Tucked neatly between Collierville, Tennessee and Olive Branch, Mississippi, this North Mississippi compound is comprised of eight acres; a horse barn; a covered tractor and trailer garage; a work and tool room; and a beautiful, inviting home with more than 3,500 square feet of living space. Equestrian enthusiasts Lynn and Ralph Feathers built the home in 2006 with Lynn drawing up her own plans, managing most of the construction, and then designing the home inside and out. "I have had several offers to buy my plans, but I really like that no one else has these plans," explains Lynn Feathers. "We like to entertain and I put the biggest square footage into the entertainment core of the house."Feathers, who has been an interior designer for decades and went into business for herself in 1991, owns her own decor shop called Designer Fabrics, Gifts & Accessories, which recently moved from Collierville to Olive Branch. Through shopping for her store, decorating for clients, and visiting antiques dealers and auctions all over the country, Feathers has amassed an eclectic array of fabrics, fixtures and conversation pieces for her home.And there's no denying the heavy-handed horse theme in the home's décor. "We are horse people, owning three at this time, one being our family pet, Hammer, who is 33 years old. I have ridden horses my whole life and owned them since I was eight, so needless to say, I'm a bit horse-crazy and horseracing-crazy." She and her husband also produce two very large barrel races in Jackson, Mississippi every year, drawing more than 700 contestants each show. Their show, The All American Youth Barrel Race, is the second-largest youth show in the country, second only to the Youth World Championships.
Guests who use the "friends' entry" of the home are greeted with the horse theme immediately. A quote stenciled on the foyer wall leading into the main living area reads, "The Wind of Heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears!" In the main living space, one will find the Feathers' collection of horseracing paintings, plates and prints, the majority of which are from a famous horseracing artist, Fred Stone, and feature famous horses such as Secretariat, Man-o-War, Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra. Over the fireplace hangs a special painting of a rodeo clown by Collierville artist Honey Shaw. The painting, which was given to the couple as a wedding gift, is of Ralph Feathers, who worked as a rodeo clown all over the Southeast. And in the corner of the living room stands one of the home's most special pieces—an antique carousel horse from the Houston Astro World Carousel. This hand-painted wooden horse came complete with some of copper fittings that tied into the mechanism that lifted the horses up and down. "I actually lucked up on it from a client of mine who had purchased it for her home sight unseen, and then decided that it was too big for her space," explains Feathers. "Lucky for me, my room was big enough and my ceilings high enough, and it is a perfect addition to the room. I call her ‘Happy’ because just two months before I acquired it, I had a beautiful gray barrel horse named, ‘Happy Blue Magnolia,’ who died of West Nile Disease. The carousel horse holds a very special memory for me."All horsing around aside, the home's living room is a study in the use of vivacious colors, prints and finishes that work together to create a unique and cohesive gathering place that is warm and welcoming.
From the crisp green on the walls; to the cedar beams; to the heart of pine plank floors; to the collage of plaid, floral and brocade fabrics, this room's expert assemblage of materials is what gives it a cozy, country homestead aura.Adding to the farmhouse feel are the expansive French doors surrounding the den. Six sets of eight-panel double French doors open onto the porches, which are 12 feet deep all around. The additional outdoor living space, combined with the open floor plan of the home, greatly augments and enhances the den. "I love that I can stand at my cook-top in my kitchen, and with all the doors and windows, I have a 180-degree view of our yard and pasture," says Feathers.The French country kitchen combines classic maple and distressed black lacquer cabinetry, a light granite countertop, oil-rubbed bronze fixtures and a cavernous farmhouse sink.
The lighting in the kitchen is a real standout, featuring two gorgeous iron pendant lights from Deshields Lighting in Collierville. Off the kitchen is a breakfast area that seats eight and it doubles as a dining room for this casual, laid-back family.After a meal, Feathers often can be found in her piano room with her player baby grand atop a striking zebra rug. She took piano lessons as a child and is trying to learn again, but mostly, this room serves as a kitschy little parlor for relaxing. The piano room's centerpiece is an 1860s Italian sideboard that Feathers bought at an antique auction. She cut the top of the buffet and installed a copper sink to convert the piece into a beverage center. "I think the feeling of this home is casual, interesting and welcoming, but most importantly, filled with representation of the things we love and that have molded us into who we are," says Feathers. "And, best of all, it's livable. We can come in from the barn, put our feet up on the stone top of the cocktail table, and enjoy our view of the horses."
Of Hoof and Home
After a day in the pasture, the Feathers family cozies up in this eclectic ranch and rodeo homestead.
Story By Cara Sievers