By Sadie Fowler
In a beautiful, picturesque home among some of the best Bowling Green offers, there’s a home that can be described in a few words: Quality, family, living.
The laughter and other sounds, sights and scents that fill the air are indicative of a strong family bond. The walls that surround and protect that bond are equally strong in structure. Built in 2008 by Benny Jones, the Parker home provides the family’s foundation, both literally and figuratively, that will stand the test of time.
Its grandeur and beauty draws attention from neighbors, friends and anyone simply passing by.
“I had heard through the grapevine it would be up for sale,” said Deborah, as she shared the story of finding the family’s dream home. “We had lived across town, but we knew the house. It had been featured on a home show tour so I was very familiar with it. When we heard it was going to be up for sale we knew we had to have it, and we did — literally, within a week. This will be our forever home.”
No matter how much it may seem to be, the home is not perfect — and that is its best attribute of all.
“It’s perfectly imperfect,” she said. “Yes, that is exactly what it is! We’re in the divide and conquer part of our lives and everything is crazy busy. We very much live on a family calendar and have a schedule we adhere to all the time. I couldn’t do it without my husband.”
Deborah met her husband Shawn through a shared passion for NASCAR. After choosing to make their lives in Bowling Green, the Parkers started their family. Their 14-year-old son Jagger also loves the sport; he recently traveled to Las Vegas with his dad for a race.
Julianne, their 9-year-old daughter, loves the sport of tumbling and cheerleading, which keeps her on the road as well. At least one evening a week Deborah drives her daughter to the Nashville area for practice at Cheerville Athletics.
When the crazy schedule slows down or a break from the outside world is needed, the Parkers are thankful for their home, where it’s not uncommon for “slime” to be seen on the gorgeous countertops or marshmallows to be lying around near the fire pit.
“We love having our friends and family here,” Deborah said. “At the end of the day, I’m a mom who enjoys being with her kids and I don’t have a fuss if there’s slime on the counter … Being together, especially now, during the holidays, is what it’s all about. To me, it’s the more the merrier.”
The home is contemporary, airy and spacious, but it’s lived in as well. Its layout features a large kitchen and adjoining living room that serves as the hub of the home.
“This is where it’s at,” Deborah said. “We don’t venture too far away from this core area. During the summer the kids hang out in the pool and make a lot of smores, but if they’re not outside they’re right here in the core.”
The gathering place is alive with laughter and often good food. Deborah loves to cook as does her son, and during the holidays that love of food and its ability to connect people. Nearly 40 people came to the Parker’s for Thanksgiving, potluck style.
“I make the sweet potato casserole each year,” she laughed, explaining several people in the family have a signature dish. “The holidays bring us together … it’s a tradition we need to hang on to. Of course, traditions change with time but the recipes remain. My mom’s turkey and dressing, for example, we all love that … I think eating together and passing down these recipes is a really important thing for families.”
Working as a team and helping one another is important to the success of the Parker family, which also includes two furry friends, Champ and Lucy.
When the holiday season approached this year, Deborah took it a step further and invited the expert hand of Erika Renshaw into their home. Erika, a professional home organizer who has branched her business out to include interior design and holiday decorating, spent about a week with Deborah to get it perfectly decorated for the family’s many friends to enjoy.
The end result is a home that showcases a perfect blend of old yet meaningful things, such as the stockings that hang on the mantle, with splashes of new and chic, such as the feathers that hang from the chandelier.
“The feathers are like the coolest thing ever,” Deborah said. “My house has never looked more beautiful, as far as the decorations are concerned. Erika was able to take my existing things and work with them and do things I might not have thought of. I honestly didn’t have to buy a lot of new things. She was really good at taking what I had, taking inventory, telling me what I should let go of (if it didn’t have meaning), and advising me of what I needed to purchase.
“She was laughing at me because of my garland. I had literally used it so many years that it was dried up and shedding like mad. Needless to say, we bought some new garland and it’s just amazing that it’s no longer shedding … Erika was able to understand what was important to me, then used her own vision and put it all together. She can make magic happen without costing you a fortune.”