Sweet Country Chic
Rural style meets modern trends in this Mississippi-made estate
Story by L. Taylor Smith • Photography by Terry Sweeney
Sean and Teresa Ray are MidSouth natives who kept their lives — both professional and personal — in Olive Branch. As the owners of Pro-Stone Kitchen & Bath, the Rays are more than familiar with what it takes to make a beautiful home.
Construction on their four bedroom home started in 2004 when the Rays decided to expand. “The economy was booming, and we lived in Cherokee Meadows,” Sean says. “We figured we could live in it for a little bit and sell it but then the economy tanked. We kept it through the recession and now we’re keeping it.”
Originally the walls were shades of red, gold and green, but they recently painted the interior to keep up with recent trends for muted, neutral tones. “The grays in our kitchen business are what’s new and hot, but there’s some feature that you can’t change like the wood floors in our house,” Teresa says. “A lot of people think grays are really modern without being too harsh.”
The sections of exposed brick in the living room and kitchen adds warmth to the dark taupe and gray walls. Natural oak floors flow into the dining room, which shows off the Rays’ blended style of traditional country meets contemporary trends. A distressed white china cabinet echos the off-white upholstered chairs, while a rustic dining table centers the room.
One of the more personal rooms is the billiards room. The mix of grays and browns continues into this space, which has not only a pool table, but a corner bar area, a card table and a home theater next door.
The main draw of the room, though, is a bookshelf shrine to the Memphis Grizzlies. The shelves are filled with Grizzlies memorabilia including autographed basketballs, posters and a small #2 jersey their 12-year-old daughter once wore to games. “We started going to the Grizzlies games the first season they came,” Teresa says. “We were at the Mid-South Fair, and they have all those booths set up, and I ended up buying a Power Pack. We had never been to a basketball game in our life, and we’ve gone ever since.”
Naturally, the Rays have also used their expertise in granite and stone to add unique touches to their home. When they moved their 7-year-old twins upstairs, they redid their 12-year-old daughter’s room. “Her room hadn’t been redone since she was a little girl, so basically it was time for us to gut it,” Teresa says.
Behind her bed towers a 1,000 pound slab of rare pink onyx framed by intense black granite. Color-changing LED lights shine through the stone and add an extra dynamic energy to the room.
As part of the room renovation, they updated the furniture their daughter already had to breathe new life into it. “This was her furniture she’s had since she was a little girl,” Teresa says. “For her dresser, we just sanded it and did an ombre painting technique for the drawers.”
The round bed was originally going to go in a circular area in the corner of the main part of the bedroom, but instead they turned the space into a TV lounge area with a couch that follows the line of the wall.
Working with home improvement materials day in and day out, the Rays don’t plan on overhauling too much in the next few years but there’s always a project on the horizon. “I always want to change stuff out,” Teresa says, “My next project is the master bedroom and bathroom countertops.”
More than anything, though, the Rays have planted their roots firmly in the ground of DeSoto County. “Olive Branch is our home,” Sean says. “We’re not going anywhere.”