There’s no place like the outdoors. With that in mind, Angie and Billy Whitley built their 2,900-square-foot home in the backwoods of Huntington.
Built in 2014, the Whitleys’ home — which contains two bedrooms, two and a half baths, a pool and outdoor patio — is decorated to provide a rustic, woodsy feel.
“Even when you are living inside, it’s like you are outside,” Angie said.
Angie said their home is special to them because their son, Hunter, built it.
After Hunter graduated from Texas A&M, he started his own business called 217 Construction and built the house as a contractor.
“I drew the plans and designed it, then we had the architect draw it,” Angie said.
She said Hunter used to race motocross but was paralyzed in a motorbike accident. Despite being paralyzed from the chest down, he has created many beautiful buildings, Angie said.
“People around here know him and the great job he does,” she said. “You forget he is handicapped because he drives his own truck and is very independent. It’s awesome that he does what he does.”
As soon as you walk through the 9-foot knotty alder solid wood front door, it’s wood, leather and animals galore.
Two big windows hug the door to let in natural light. No curtains hang on the windows, or any of the windows in the house except for the bedroom windows.
“We love the outdoors and like to let lots of sunlight in,” Angie said. “Our neighbor has a lot of farm animals, so you can wake up and a Jersey cow is out there eating. It’s really beautiful.”
Billy took pine trees to the saw mill to build walls from rough-cut pine, and Angie and Hunter sanded the boards along with Hunter’s wife, Presley, and Angie’s younger son, Parker.
A flagstone stairwell with custom-made iron handrails leads the way to the second floor, where there’s a bedroom and a bathroom.
Stained concrete flows throughout the house to the family room, which is 650 square feet with 28-foot ceilings.
“It’s a full two stories,” Angie said. “I like the open space, and we needed a lot of wall space to hang our game heads.”
They have everything from bobcats, bears and pheasant to deer, aoudad moose and elk heads hanging proudly on the walls.
The furniture, sofa and chairs came from a mountain town in the Smoky Mountains called Maggie Valley, North Carolina. The furniture is a mixture of wood, earth colors and leather. A giant wooden chest functions as a coffee table.
Scattered about are many Cherokee Indian baskets and carvings, some of which Angie’s family carved.
“I’m Cherokee from North Carolina, so we have a lot of Indian art,” she said.
A semi-dry-stack flagstone fireplace has a seating ledge guests can warm themselves on when a fire is crackling.
A big flat-screen is mounted on the fireplace that can be seen in the game room, just right of the family room. It contains a chess/checkers table and pool table. Hunter had the idea to put corrugated tin in the game room and family room along with exposed air ducts to provide an industrial feel.
Three big windows look out on the outdoor scenery.
“These windows are special because we got wood-pane windows,” Angie said. “This costs so much more just for wood, and most are like plastic. But I wanted it to be rustic and liked the look of the wood.”
Behind the family room is the master bedroom. The first thing you see when you walk into the bedroom are the colorful stained-glass windows that overlook the king-size bed. His and hers bedside stands sit on both sides of the bed. Two wooden cabinets and a wooden chest sit in the room.
Wooden doors open up to a bathroom that is almost as big as the master bedroom.
The bathroom has an 8-by-5-foot walk-in shower equipped with his and hers shower heads. In the corner of the shower is a shower head to bathe the Whitleys’ dogs, Toot and Belle.
A clawfoot tub from Billy’s father was repurposed and painted. In front of the tub is a large window where cattle can sometimes be seen. There is a cabinet with black walnut countertops, a large mirror and a pedestal sink.
Beyond the bathroom is a 16-foot-long walk-in closet that contains a washer and dryer.
On the other side of the family room is the open kitchen, equipped with stainless steel appliances and an island with four wooden bar stools. White cabinets contrast nicely with black walnut countertops.
A 6-by-8-foot pantry room sits off behind the kitchen. The door is separated by a screen door that has an elk horn door handle.
“We keep a large freezer in here because we have a lot of game that we have to store,” Angie said.
Across from the pantry is the mudroom and a half-bathroom. Old windows from Hungary are mounted on the walls of the bathroom and mudroom to showcase spoons, a Cherokee Bible and other knickknacks.
The half-bathroom is equipped with a copper sink for guests to wash up before they step into the house. It is also easily accessible from the wood deck and pool in the back yard. There is a little beach area with lounge chairs, a flagstone picnic area with a table and chairs, and a fire pit Parker made in ag class.
The 750-square-foot wood deck has a grilling area with cabinets and a built-in sink that runs hot and cold water. Billy and his dad sandblasted and painted it to make it usable.
At the other end of the porch sits green and brown wicker furniture with a glass-top coffee table and a swing.
“Hot or cold, I stay out on the back porch,” Angie said. “It’s my favorite part of the house. I like my view and like the outside.”
She said it is important to have a house that you love and feel comfortable in.
“It’s your home,” she said. “It’s a place you can relax, be safe and make memories with family in. We love our home.”