fire,” says Mattox. Hot Chocolate. Once again, it’s maker’s choice. Feel free to create a masterpiece with dark, white or milk chocolate squares. You can also combine all three! The one caveat: Avoid a chocolate bar with a filling. “It’ll be extra messy and akin to hot lava by the time it leaves the fire,” warns Mattox.

All About that Base. While traditionalists stay true to the graham cracker base for their s’mores, you can always sandwich those marshmallows between cake slices or cookies. “Don’t like graham crackers? Sub in chocolate chip cookies,” suggests Mattox. Or build your s’more around savory stalwarts like saltines, Ritz crackers, crispy potato chips such as Pringles, or sea salt kettle chips for a satisfying mix of salty and sweet.

Take your s’mores up a notch with tasty twists, such as adding a dollop of peanut butter or using chocolate graham crackers.

ABOVE:

GIMME S’MORE

From stylish sticks to delicious ingredients, five ways to enhance your s’mores game this fall.

Marshmallow Roasters, $39 for two; orvis.com

Cast Iron Firepit, $129; homedepot.com

Graham Crackers, $9.50; batterbakery.com

Chocolate Bar Variety Pack, $28; oliveandsinclair.com

Marshmallows, $8; darlingspring.com

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Meet Stephany Mejia A first-generation American is making waves in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

S

tephany Mejia credits family as the key to her career success. Not only did a cousin give her the heads-up about a retail job opening at Clayton Homes back in 2018, but she says she couldn’t have risen through the ranks without the support of her immediate family. Today she’s a customer success manager and a star member of the Clayton Sul-

THE RIGHT STUFF A Few of Mejia’s Favorite Things

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» EARLY ALARM SETTINGS. I love slow mornings, so I wake up at around 5:45 a.m. The earlier I wake up, the better tone I set for my day.

» GETTING PHYSICAL.

CrossFit has been my go-to workout for the past two years.

» TAKING FIVE. Whenever I need a break, I’ll step outside for a breath of air and a little sunshine.

A Bright Idea in Sulphur Springs In 2019, the Sulphur Springs facility added a inventive carport system to the parking lot. The coverage keeps cars cool from the Texas sun, and is also equipped with roughly 600 energyproducing solar panels. “The carport provides approximately 25%–30% of the facility’s power,” says William Jenkins, director of environment and sustainability for Clayton Home Building Group. The system has also saved over 180 tons of carbon dioxide since it was installed. “This is the first facility with on-site renewable energy,” adds Jenkins. “It’s a forerunner to using renewable energy for our building processes.” Here’s to keeping on the sunny side.

» SIPPING A SPLASHY COCKTAIL. Today, I’d probably order a vodka with cranberry juice and a splash of club soda.

» INSIDER’S TIP. If you ever visit Sulphur Springs, you need to rent a kayak and explore Lake Coleman by boat!

MADELINE STEPHENS; A ARON JETELINA

TEAM MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

phur Springs home building facility. She’s also the mother of two boys (ages 12 and 14) and knows she’s lucky to have extended family support. Prior to the pandemic, travel was an important component of the customer success manager role, with Mejia hitting the Texas highways at least twice a month. “I’m Mexican American, so family is very important. I can call my mom when I’m away for the week; my brother takes the kids to school; or my dad stays with the boys.” Growing up in Sulphur Springs, Mejia was familiar with Clayton, but she had no idea that she would one day work there. “Sometimes, things fall in your lap if you’re lucky,” she explains. “It’s up to you to recognize the opportunity.” To be certain, the pandemic has thrown her a number of curveballs over the past 18 months, especially with the many material shortages in the home building industry. But Mejia says the challenges have only proven how adaptable the company and its team members—including her—truly are. “I have learned so much about myself during the pandemic,” she says. “Now, I love having problems thrown at me all the time. I like looking for solutions. Sometimes it’s hard. The people involved make it worth it. The people are my favorite part of this job.”


Open season IN BLOOM

Pretty Pumpkin Planter Skip the expected potted mums and perk up your porch this fall with a pumpkin-and-succulent display.

GAP PHOTOS

Save the Seeds Create a savory fall snack with your leftover pumpkin seeds. After removing, clean, dry and place on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.

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Open season WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

Pumpkin or winter squash with a fi rm shell

Sharp knife

◆ ◆

WHAT YOU’LL DO:

1. Using a sharp knife, remove the top of the pumpkin. (If your pumpkin has a stem, keep the top for a decorative “lid.”)

Spoon or trowel Potting soil (Use one that is approximately 30% sand or fi ne gravel to ensure proper drainage, or opt for nutrient-rich composting soil)

2. With a spoon or trowel, scoop out the flesh and seeds from inside the pumpkin.

Succulents of your choosing (The arrangement shown here includes Sedum rupestre, Echeveria, sempervivum, Sedum ‘Cape Blanco’ and Sedum cauticola)

4. Begin arranging the succulents in the pumpkin, filling around the plants with soil as you go to gently help them establish their roots in place. Repeat until no potting soil shows.

Floral pick (optional)

3. Fill the now-empty pumpkin with soil.

5. Top the arrangement with the “lid” and use a floral pick to secure it in place.

HEALTHY INDOOR COMFORT

OUR FLOORS WERE DESIGNED Contact Clayton to learn more. ©2021 Carrier. All Rights Reserved.

WITH YOU IN MIND.

WHOLE-HOME AIR PURIFIER


A Fresh Mix Clayton takes a novel approach with composting. What do waste sheetrock and food scraps have in common? They both make excellent compost materials. Gypsum, the main ingredient in sheetrock, aids in the composting process by reducing nitrogen loss, explains Lisa Lujan, an environmental, health and safety manager for Clayton. In 2019, Lujan went on a mission to

find a solution for sheetrock waste at Clayton Savannah. “I read every study on gypsum that I could find,” she recalls. “After learning the benefits to the soil, it just made sense.” In February 2021, Lujan teamed up with the compost program at nearby Pickwick Landing State Park. Each month, Clayton delivers sheetrock remnants to their compost. Adding the

nitrogen-rich gypsum to the mix reduces odors and produces calcium, sulfur and nitrogen. “We’ve produced 9 tons of compost since the launch,” adds Lujan, who has relocated to Clayton Giles, where she’s working to replicate her novel system. “Each area is different, but we are working closely with local businesses to make it a reality. We are hopeful to have it up and running before the end of the year.”

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Loaned or unreturned keys

Recently moved, tenant turnover

Your child has lost their key, again

You have a different key for each door


Open season

The Dirty Guv’nahs play a live show at a music festival in Maryville, Tennessee.

LEFT:

Clayton director of digital technology and Dirty Guv’nahs guitarist Michael Jenkins rocks out at the famed Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville. Jenkins joined the band when it formed back in 2006.

HIGH NOTE

He’s in the Band By day, Michael Jenkins writes code for Clayton. By night, he pens and performs songs with his Southern rock group, The Dirty Guv’nahs.

B

ack when Michael Jenkins was struggling to teach himself how to play Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” as an engineering student at the University of Tennessee, he never could have imagined that he’d go on to strum guitar for a successful Southern rock band, release six records and perform in front of screaming crowds for 15 years and counting. “It took me months to learn that song! Looking back, I should have taken some lessons,” he says with a laugh. But the Knoxville, Tennessee, native has done all right for himself during his tenure as a founding member of the Dirty Guv’nahs—not only has he accomplished all of the above, he’s also co-written most of the band’s songs alongside lead singer James Trimble. As with all storied bands, the Dirty Guv’nahs

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has, well, a heck of an origin story. The all-male band was willed into existence by bassist Josh Hoskin, who volunteered the services of his band for an upcoming benefit concert in 2006. The problem? The band didn’t exist. “Josh came home and told a few of us that we had three weeks to figure it out,” says Jenkins. “We put our best foot forward and, well, we weren’t all that good. Luckily, we got better along the way.” That’s putting it mildly. Trimble and Jenkins began writing original songs almost immediately, and by 2009, the sextet was recording their second album, Youth Is In Our Blood, in the Woodstock, New York, studio of The Band’s famed drummer and vocalist, Levon Helm. After that record took off, the band released several more albums and toured full time over the next five years. But as members began falling in love, getting married and having children, the rigors of the road became less appealing. “We love music, but we also love our families,” Jenkins explains. “We decided to take a step back.” With a wife and three kids of his own, Jenkins decided to head back to Knoxville and make use of his engineering degree and MBA. He also wasn’t done learning. The self-taught musician and songwriter figured out how to write code and build websites—skills that weren’t as much of a stretch as one might think. “There are actually a lot of parallels between writing music and software. When you

ROSS BUSTIN; CARY SAVAGE, TE X TURE PHOTOGRAPHY

ABOVE:


write songs, or if you create anything from scratch, you have a blank canvas that you are filling in. Building websites and writing code offers the same joys,” he explains. In 2017, Jenkins joined Clayton as Get the Album director of digital technology, and has Revival, the Dirty Guv’nahs’ sixth studio album, is made it his mission to available on Spotify, Apple streamline the digital Music and Amazon. experiences of potenFor more information on the band, vi sit tial home buyers. thedirtyguvnahs.com. “We’re figuring out better ways for customers to design and configure their homes completely online,” he says. Not unlike their heroes, The Rolling Stones, it turns out the Dirty Guv’nahs’ Farewell Tour was a bit premature. Five years after retirement, the band released their latest album, Revival, and they’re currently touring on the weekends—although no one is giving up their day job just yet. “This album took the longest to write—partly because we have limited time now with jobs and families,” Jenkins says. “But this time around, we concentrated on writing and music more for ourselves. When you’re touring and looking at numbers and hits on a website, that kind of jumps into the art side of things. This album was a reset and a chance for us to return to our roots, embrace our Southern sound and make the music that we love.”

CATCH A SHOW!

Don’t miss the Dirty Guv’nahs’ 2021–2022 tour. » Oct. 29, 2021 «

GEORGIA THEATER

Nashville, Tennessee

Athens, Georgia

» Nov. 5, 2021 « HEATHER WHITE

» Nov. 20, 2021 «

BROOKLYN BOWL

BIJOU THEATRE

Knoxville, Tennessee » Nov. 19, 2021 «

GEORGIA THEATER

Athens, Georgia

» May 14, 2022 «

SOUTHERN SKIES MUSIC FESTIVAL

Knoxville, Tennessee

BETTER TOGETHER

Soft Place to Land

S

A Houston family gets back on its feet with the help of a Clayton Built ® home.

ometimes a helping hand can change a life. Just ask Caren Marroquin, a single mother of four who lives in the Houston area. After a series of setbacks, including the passing of her father, Caren and her boys found themselves homeless. Things began looking up, however, when Caren contacted Family Promise. The national organization provides prevention, shelter and stabilization services to families at risk for, or are currently experiencing, homelessness. As fate would have it, Caren not only received a community of support from Family Promise, but an honest-to-goodness home, too. Just as Caren was entering the program, Clayton was putting the finishing touches on the first of five transitional homes. The Marroquins became the first family to take up residence in the Houston-based house. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home has features and appliances that come

standard in every Clayton Built® home, such as an ecobee smart thermostat, a SmartComfort® by Carrier furnace, Duracraft® cabinets and more. The power of having a cozy and well-appointed transitional space to come home to each evening wasn’t lost on Caren, whose children have always shared a home or apartment with another family. “Moving in made me pretty emotional, because my kids have been talking about having their own spot for a long time,” she says. “It made me happy to see that they were excited.” The home donation is part of a larger national partnership between Clayton and Family Promise. The Houston residence is the third of five home donations through the “A Future Begins at Home” program. The Family Promise of Lake Houston home features furniture donated by First American Homes and home goods donated from a network of volunteers.

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®


Happyness at home Make the most out of your special space.

Wow from the start. Set an autumnal tone before guests even step through the front door. Easy details such as dried berry wreaths and fresh-from-the-patch pumpkins will add seasonal curb appeal with staying power right on through the Thanksgiving holiday.

Legends of the Fall

It’s once again time to layer in seasonal flair and pile on the cozy in your home decor. Here are seven splendid ways to up the autumn ante in every room.

by L AURA KOSTELNY photography by MEGHAN FRANCIS, MORGAN TRINKER & HEATHER WHITE

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Happyness at home Try a color adjustment. Bright-orange pumpkins are a no-brainer. (After all, how lovely is that front stoop to the left?) But if you want to strike a more sophisticated note in certain rooms, consider stocking up on gourds with interesting silhouettes and a host of hues ranging from deep grays and bold greens to glorious golds and creamy whites. Add extra sparkle by painting stems a shimmery gold or silver.

Take to the tower. Whether displayed indoors or out, pumpkins can add a sculptural element to a space when stacked one on top of another. (And another—if you’d like three or four in a tower.) The graphic display above features a trio of doublestacked pumpkins that add height and visual interest to the front stoop. Tip: If a pumpkin tower will be in a high-traffic area, secure the gourds together with hot glue.

Love it and leave it. Before you bag that heap of freshly raked fall foliage, take a minute to pluck the prettiest picks for all kinds of indoor decorations. Add freshly foraged leaves in bright oranges, yellows and reds to flower

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arrangements, pumpkin displays and fall-themed centerpieces. You can also search the backyard for leafy stems and handsome branches to add yet another organic element to your fall decor.


Y

Throw pillows are an affordable way to transform a room from season to season. For max style, try a trio with three different shapes and fabrics.

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Happyness at home Fake it till you make it. You don’t have to leave everything up to Mother Nature. When it comes to stepping up your gourd game, head to the local arts-and-crafts store for an array of realisticlooking plastic and ceramic offerings that can be used for years to come. Whether you opt for fresh or forever, add a special detail with a sweet stenciled pattern.

CREATURE COMFORTS

Dara Roberts, an interior designer for Clayton, shares her best tips for a cozy home, no matter the season. Bring on the texture. “Adding textural pieces to a space can instantly increase that cozy feeling! Pillows, blankets and rugs are all great, low-commitment ways to incorporate textured elements.”

Wired baskets are a stylish way to corral throws, shoes and more while still maintaining a clear view of the contents inside.

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Take to the bed. “Nothing beats a comfy bed. Crisp white bed linens and a fluffy duvet infuse a space with comfort. Lay a vintage quilt at the foot of the bed for an inviting pop of color. Try an upholstered headboard for even more coziness.”

EMILY ELIZ ABETH PORTRAITS

See the light. “Candles are my go-to for charm and warmth. Find one with a fresh, seasonal scent and then light it up anytime you want to enhance a room’s ambience. Look for ones in unexpected canisters so they make a style statement even when not in use.”


Happyness at HoMe

Bring on the florals. Flowers may conjure images of spring and summer, but they’re also well suited for autumn displays. For a fresh fall look, grab a bouquet from the grocery store and subdivide it among several woven vessels. Here, mums, carnations and daisies add vibrant color to a living room display. Throw in a throw. It’s not often Sign up for style. The heart of the home shouldn’t go without a few decorative touches. With guests often congregating in the kitchen, it makes sense to add cozy flourishes here, too. For a quick and pretty fix, incorporate a metal tray adorned with a welcoming message. It can serve as decor from day to day, and then as a party platter when the need arises.

that the practical is also pretty, but a beautiful blanket is an exception. Toss a rich plaid or bold solid coverlet—in a soft fabric like cotton, flannel or fleece—over the arm or across the back of a sofa and voilà! You’ve got fall-forward decor.

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Have a seat. If your home has a fi replace, move a comfortable chair hearthside for a cozy pick-meup. No fi replace? Encourage visitors (and yourself) to sit and stay awhile by adding cushy pillows and throw blankets to your favorite perch.

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Happyness at HoMe

BRING THE LOOK HOME! Add charming fall style with these striking accessories.

Phoenix Striped Throw, $75; mcgeeandco.com

PRODUCT IMAGES COURTESY OF VENDORS (PRICES AND AVAIL ABILIT Y SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

Magnolia Home Fringe Napkin Set, $10; target.com

Velvet Pumpkins, $26 for three; homedepot.com

Rattan Hurricane, $50; crateandbarrel.com

Hammered Copper Canister Set, $59 for four pieces; overstock.com

Dried Wreath, $18; ikea.com

Pumpkin Patch Doormat, $15; kirklands.com Green Glass Table Vase, $58; wayfair.com Artifi cial Fall Branches, $12; afl oral.com

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Happyness at home

Material World

Now trending: Stark, all-white rooms are giving way to homes with ample texture and rich color. Here, Alice Allen, an interior designer for Harris Doyle Homes®, a Birmingham, Alabama-based builder part of Clayton Properties Group®, shares four warm, inviting schemes.

No. 1

INTO THE LIGHT From the white quartz to the sky blue Sweet Dreams paint by Glidden ®, this look is all about playing it cool. “Even the wood and leather elements are light in appearance,” says Allen. To keep a design like this one from feeling washed out, look to a few dark elements, such as unlacquered brass accents or ebony furnishings to ground the space, Allen adds. Graphic lines like the tile will add further interest.

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by CAROLINE M C KENZIE photography by DEB BRIENEN


No. 2

BLUE STREAK Saturated shades of blue on the cement tile provide a focal point against a classic white paint, such as White Dove by Benjamin Moore ®. “Bold color is especially impactful in a crisp, clean scheme like this one,” Allen explains. Rounding out the mix is a white-oak style luxury vinyl plank and cool-toned gray quartz. “Satin-finish brass hardware, which continues to gain in popularity, adds additional warmth to the look,” adds Allen.

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Happiness at home No. 3

EARTHY ELEGANCE “The surge in popularity of mid-century style has given way to a return to blond woods and leather furnishings, both of which are reflected here,” says Allen. Countertops are also witnessing a shift, with designers and homeowners alike gravitating toward subtle veining over the elaborate granite of years past. Earth tones, like this aptly named Earthy Orange by SherwinWilliams ®, first began trending in the West and have since spread across the country, adds Allen. Taking the edge off the many warm tones are cool elements, such as the white quartz and white concrete tile. Oil-rubbed bronze hardware adds a handsome finish.

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No. 4

GOING GREEN “Green is a favorite color to work with because it’s head-turning, but can also read as a neutral,” says Allen of the glazed green tile shown here. (If you want a similar paint color, try Capital Green by Valspar ®.) To balance a dark hue like this one, plan to incorporate light, equally earthy neutrals such as bleached or whitewashed woods. The beige tones in the mod wallpaper achieve a similar effect. For those unsure of wallpaper, Allen encourages giving it a go. “Peel-and-stick options are low commitment. And there’s nothing that says you have to do an entire room. Try an accent wall or ceiling instead,” she suggests. Completing this handsome scheme are pops of black, which lend an element of sophistication.

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Happyness at home MAK E IT WORK Designed with flex space in mind, the Epic Homes Collection is a new series from Clayton that prioritizes multifunctional areas where a family can work, relax, learn, and more, depending on the time of day.

Work From Home

ALCOVE WITH PURPOSE No overlooked pass-through area here! Instead, it’s an out-of-the-way drop zone with enough privacy for Zoom calls or schoolwork.

Clayton interior design manager Megan Foster shares the secrets to carving out space for a stylish and efficient home office.

W

hobbies, school and extra storage. ork from home: It’s a We’re taking the concept of a phrase we’ve all home office from less formal, heard on repeat over to more functional and multipurthe past year and a pose.” (For more on some of the half. It’s become esClayton models that reflect this pecially significant for Megan shift, see right.) Foster. As Clayton’s interior deMegan Foster, Also important to a home work sign manager, Foster helps to Clayton space: delineated style. Foster is develop new designs for Clayton’s interior design quick to point out that a home home building facilities. Under manager office, regardless of the size, Foster’s leadership, those designs doesn’t need to be something plain or utilhave begun to shift over the past 18 months, itarian. “Adding a dose of personality to a as home owners develop new criteria for work area can go a long way in making what they want out of their space. “The it feel like a purposeful and productive need for an area that is private enough to space,” she explains. Whether you have a take a Zoom call while at home has been at dedicated room or a teeny-tiny corner, the forefront of designs we have been creintentional organizing and styling of your ating, especially lately,” says Foster. “Our work area can lead to increased productivdiscovery is that homeowners aren’t cravity. Here, Foster shares her best tips for ing a formal office, but rather a space that getting your work space into top form. can be an asset in multiple ways—for work,

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DUAL-FUNCTION ROOM This sunny space was designed for work and for play, depending on the time of day, and for family members using it at a given moment.

OUT-OF-THE-WAY CORNER This shared living room is large enough to provide a quiet corner where a family member can read, game or work with less interruption.

by CAROLINE M C KENZIE photography by MEGHAN FRANCIS, MORGAN TRINKER & HEATHER WHITE


On the Up and Up

Made in the Shade

“Utilizing vertical space can double a work area when it comes to storage,” says Foster. Installing a wall system will keep clutter from overtaking a small desk. Start with a pinboard, pegboard or corkboard as your anchor and add additional shelves and hooks to hold materials and supplies.

Get in the zone with paint, wallpaper or furniture that clearly delineates your work area, no matter how small it may be. “Color can be a powerful tool when it comes to carving out and organizing an area,” says Foster. Even if it’s just a 3- by 4-foot section of a wall, color-coding the area will help to establish that “this is where work happens.” Color can also help you keep items in order by assigning each work category its own hue and then storing items in color-coded binders or boxes.

To the Letter Plan to label to excess! After all, the more easily you can find something, the more productive your work day will be. Remember, labels don’t have to be ho-hum. Consider them little works of art for your work area.

Divide and Conquer No matter how many drawers, shelves or bins you have, they can always benefit from savvy subdividing. “Open shelves can be both pretty and practical,” says Foster. But if they’re not kept tidy, those shelves can make the space look messy. Corral items into decorative storage boxes or baskets to stack neatly on shelves. Deep drawers can be split into smaller units with the use of adjustable plastic drawer dividers.

Tech Support If you’ve got a paperless setup and no bulky PC to find a home for, then a built-in hideaway office can be tucked into the tightest of spaces. A pull-out desk makes it even more discreet. Avoid cord chaos and keep your phone, tablet, e-reader and other electronic devices charging in one handy place without having a tangle of cables cluttering up your desk.


CREDIT TEEK AY

Clayton Designer Cottages ®, such as this one, were designed by architect Jeffrey Dungan to be small modular homes that feature the best in sustainability and functionality.


Mountain High

A FLO R ID I A N FO LLOWS HER FA MILY T R A D ITI O N O F HE A D ING TO T HE WO O D S O F N O R T H CA RO LIN A FO R R EST A N D R EL A X ATI O N.

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by JOHN RIHA photography by A ARON FINE ARCHITECTURE PHOTOGRAPHY

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To avoid “cluttering” the home, Waller opted for a neutral decor scheme of creams, browns, grays and soft blues. Warm wood tones on the floor, ceiling and various furnishings ensure the look doesn’t read as cold.

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C

ashiers, North Carolina— population 200—is a pip of a town located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Despite its diminutive size, the village and surrounding area are a favorite mountain getaway for many, thanks to the cascading waterfalls, peaceful lakes and a comfortable, temperate climate. It’s an especially popular spot for Southerners looking to escape hot summers or bustling cities or both. But when Palm Beach, Florida, native Alexis Waller decided to establish a summertime haven in the area, it wasn’t just the small-town charms that drew her—there was family history pulling at her heartstrings, as well. “My great-grandparents came here during the summer,” says Waller, a real estate agent with Brown Harris Stevens in Palm Beach Florida. “My mother also came to Cashiers often. So I guess you could say we’ve always come here.” Although she knew right where she wanted to be, Waller wasn’t quite sure what kind of house would suit her mountain getaway needs. Then, during a local tour of showcase homes, she came across a small but stylish dwelling that completely captivated her and checked all the boxes. Offered by Clayton as one of their Designer Cottage series, the one-bedroom, onebath, 456-square-foot cottage featured soaring ceilings, plenty of windows and a modern yet rustic exterior that Waller knew would feel right at home set against the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With long and narrow footprints,


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The small living room lives large, thanks to clever tricks of the eye. The generous windows, for example, make the space feel larger than it actually is. Meanwhile, an 11-foot-high ceiling is clad with wood to draw the eye up.

LEFT:

BELOW: A 24-inchwide electric range adds efficiency to the kitchen without compromising the small footprint. Going all in with white—on the walls, cabinets and countertops—brings cohesion to the cook space.

the Designer Cottages are manufactured houses that are assembled in a home building facility in Addison, Alabama, and transported by truck to the homeowner’s property. “The houses weren’t in production yet,” recalls Waller, “but my mother and I were completely obsessed with them. They’re adorable and charming.” In other words, exactly what she wanted even before she knew it. With other family members in the Cashiers area, Waller was able to enjoy extended stays that allowed her to find an ideal 2-acre piece of property. At the same time, her house was being built at Clayton Tiny. She recalls the thrill of finally seeing it delivered to her land.

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Waller’s yellow Labrador, Pippin, calls it a day outside the Designer Cottage bathroom, which features white subway tile and a space-saving pocket door. A mix of throw rugs complements the warm-toned wood floors.

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“I feel like I live in a tree house. I love that. It’s a happy house with a great feeling!” - A L E X I S WA L L E R , H O M E O W N E R

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house was to add a 400-square-foot wraparound deck that surrounds the house on three sides. The addition allows her to better enjoy the great outdoors that drew her to the area in the first place. The deck is equipped with both shade sails and a firepit so she can take advantage of the outdoor living space no matter the season. From her perch, she’s spotted bears, bobcats, deer and wild turkeys. “I feel like I live in a tree house,” says Waller. “I love that. It’s a happy house with a great feeling!”

The Designer Cottage’s primary bedroom was designed to accommodate a king-size bed. Waller outfitted the French doors with simple white curtain panels that soften the room.

ABOVE:

Waller, along with pup Pippin, enjoys a cool Cashiers evening from her large wooden deck.

RIGHT:

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“I followed them up the mountain and a long driveway, which is steep and curvy,” she says. “It was a nail-biting experience, but the men delivering it really knew what they were doing.” Waller began scouting the area for flea market finds to furnish her new house. The small size of her cottage meant she didn’t need to spend much. “A smaller house is an affordable luxury. Plus, insurance is low; taxes are low. Huge houses don’t appeal to me at all,” she explains. One addition Waller made to her


CREDIT TEEK AY



For Keeps A family creates a dream home—and job!—in the heart of Alabama. The Lulamae is an 1,832-square-foot farmhouse-style home that features three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a spacious kitchen.

by L AURA KOSTELNY & K ATIE CHRISTIAN photography by MEGHAN FRANCIS & HEATHER WHITE

ABOVE: Members of the Mayfield family gather in front of their home.

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W

hen it comes to romantic settings, it’s tough to beat the beach. From the sound of crashing waves, the feel of warm white sands and the sight of magnificent sunrises and sunsets, the seashore is the perfect venue for falling in love. But Mesha Mayfield gives less credit to the shores of Orange Beach, Alabama, than she does to her now-husband Jerome’s dimples. In fact, she couldn’t take her eyes off them from the minute she met him on a boat ride put together by a mutual friend. But as they rode along the waves of the coast, they found the connection was more than skin deep. “I love those dimples, but he also has the best heart,” Mesha says. The couple eventually married in a small chapel on the beach, and made a life for themselves by the water. But as idyllic as it was, there was something missing: Mesha was too far from her children and grandchildren to see them regularly. However, Jerome, of good dimples and great heart, had the answer: They could move four hours north to Luverne (population 636) where they would enjoy the perks of being grandparents while living happily ever after on his family’s 300-acre property just outside of town.

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ABOVE:

The Mayfields’ Lulamae farmhouse features an expansive kitchen island, perfect for preparing family meals for their children and grandchildren.

Jerome’s family had owned the land—which included the Mayfield family airstrip—for years. His father had a passion for flying, and he made sure to pass it along to his son, who learned to fly as a youngster. He spent his childhood taking off from his own backyard toward far-flung destinations. Good news travels fast in a small town, and it wasn’t long after they got settled in that people started showing up. First, the Mayfields were asked to host a

few family events here and there. Then the couple began fielding requests from folks of no relation who wanted to rent the airplane hangar and surrounding land for weddings, birthdays and anniversaries. To their surprise, they found that they loved hosting events and were naturals at making people’s special events even more special. So they decided to go full throttle, and officially launched their business: Venue at the Runway. They’ve been booked up ever since.


The living room of the Lulamae has a cozy fireplace, which the Mayfields outfitted with stone and a reclaimedwood mantel.

ABOVE:

The Lulamae features a covered porch off the front door, an ideal place for relaxing and enjoying a quiet Alabama fall night.

RIGHT:

While the business began organically, figuring out what kind of home to build on the property was a little tougher. The Mayfields had bought a house a few miles away, but the plan had always been to build something closer to the venue to ensure that operations ran smoothly. Jerome was dead set on taking their time, but Mesha wanted a faster solution. In fact, she had seen a prefab farmhouse floor plan on a billboard and taken it as a literal sign. “I asked him if we could

go look at some prefabricated homes. I told him they aren’t like what they used to be,” she says. “When we got to Clayton, I didn’t look at any other homes. I told them I wanted the farmhouse. I knew that was it.” As anyone who has ever been in love can attest, when you know, you know. The Mayfields moved into their sweet farmhouse, the Lulamae, just four months later. Working with Albert, a home consultant at Clayton Homes of Clanton, they were

RIGHT:

Homeowner Mesha Mayfield and her granddaughter enjoy their weekly baking session—a tradition the duo began after the Mayfields purchased their Lulamae farmhouse.


The Mayfields’ primary bedroom enjoys ample natural light, thanks to both the front-facing window and the duo of transom windows above the bed.

RIGHT:

able to add stylish touches that made the home feel uniquely their own. Even better: They didn’t have to sacrifice on a single must-have, including a customized wood-burning stone fireplace in the living room, wood beams in the primary bedroom and a brick foundation They were also able to carve out family-friendly space for both visiting adult children and tiny grandkids. A spare bedroom, for example, is reserved for the little ones and does double duty as a slumber party space and playroom. The charming kitchen, awash in white cabinets and butcher block, is where Mesha enjoys baking with her granddaughter every Wednesday evening, while her grandson, Noah, rides the tractor and his sister, Jessilyn, hangs out in the living room. “My favorite memory is baking cakes with my little

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Nora Kayte,” she says. “We didn’t start this tradition until we bought this home. When we moved here, her mother bought us matching aprons.” Even though Jerome had his heart set on traditional construction, he quickly came around. “When we bought this home, we thought if it didn’t work out, we could use it as a bridal suite [for the business],” Mesha says. “But once we moved in, it was so homey that we decided it’s our forever home.” Surrounded by a menagerie of animals, they work hard to make their property a welcoming place for any number of celebrations, but they also find time to stop and take in the sunrises and sunsets, which Mesha admits rival even those at the beach. She says, “I love the feeling of coming up that long driveway and knowing that I am home forever.”

TOP: The Lulamae’s primary bathroom boasts a doublesink vanity and a separate soaking tub and a walk-in shower—perfect for unwinding after a long day.

The “grown-up” guest bedroom is outfitted with a mix of weathered antiques for a homey and inviting feel.

RIGHT:

The home’s other bedroom is reserved for the grandkids and all things fun. Here, the Mayfields’ grandson, Noah, enjoys the happy space where the composite wood floors were left bare to ensure plenty of room to spread out with trucks and other toys.

LEFT:


Love Is in the Air VENUE AT THE RUNWAY HELPS COUPLES’ WEDDING DRE AMS TAKE FLIGHT—THE SK Y IS THE LIMIT! » “If you build it they will come.” The classic movie line has proven very accurate for Mesha and Jerome Mayfield, who took off on their wedding venue venture due to popular demand. As family, then friends, then perfect strangers began to flock to their idyllic farm-meets-airstrip for events, the couple felt all but compelled to establish it as a bona fide event space. Today, Venue at the Runway offers a special setting for gatherings of four to 400, with the former air hangar retrofitted with handsome industrial touches, including hydraulic folding doors that transform it into an indoor/ outdoor space overlooking the Mayfields’ 300-acre property. Adventurous brides and grooms can even take off from the original runway after saying their “I do’s”—although most prefer to just stay the night in Venue at the Runway’s well-appointed bridal suite.

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CREDIT TEEK AY

Charcuterie Plate with Romesco Dip and Rosemary & Balsamic Fig Jam

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Acorn Squash & Pickled Onion Salad with Feta & Pepitas

Pecan Sticky Buns

Apple Cider Sangria

gather ’round

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Create an autumn bounty of savory bites and sweet treats that will have guests wanting to linger. recipes by CHARLYNE MATTOX photography by MORGAN TRINKER, MEGHAN FRANCIS & HEATHER WHITE


◆ the menu ◆ Apple Cider Sangria

Charcuterie Board With Romesco Dip and Rosemary & Balsamic Fig Jam Acorn Squash & Pickled Onion Salad With Feta & Pepitas Ginger Pumpkin Pie Sour Cream Apple Pie

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Pecan Sticky Buns

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Clayton’s Freedom Farm House is a quintessential home for enjoying all of life’s moments, from cooking a fall feast in the large kitchen, to hosting family and friends in its open-concept floor plan.

ABOVE:

Liven up your fall table with delicious decor such as gourds, apples and small pumpkins that reflect the colors of a crisp, fall day. A simple plaid throw blanket can double as a casual tablecloth. Look to scattered candlesticks in a mix of materials to add height and warmth to the display.

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LEFT:

Apple Cider Sangria

For an extra-special party touch, line the rims of the wine glasses with a dried apple and sugar mixture. To make, add equal amounts of chopped dried apples and sugar to a food processor and process until finely ground, then place in a shallow bowl. Dip the rims of the glasses in water then in the sugar mixture. Party time! START TO FINISH: 2 hours, 10 minutes (10 minutes active) SERVINGS:

8 to 10

INGREDIENTS

1 bottle pinot noir wine 2 cups fresh apple cider ½ cup Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur 1 apple, sliced 1 ripe but firm pear, sliced 1 lemon, sliced 1 cinnamon stick 1 teaspoon whole cloves INSTRUCTIONS

In a pitcher, stir together all ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Opening Doors

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1 teaspoon pure maple syrup ½ cup olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 10 ounces mixed greens 6 ounces feta, crumbled (about 1½ cups) ¹∕ ³ cup roasted and salted pepitas

Quick Tip

When planning a charcuterie board, for a pretty presentation, be mindful of the colors, shapes and textures. Choose presliced meats as well as unsliced salamis. Select a variety of different types of cheeses (goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, etc.), both fresh and aged. And offer an assortment of crackers in different shapes and flavors.

INGREDIENTS

1. Make squash: Preheat oven to 450 F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss together squash, oil, chili powder, salt and pepper. Roast, turning once, until browned and cooked through, 22 to 24 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Acorn Squash & Pickled Onion Salad With Feta & Pepitas Each part of this salad can be made up to 3 days ahead, allowing for easy, no-fuss party prep. Simply toss everything together just before serving. 1 hour (20 minutes active) SERVINGS: 8 to 10 START TO FINISH:

INGREDIENTS

For the squash

1 acorn squash, halved, seeds removed and cut into 1-inch pieces 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon chili powder Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper For the onions

1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½

cup red wine vinegar cup sugar teaspoon kosher salt teaspoon black peppercorns bay leaf red onion, thinly sliced

For the dressing and salad

Acorn Squash & Pickled Onion Salad with Feta & Pepitas

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2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon country-style Dijon mustard

2. Meanwhile, make onions: In a

small saucepan over medium heat, stir vinegar, sugar, salt, peppercorns and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer; add onions and simmer until just starting to soften, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; set aside to cool to room temperature. 3. Make dressing and assemble

salad: In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, mustard and maple syrup. Slowly whisk in oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In a serving bowl, add squash, onion, greens, feta and pepitas; drizzle with dressing and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Romesco Dip

In a pinch, you can use jarred roasted red peppers instead of fresh. START TO FINISH: 45 minutes (15 minutes active) SERVINGS:

8 to 10

INGREDIENTS

3 red bell peppers ¼ cup roasted and salted whole almonds 1 small clove garlic 2 tablespoons olive oil


4 teaspoons sherry vinegar Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper INSTRUCTIONS

(reduce heat as it cooks to prevent it from scorching). 2. Discard lemon zest and rosemary. Transfer to a jar and chill.

1. Set a gas stove to medium. Place

peppers directly over the flame and cook, turning occasionally, until skin is completely blackened, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with foil and let cool. Once cool, scrape away blackened skin with a paring knife; remove and discard seeds. Coarsely chop peppers. 2. In a food processor, pulse

almonds and garlic until finely ground, 15 to 20 times. Add peppers, oil and vinegar and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Rosemary & Balsamic Fig Jam

If using super-ripe figs—any variety, like Black Mission, Brown Turkey or green Kadota works great—reduce the cooking time by about 10 minutes. START TO FINISH: 2 hours, 10 minutes (10 minutes active) SERVINGS:

8 to 10

INGREDIENTS

1 pound figs, stems discarded and fruit quartered ½ cup sugar 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 2 strips lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 sprig rosemary Pinch kosher salt INSTRUCTIONS

Pecan Sticky Buns

If your dough starts to spring back when you are rolling it out simply cover it with a dish towel (this prevents it from drying) and let it rest for 5 minutes before proceeding. START TO FINISH: 2 hours, 5 minutes (5 minutes active) SERVINGS:

8

INGREDIENTS

For the dough

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for bowl ¼ cup warm water 1 teaspoon sugar 1 package active dry yeast ¾ cup milk ¹∕ ³ cup maple syrup 3 large egg yolks 1 teaspoon kosher salt 4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for work surface

Pecan Sticky Buns

¾ cup brown sugar 4 tablespoons butter, melted ¼ cup maple syrup Pinch kosher salt 1½ cups toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

yeast doesn’t foam, discard and start again). In another large bowl, whisk together milk, maple syrup, egg yolks, butter and salt. Whisk in yeast mixture. Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Turn dough out onto a work surface and knead until dough is smooth, 8 to 10 times. Transfer to buttered bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise until doubled in size, 1 hour, 30 minutes to 2 hours.

For the filling

2. Make topping: In a small

For the topping

½ cup brown sugar 1 tablespoon cinnamon Pinch kosher salt All-purpose flour, for work surface 4 tablespoons butter, melted

saucepan over medium heat, stir sugar, butter, maple syrup and salt. Cook, stirring often, until sugar is dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes. Spread mixture in bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle with pecans.

1. In a medium saucepan over

INSTRUCTIONS

3. Make filling and assemble: In a

medium heat, add all ingredients

1. Make dough: Butter a large

and ½ cup water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 20 to 30 minutes

bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together water and sugar. Sprinkle yeast over the top and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes (if

small bowl, stir sugar, cinnamon and salt. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and roll into a 12- x 18-inch rectangle. Brush butter over dough; sprinkle with Opening Doors

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Ginger Pumpkin Pie

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Quick Tip

When rolling out dough, don’t roll all the way to the edge, or the edges will end up thinner than the center. Start in the center and go almost to the edge. Give the dough a quarter turn (this also ensures it’s not sticking) and roll again. Repeat until the dough is the desired size.

sugar mixture. Starting on a long edge, roll dough into a log; trim ends so they are flat. Cut log into 15 pieces. Place, cut-side up, in baking pan. Cover with a dish towel and let rise until puffed, 1 hour to 1 hour, 30 minutes. 4. Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake until

golden brown and cooked through, 28 to 32 minutes. Carefully invert baking pan onto a platter to release buns. Serve warm.

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Easy Pie Dough

INGREDIENTS

1¼ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 tablespoon sugar ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces ¼ cup ice water INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a large bowl, whisk together

flour, salt and sugar. Use fingertips to cut butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-size pieces of butter remaining.

It sounds counterintuitive, but after a long chill in the fridge, letting the dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before rolling will make the task easier and help prevent cracking along the edges.

2. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a

2 hours, 10 minutes (10 minutes active)

large piece of plastic wrap and use wrap to bring dough together and flatten into a disk. Refrigerate until

START TO FINISH:

SERVINGS:

1 single-crust pie

time, while using forks to pull dough together into a shaggy, crumbly pile (add up to 2 tablespoons more water if needed to bring dough together). 3. Transfer dough to the center of a

firm, at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Ginger Pumpkin Pie

For extra flair, top the pie with lightly sweetened whipped cream and chopped candied ginger. START TO FINISH: 7 hours (20 minutes active) SERVINGS:

8 to 10

INGREDIENTS

1 ¾ 1 ½ ½ 1 1¼ 2 2 1

All-purpose flour, for work surface recipe Easy Pie Dough (left) cup sugar teaspoon ground ginger teaspoon ground cinnamon teaspoon kosher salt (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin cups half-and-half large eggs, lightly beaten teaspoon grated fresh ginger teaspoon pure vanilla extract Opening Doors

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INSTRUCTIONS

1. Place oven rack in lowest

2. Line pie shell with foil and fill with

pie weights, dry beans or rice, pressing all the way to the edge. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake, 15 minutes. Remove foil and pie weights. Cool completely on a wire rack; reserve baking sheet. 3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk

together sugar, ground ginger, cinnamon and salt. Add remaining ingredients and whisk to combine. Pour into par-baked pie shell. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F and bake until filling is set around the edges but still slightly wobbly in the middle, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack, then chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Sour Cream Apple Pie

Have apple pie spice on hand? You can use it in place of the cinnamon. HANDS ON TIME:

30 minutes

8 hours, 5 minutes (includes chilling) START TO FINISH:

SERVINGS:

8 to 10

INGREDIENTS

2 ²∕ ³ 2 2

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All-purpose flour, for work surface recipes Easy Pie Dough (page 55) cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling teaspoons ground cinnamon tablespoons all-purpose

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½ 4

²∕³ 2 1 2 1

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 425 F with the

oven rack in the lowest position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. On a lightly floured work surface, roll one disk of dough into a 12-inch circle. Fit it into the bottom and up the side of a deep-dish 9-inch pie plate. Trim, leaving a 1-inch overhang; fold overhang under and crimp as desired. Freeze 20 minutes. 2. On a lightly floured surface roll

second disk of dough into a 12-inch circle; chill 20 minutes. 3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl,

whisk together sugar, cinnamon, flour and salt. Stir in apples, sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla until apples are coated. Transfer apples to pie shell and dot top with butter. 4. Place chilled dough circle on a

lightly floured surface. Using a pastry wheel (fluted, if desired), pizza wheel or paring knife, cut ten 1-inch-wide strips of dough. Weave pastry strips over filling to form lattice; trim and crimp ends as desired. Brush lattice with cream and sprinkle with sugar. 5. Bake on prepared baking sheet,

15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 F and bake until crust is golden brown and apples are tender, 1 hour, 20 minutes to 1 hour, 30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. then chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

CREDIT TEEK AY

position. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough into a 12-inch circle. Fit it into the bottom and up the side of a deep-dish 9-inch pie plate. Trim, leaving a 1-inch overhang; fold overhang under and crimp as desired. Freeze 20 minutes.

flour, plus more for work surface teaspoon kosher salt to 5 pound apples (such as Gala, Honeycrisp or Pink Lady), peeled and sliced ³∕8 -inch thick cup sour cream tablespoons fresh lemon juice teaspoon pure vanilla extract tablespoons unsalted butter tablespoon heavy cream


CREDIT TEEK AY

Sour Cream Apple Pie


• • • • •


have it made Homes that fit your lifestyle.

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MEET THE FRANKLIN!

Turn the page for a curated collection of models built exclusively by Clayton Home Building Group, spanning across the nation.

Model Behavior

Whether you’re searching for a starter home, looking to accommodate a growing family or downsizing to an empty nest, there’s a Clayton home that’s just right for this phase of your life. Opening Doors

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The Everest

2,280 4 BATHROOMS: 2 BUILDER: Clayton Waycross FEATURES: An expansive kitchen and light-filled open floor plan make The Everest well suited for a modern, busy lifestyle. Split bedrooms give everyone space to spread out. A separate dining room provides an area for families to gather on special occasions. SQUARE FOOTAGE: BEDROOMS:

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The Frontier

1,980 3 BATHROOMS: 2 BUILDER: Clayton Rutledge FEATURES: A covered porch welcomes guests to The Frontier with timeless charm—and provides a breezy spot to take in the views. Inside, details such as a foyer, fireplace and kitchen island give it a homey feel. Split bedrooms and a bathroom with double sinks add to the appeal. SQUARE FOOTAGE: BEDROOMS:

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The Freedom Farmhouse

1,788 3 BATHROOMS: 2 BUILDER: Clayton Bean Station FEATURES: The Freedom Farmhouse offers an ideal floor plan size for growing families. Items such as a kitchen island and pantry enhance the kidfriendliness. Finishes like beams, shiplap and X-brace details take the farmhouse style up a notch. SQUARE FOOTAGE: BEDROOMS:

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The Chestnut

1,801–2,605 3 BATHROOMS: 2 BUILDER: Arbor Homes FEATURES: The Chestnut makes the most of every inch with an open-concept kitchen, dining and living space, plus a garage. The primary bedroom has a large closet with access to the laundry room. This ranch-style home has the option to upgrade with the addition of a bonus room. SQUARE FOOTAGE: BEDROOMS:

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have it made

The Lexington

2,308–2,815 3–4 BATHROOMS: 2–3 BUILDER: Goodall Homes FEATURES: The Lexington is one-level living at its finest, with generously sized bedrooms, an oversize laundry room and a study all located on a single floor. Large windows allow ample natural light; the inviting kitchen’s island is a welcome gathering spot. SQUARE FOOTAGE: BEDROOMS:

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The Argento

1,598 3 BATHROOMS: 2–2.5 BUILDER: Oakwood Homes FEATURES: The Argento boasts craftsman-inspired details on the exterior and handsome finishes inside, including the option for barn doors leading to the primary bedroom. The airy downstairs is ideal for entertaining; the upstairs holds three bedrooms and a laundry room. SQUARE FOOTAGE: BEDROOMS:

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The Low Country

464 1 BATHROOMS: 1 BUILDER: Clayton Tiny FEATURES: Three walls of windows give The Low Country 270degree views in the living space (which is large enough to fit a six-person dining table). The Summit Appliance® combo washer/dryer, range and refrigerator give the small home a big dose of energy efficiency. SQUARE FOOTAGE: BEDROOMS:

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The Meriwether

2,223–2,241 3–5 BATHROOMS: 2.5–3 BUILDER: Mungo Homes FEATURES: Options abound in The Meriwether. A flex space just off the front door works as an office, dining room or bedroom. Upstairs, along with two bedrooms and a laundry room, there’s an open area that can be converted into an additional bedroom or media room. SQUARE FOOTAGE: BEDROOMS:

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have it made

The Coronado

1,225 3 BATHROOMS: 2 BUILDER: Clayton Sacramento FEATURES: Before you even step inside, The Coronado charms with a wraparound porch. The combination of 9-foot ceilings and generous windows gives the open floor plan a bright and airy appeal. The primary bathroom features double sinks and a separate shower and tub. SQUARE FOOTAGE: BEDROOMS:

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The Brunswick II

3,068–3,284 5 BATHROOMS: 4 BUILDER: Chafin Communities FEATURES: Large in style and size, The Brunswick II offers families room to grow. A two-car garage and optional media room add to the floor plan’s functionality. Embellish the elegant home with upgrades like coffered beams or a stone fireplace in the main living space. SQUARE FOOTAGE: BEDROOMS:

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The Waylyn

2,460 4–5 BATHROOMS: 3 BUILDER: Highland Homes FEATURES: The modern interior gives the roomy Waylyn fresh style, especially in the galley kitchen. (Just off the cook space there’s a walk-in pantry.) Outside, the craftsman-inspired architecture adds curb appeal, not to mention it discreetly conceals a three-car garage. SQUARE FOOTAGE: BEDROOMS:

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The Shasta

1,512 3 BATHROOMS: 2 BUILDER: Clayton Albany FEATURES: A family room, utility room and home office add to the allure of The Shasta’s classic three-bedroom design. The bathroom boasts double sinks, plus a separate tub and shower. The oversize side porch provides additional living space throughout the warmer months. SQUARE FOOTAGE: BEDROOMS:

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COME BACK SOON

VONORE, TENNESSEE The sun sets on the shores of the Little Tennessee River, where The Saltbox, built by Clayton Tiny, has a prime spot to take in the views. This idyllic spot is a short drive from Clayton’s headquarters in Maryville, Tennessee—an equally picturesque spot in the Tennessee foothills.

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photography by MORGAN TRINKER


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