Haven of a home
Andy and Monty Vest love their historic house on Barkley Street
Photos by Rachel Howard
When Andy and Monty Vest first married, they renovated and lived in a house on Barkley Street, where they often walked past the historic home they live in now, not knowing then it would be a big part of their future.
William Howard Evans, also known to many in Hartselle as “Country Evans,” designed and constructed the Greek revival–style home in 1949.
“We have always loved this neighborhood and location,” Monty said. “Greek revival has always appealed to us, and this home was just perfect. The opportunity to own and renovate it was something we hoped for very early in our marriage. It has been an honor to maintain this house and call it home.
“We finished the walk-out basement, adding two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a casual family room and downstairs kitchen,” Monty added. “We worked with an architect on the basement design as well as a master bedroom expansion upstairs that is now the coffee bar and screened-in porch.”
The Vest family moved into in the house after these updates in November 2005, when their daughter Eleanor was 2 months old. The house now features four bedrooms and four bathrooms.
In 2015 the Vests moved to St. Louis, Missouri, for Andy’s job, but they returned in 2018. “We thoroughly enjoyed our time in St. Louis, but our home, our family is in Hartselle, and we were thrilled to return,” Monty said.
The Vests completely renovated the interior of the house upon returning to Hartselle. “We redecorated the home to include pieces we purchased in St. Louis,” Monty explained. They also renovated the master bathroom to include a large zero entry shower and a separate soaking tub.
Monty said because the couple’s tastes lean more toward the traditional side, they try to make purchases that are classic and can be used for years to come. In addition to the mixed metals used throughout, sentimental décor fills the home. Monty’s favorite piece is the antique Empire sideboard in the dining room that was purchased when she and Andy were newly married. “It has been in our home for more than 28 years,” she said, adding her husband’s favorite piece is also in the dining room – the Empire game table, which was the first antique piece they bought as newlyweds.
“We also have several pieces of art we love, but our favorite is the portrait of our daughter that hangs in our dining room. It features a 5-year-old Eleanor standing on our front porch,” Monty says. “An antique hall tree that belonged to Andy’s grandmother, as well as a few pieces from my grandparents and great aunts, are also special to us.”
A door in the kitchen that leads downstairs is from the Farmers and Merchants Bank building that was built in 1915 and now houses The Something Blue Shoppe. Monty’s mother Sarah owns the wedding gown salon that has been in business for 52 years.
The large backyard features several trees planted by Evans. The site is the original home of the annual Country Evans Stew Fundraiser for the Hartselle Football booster club. The men would gather in the backyard to make the stew in large stew pots each fall. “When we purchased the home, we found several heaters and pots from days past,” Monty said. The stew fundraiser continues today at the Hartselle Tabernacle and is led by Judge Glen Thompson, a nephew of Country Evans.
As a family, the Vests enjoy spending time with friends at Smith Lake, attending Alabama football games and traveling.