Southern hospitality on Sylvan Lane

Homeowners Shawn and David Owens rolled out the Southern hospitality as they welcomed guests to check out their recent renovations.

Knox Heritage’s popular Summer Suppers ended on a distinctly Southern note recently with a garden party in the backyard of a renovated Craftsman-style home on a little-known street in Sequoyah Hills. To underscore the Southern theme: all the dishes were prepared with recipes from Southern Living magazine. My favorite? Warm turnip green dip!

The house, located on tiny Sylvan Lane, was built in 1935. Shawn and David Owens purchased it in 2011. “We fell in love with the house,” David said. “And we’re still in love with it.” Nevertheless, renovations were in order.

Shawn decided to be her own general contractor, and the couple hired Sean and Sara Martin of Open Door Architecture to be their architects. The result is a comfortable living space on a spectacular piece of property — great for parties! Come check this one out!

Built in 1935, the Craftsman-style home is thoroughly modern now.

Just check out the fabulous kitchen. I don’t think you saw anything like this in 1935!

Here’s that turnip green dip! I’ll post a link to the recipe at the bottom of this blog.

Two friendly hosts offered us drinks on the back porch. Denise Phillips, left, and Meredith Peccolo.

Alan Carmichael taking advantage of the offerings.

Fellow guests, from left, Ted Smith, Becky Wade and Jake Hudson.

Charlie Short and Doris Wesley.

David Butler and Becky Hancock.

Larry and Kay Leibowitz.

From left, Cathy Briscoe, Gail Jarvis and Martha Yoakum.

Back inside, Lisa Thomas was passing cheese snappy wafers.

Ran into these fun folks in the kitchen. From left, Bobby Brown, Todd Richesin and Nancy Thomas.

I loved this sitting area to the left of the front porch.

Living room.

Den. I am a sucker for exposed brick.

Bedroom upstairs.


And another bedroom.

Alan in yet another upstairs room. I love all the light in the house.

Wow. That’s a big tent in the backyard!

On the way down to it, we passed this inviting sitting area.

Love sunflowers!

The Southern Living cookbooks under the arrangements were party favors for guests to take home.

Homeowners Shawn and David Owens, right, talked a little about the house. At left is Sara Martin of Open Door Architecture.

Time to eat!

Bluegrass salad, sweet-tea brined chicken, lemony green bean potato salad, Tee’s corn pudding and icebox dinner rolls. Wow, y’all!

Dessert: cream cheese pound cake with fresh summer berries.

Night was beginning to fall as we finished up.

Dennis and Kim Denton.

The house was beautiful from the back at night.

Janet Bower was leaving with some beautiful centerpieces.

We said goodbye to John Craig, Coral Turner and little Clio.

And to our friend Lila Honaker.

And we caught a glimpse of a beautiful moon rise.

Now that the Summer Suppers are over, it’s almost time for the Knoxville Symphony League to start its series of Elegant Dining events. Keep an eye out!

Here’s that turnip green dip recipe from Southern Living:



Filed under: Food, Historic preservation, Knoxville. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Southern hospitality on Sylvan Lane

  1. Monique Anderson, on September 11th, 2018 at 9:43 am said:

    Wow! That looks like a great summer supper. I loved seeing the pictures of the house.

  2. Cynthia Moxley, on September 11th, 2018 at 1:58 pm said:

    Monique: It was a good one. I’m sad they are over for the year.

  3. Rusha Sams, on September 11th, 2018 at 9:16 pm said:

    What a beautiful home and dinner! Love the architecture as well as the furnishings — especially the renovation of the kitchen. And that food — Southern, summer, sensational. Thanks for the post.

  4. Sara Martin, on September 12th, 2018 at 10:12 pm said:

    So glad you enjoyed the supper, Cynthia! We had a great time planning it. And Sean and I appreciate the link to our website — we would love more clients like the Owenses 😉 Hope to see you at another party soon!

  5. Cynthia Moxley, on September 12th, 2018 at 10:17 pm said:

    Rusha: Thanks! Gotta say the food – and the whole party – were magnificent!

    Sara: Great, great job!

Leave a Reply