Southern Charmer: The Morgan-Ford House

About a year or so ago, I came across a posting on Instagram about the restoration of a bungalow in Mobile, Alabama.  What normally draws me to a post like this is the idea of restoring a historic home, but this was different.  I was drawn in by the storyteller and her understanding and appreciation of the southern experience.  This storyteller is the Canadian CEO of Phantom Screens, Esther De Wolde.

 

Photo via experiencephantom.com

The passion and pure ambition that I watched her pour into this home was inspiring and endearing to watch.  Her ability to tell a story (and listen to stories told by those connected to the house) instantly made her a southern kindred spirit.  She truly gets it!  I began by watching the videos she has posted on her site at experiencephantom.com.  The videos take you through the restoration process and the story of the home, including stories by former residents.

 

BEFORE

AFTER

Tucked into the neighborhood of the Oakleigh Garden Historic District in Mobile, Alabama, along a street with an ailée of live oak trees, sits the beautifully restored Morgan-Ford House.  Built in 1906, with restoration beginning in 2014, this home boasts classical detail features, including a charming front porch that extends the width of the house, high ceilings, a grandly proportioned dog trot (center hall), stained glass transom over the front door, beautifully restored interior doors, pair of pocket doors leading into the dining room, original light fixture in the living room, and fireplaces with original tile.

Photo via phantomscreens.com

THE CLASSIC SOUTHERN FRONT PORCH

Photo via phantomscreens.com

GORGEOUS NEW ORLEANS STYLE GAS LANTERN

 

Photo via phantomscreens.com

DOGTROT VIEW FROM FRONT TO BACK

Photo via phantomscreens.com

 STAINED GLASS TRANSOM OVER THE FRONT DOOR

BEAUTIFULLY RESTORED CLOSET DOORS

POCKET DOORS LEADING INTO THE DINING ROOM

FIREPLACE SURROUND WITH ORIGINAL TILE

Photo via phantomescreens.com

ORIGINAL LIGHT FIXTURE IN LIVING ROOM

The Ford family allowed some of their antiques to stay with the house for the grand reveal.  There was a beautiful bookcase that was chosen to be used as a china cabinet, as well as a Victorian sofa and chair, a writing desk, and an antique music cabinet.

Photo via phantomscreens.com

KITCHEN VIEW WITH ORIGINAL CABINET REPURPOSED AS ISLAND

Photo via phantomscreens.com

LAUNDRY ROOM HIDDEN BEHIND BOOKCASE

READING NOOK

 

Photo via phantomscreens.com

NOTICE THE CLEVER HANGING SHOWCASING THE ORIGINAL PLUMBING FIXTURES

Photo via phantomscreens.com

MASTER BEDROOM - YOU WILL FIND THE USE OF ANTIQUE LINENS IN MANY ROOMS IN THE HOUSE.  ALSO NOTICE THE REPURPOSED HEADBOARD MADE FROM ONE OF THE INTERIOR DOORS.

MASTER BATH

The beautiful back porch and garden are showcased in the following photos.  Be sure to take notice of the Phantom Screens on the back porch.  These retractable screens are perfect for the southern porch because they allow for insect control and climate control.  

Photo via phantomscreens.com

Photo via phantomscreens.com

Photo via phantomscreens.com

CHARLESTON STYLE GARDEN VIGNETTE WITH FOCAL POINT OF A FOUNTAIN

And, finally, I met some awesome new blogger friends while on this trip!  LaurenMcMullen.com, Aedriel.com, FoxHollowCottage.com, RefreshRestyle.com, ExperiencePhantom.com, UnskinnyBoppy.com, and SouthernHospitalityBlog.com. Meeting each of you was a blessing! 

The effort it took to restore this home to its original beauty was challenging but very rewarding.  This home will be enjoyed by the family of Esther De Wolde for many years to come!  Thank you, Esther, for showing us such gracious southern hospitality!