Life on the Hammonds Homestead
John and Sara Beth Hammonds love their
simply Southern home in Hartselle
Photos by Rachel Howard
John and Sara Beth Hammonds love their simple Southern life. The couple enjoys finding deals at area yard sales and thrift stores and repurposing their finds to meet their family’s needs in their three-bedroom, two-bath home on East Byrd Road.
John bought the home in 2016. The gazebo next to the catfish pond is where he would later propose to Sara Beth, and together they would remodel the house and begin their journey as a new family.
It has taken the Hammonds roughly five years to complete the renovations on their home, with John himself doing much of the work in the evenings and on weekends. “I wanted some new features, but I wanted to mix some of the old in as well,” Sara Beth said of her forever home. “We like the old way of living – living simply and slowly. I feel like that way of life takes you back to a different time, and I want our style to reflect the way we’re trying to live.”
Of her home décor and overall style, Sara Beth said she loves all things bright and airy.
“I find stuff at thrift stores and yard sales all the time,” she said. “Sometimes we’re just in the right place at the right time, and other times we miss all the good deals. People get rid of stuff and give it to me, and we will end up using it. We just try to live within a budget; we don’t like to spend a lot of money.”
Greenery graces side tables and curtain rods alike, adding life and fresh air to every room. Plants like pathos are Sara Beth’s favorites; she said she learned how to tend a garden and care for the plants by helping her grandmother and parents work theirs when she was a child. This past year during the COVID-19 pandemic was the first time John and Sara Beth planted their own garden. Their kitchen now is often filled with fresh fares from their labor. Sara Beth said fried squash is one of her husband’s favorite side dishes. “My mom has a green thumb, so she has helped me a lot,” Sara Beth added.
The Hammonds celebrated four years of marriage this past month and welcomed daughter Ivy Mae in June.
“She has brought so much joy to our lives in such a short amount of time,” Sara Beth said. “Being her mommy is my favorite thing, and I love watching John be such a good daddy to her. We can’t wait to watch her grow up in this house and play in the garden and with the chickens.”
The nursery is curated with touches of family heirlooms, including the crib that John slept in as a baby.
The rest of the house follows the same motif: a distinct absence of an overall theme but beautiful design and décor woven together seamlessly. “I’ve never really had a certain theme. If I love all of it, and it goes together, that’s all that matters.”
The bedrooms were repainted all neutral colors to help open the space up, and the couple has looked for ways to add bits of character to every corner of their home. “The white really brightens it up so much, and the bead board adds so much character,” she said. “I think I got the obsession of bead board from my mom, too.”
John’s cedar childhood furniture found a home in the master bedroom, where the baby’s bassinet, also a family heirloom, is nestled close by. Generations of babies slept in the wicker bassinet Ivy Mae now coos in beside her parents at night.
Sara Beth’s favorite room in the home is the kitchen. It features a white cast iron sink with double drain boards John installed it himself. He also cut, built and stained the custom countertops that perfectly complement the antique sink.
The sunroom features an antique church pew that was destined to be destroyed until fate intervened. “My dad got a call saying ‘Tell Sara Beth to come get this; it’s hers if she wants it,’” she said. Formerly located at the Danville church of Christ for decades, the pew is worn down in strips across its seat. “Someone said that’s probably from folks scooting down to make room for people to sit on the end. I had never really thought of that, and I love that idea,” Sara Beth said.
The Hammonds’ homestead also features a flower, herb and vegetable garden, a potting shed and a chicken coop.
Sara Beth enjoys sharing gardening tips, information on raising chickens, recipes and décor ideas on Instagram. Keep up with the Hammonds family there by following @hammondshomestead_