A Heart At Home In Huntsville


A good solid home is an extension of the soul. A home has emotional significance and meaning, especially when it has been passed down through the generations. From rooms where pictures and paintings of matriarchs and patriarchs hung to rooms where the Christmas tree served as a backdrop for now nostalgic toys, all have a profound emotional and psychological effects. Even in the hallway or door jams that held the tick marks made by a sharpie to mark our developing height have meaning. Over the years, different shades or colors of paint were added, rooms remodeled, attics were turned into an art or a music studio. A good home grows with us. A good home is a reflection of not so much our socio-economic standing in life, but an internal expression of our outward self esteem.

Modern conveniences such as the internet, cell phones, GPS, and carry out family meals simplified our previous ways of life, just to make things more complicated than ever before. We begin our morning with the rush to get the kids ready and off to school. Then its off to our commute to work an often monotonous job confined to a cubicle surrounded by others who are struggling to understand the stresses of the new normal. To make it through a tough day's work, perhaps pick the kids up only to jettison them to extra curricular activities such as sports, music lessons, ballet etc., then navigate through rush hour traffic, home is heaven. A well manicured home is a form of self care.

"It serves as a personal retreat to relieve stress. Its an environment where you can focus, brainstorm, and relax, while improving on skills such as critical thinking, writing, reading, and studying can be achieved from having a well manicured home", says Mrs. Davina Patterson of Madison County, Huntsville, Alabama.

Marrying shortly after graduating from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), she and her husband Brandon Patterson sought out the value of a well manicured home in Madison County. Huntsville, Alabama is definitely on the move as one of Alabama's top five fastest growing cities in the state.

A solid home is essential to your psyche and time well spent with the family. "It creates an atmosphere that motivates success", says Patterson, wife and mother of one. There is a direct correlation between environment and a person's emotional well being. Home provides security, control, belonging, identity, and privacy. A person's home is the autobiography of their life, a memory bank that contains their heart and soul. When a person springs from a home of character it instills in them an Alpha personality trait to leave indelible marks on their extended elements and social networks. This proves true for Mrs. Patterson who's a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc, which is one of the largest organizations for college educated professional African American women. She was also recently inducted into the National Coalition of 100 Black Women - Huntsville Chapter as well as Huntsville's Fabulous Faces Under 40 List.

" I spend a lot of time at home. I'm a homebody so I utilize every room in our home. Our home isn't just a place of residence. It is a foundation of a legacy." Building a legacy is what motivated Patterson to become a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha. She is also a member of the Huntsville Chapter of National Coalition of 100 Black Women Inc.

Building a legacy was the foundation behind why the Patterson's chose their current residence. There were several key factors that went into their choice: location, school district for when they decided to start a family, crime, walkability,

would the home hold its value, and the overall character of the neighborhood. A lush green landscape with a host of trees can add a lot of value and character to a neighborhood. Most elegant and well-established neighborhoods often have trees that have been growing there for years. Such an environment says generational establishment and serenity. Access to necessities and amenities such as quality grocery stores, hospitals/pharmacies, restaurants, banks, and retail stores/malls were very important to the Patterson's. Virtually no crime, with well lit streets and serene parks for children suggests safe haven where people are safe and secure and adds to the overall quality of life. Crime is the fastest indicator of if a neighborhood is improving or not. A major factor for the Patterson's were the school districts.

According to Bryant Turner who is one of the premier agents for ARC Realty in Birmingham, "A school district is very important to the wise home buyer because parents want their children in the best school districts. Schools affect housing prices more than anything". Realtors like Turner will suggest utilizing websites such as Trulia.com to research crime and school rating data prior to purchasing a home. According to Niche' 2020 best school districts in Alabama, Huntsville's school system is ranked #4 of 136 as the most diverse school district in Alabama, #46 of 13 best school district in Alabama, and #55 of 136 for the district with the best teachers in Alabama.

The Huntsville housing market is very competitive. Homes in Huntsville receive 3 offers on average and sell in around 39 days. The average sale price of a home in Huntsville was $250K last month, up 7.6% since last year. The average sale price per square foot in Huntsville is $112, up 6.7% since last year."#4 in Lowest Cost of Living " - Business Insider"#10 Best City to Buy a House" - Niche "Things to do in Huntsville" - huntsville.org" #23 Best Place To Rent" - WalletHub, July 2018" #7 Best Place To Live" - U.S. News, April 2018 "#2 Up & Coming Tech Hotspots" - Livability, September 2018" #1 of The Best Places to Live in America’s New Tech Hubs" - Trulia, February 2018.

Color sets the tone in the various spaces in a home. Warm tones such as red,

maroon, orange and yellow can energize the tone in a space. Cool tones, such as blue, green and purple, particularly their pastel siblings, generally create quiet and relaxing atmospheres. Color has been described as the visual language understood throughout the world. The best way to communicate through interior design is to do it through color. Being the busy and influential woman that she is, after a long and tedious day's work or on the weekend when its time to relax and delve into her next project, Mrs. Patterson calls for that of calm and contemplative.

Her favorite room is the sun room. She chose pastel color and light shades grays and whites. "I am inspired by French Country, Rustic Farmhouse, and Bohemian and Cape Cod decor" she says. When planning for a room and its purpose, the color should be chosen by the mood, atmosphere, and emotion you want for particular results. For Mrs. Patterson her color schemes and decorations are designed to invoke peace and comfort. Cape Cod style is a decorating style that originated in colonial New England.

There are about five different ways we experience a room: 1. Through the senses—sight, touch, taste, hearing, and smell. Second, Through time and by movement through space. Thirdly, through reasoning or thought, memory or imagination. Fourth, through emotions, both pleasant and unpleasant. Fifth, through anticipation or expectation. decorative patterns, color, lighting, and spatial arrangement all have appeal to the eyes; flowers and candles have olfactory appeal to the nose, whereas textures and space planning appeal to the touch. Music and conversation obviously appeal to the ears. As a matter of fact, the tone of the room will often dictate the types of music and conversation. A comfortable well decorated home and individual rooms will have elements designed to please all of the senses, and dictate the desired cognitive experience of the room. This is how we also we make idealize the items that we buy for our homes.

"I do a lot of shopping at Home Goods, At Home, Kirkland’s, Amazon, and Pier I.", explains Mrs. Patterson. If given one thousand dollars, she modestly tells what and where she would shop for her home. "I would shop at Home Goods and At Home. I

would purchase accents such as wall art, blanket throws, pillows, rugs, picture frames, and benches." Such items are considered soft elements and add personality and comfort to your space.

The Cape Cod style invokes images of a beachfront littered with sea shells, spiral color schemed lighthouses, indicators of a fishing community, and the visual peace of the ocean and therapeutic sounds of waves crashing against rocks. All decorations have a backstory, especially those that portray nostalgic periods such as historic coastal New England. Anything that you place in a room, particularly the walls says something about you. "I love cozy spaces where I can relax and meditate. My favorite rooms are the sunroom, mudroom, and Zen room." she says.

"A Zen room is a meditation room. A space of peace and to focus. Many people do yoga, pray, worship, or meditate", according to Mrs. Patterson. When designing an ambient Zen room, first go for earth tone colors. Second, place softness at your feet. This comes either with carpet, or preferably hardwood resin floors. Wool carpets provide a real sense of comfort but require a higher level of maintenance which defeats the purpose of a Zen room which is designed to bring ease and little maintenance. White, greyish or any light colored parquets are especially refined. third, use light and light fabrics. Fourth, design with soft and natural light. Candles are a given. However lighting, whether from ceilings and/or lamps should be dimness level controllable. Lastly, keep furniture simple and natural.

When asked who she would invite over to her home, she gave a vey interesting answer. "I would invite actress Angela Bassett into the sunroom for girl talk, coffee, and diva time !", Mrs. Patterson exclaims. The Yale graduate and Academy and Golden Globe Award winning actress is known for her stellar biographical portrayals of Tina Turner, Betty Shabazz, Coretta Scott King, as well as her sophisticated and refined personality demeanor and polished image.

Mrs. Patterson gets many of her decoration ideas from magazines such as Traditional Home, Southern Home, Southern Cottage, and online resources such as Pinterest. Other

recommendations would be a book entitled “French House Chic", by Jane Webster. The book is based on the author acquiring a neglected

19th century French chateau. She then remodeled the home with traditional French interior designs. Another suggestion Donna Garlough’s “Your Home, Your Style: How to Find Your Look & Create Rooms You Love”, and "Vintage French Decor by Jamie Lundstrom. For the complete French design experience and feel, the decor must reflect the personality and life of the resident. A good interior decorator will advise you that you first obtain an image. And from that image, you go for details. One of the most detailed aesthetics of French and rustic designs are flowers. There is a direct link between between flowers and a state of peace. Flowers are natural moderators of moods and have strong positive effects on emotional health. Flowers have immediate impact on happiness. They also have a long-term positive effect on moods and create an intimate connections.

The different colors of flowers and types of flowers also call on certain aspect of human psyche. Blue flowers, especially in hydrangeas, which are a rustic French decorative favorite, invoke feelings that are calm, cool and sedate. Green flowers green creates a feeling of tranquility and freshness. White flowers, such as those in Mrs. Patterson's sun room symbolize peace, purity, honesty, openness, and perfection.

Davin Patterson has managed to create a serene home with rooms that will serve as emotional catalysts to inspire her to complete her future projects. These endeavors include blogging, and a baby naming book as well and business endeavors centered around wealth accumulation and empowerment. Having somewhere to go is home. Having someone to love is family. Having both is a blessing. When asked what are the key ingredients of a happy home, she expresses that it is beyond decorations and furniture. She invokes the biblical scripture, Joshua 24:15, "As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord".

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