Story and Photos by Real Living Interior
It is my privilege to introduce you to my friend, neighbor, and business partner Emily Myers. Emily loves her hometown and I am super excited that she gets to share her story of the house she grew up in and how her childhood shaped who she is today! Thank you Harold and Debbie Barnard and Waxahachie for what you instilled in Emily. She is the hardest working, most creative, hilarious business partner any girl could ask for! – Stacie Caffey
Howdy! I am a proud native of Ellis County and will always consider Waxahachie my hometown. My childhood was spent playing with my dolls and hiding/seeking in the nooks and crannies of a beautiful historic home on University Avenue. I observed as my parents transformed and cared for that old house and brought life to it. They would drag my brother Erik and I to antique store after antique store hunting for treasures. As a young girl, seeing and not yet appreciating what was transpiring, I swore I would never live in an old house or own a single antique. But God has a wonderful sense of humor!
For the past six years, my husband, two teenage daughters, and I have been living in a house built in 1935 in Historic Downtown Bryan. In many ways it reminds me of that cherished home on University Avenue… that old house smell, those old house creaks and groans, and of course, the effort and love you must put into it.
Waxahachie helped me develop an appreciation for historic charm. I adored growing up in an older home. I remember my mom spending painstaking hours hand-stenciling the walls and exquisitely decorating our house to be toured for several Gingerbread Trails. My dad made the gardens and grounds a true showplace. Our property was even chosen to be featured in a Mountain Dew commercial! My home stood in sharp contrast to the houses of my friends who lived in sprawling subdivisions, but secretly I always loved my home being different. It was so fun to hear the history of those who had lived in the house before us. Even now as an adult when I visit Waxahachie, I make time to drive down University Avenue to catch a glimpse of that house, pointing it out to my daughters and reminiscing about our many happy years within those walls.
Now, fast forward to 30 years later and a two hour car ride south… After building a custom home and living in it for several years, my husband and I felt the pull to buy and renovate an old house, just like my parents had done a few decades before. In the spring of 2014, we purchased our own historic home in beautiful downtown Bryan, the town in which we have made our home for the past 17 years following graduation from Texas A&M University. I have thoroughly enjoyed imparting life and incorporating elements which pay homage to the era in which it was built while adding functionality and conveniences needed for a family in the 2020’s. My style is very eclectic, and I love uniting the old and the new – I have even woven in a few pieces from my parents that were part of my childhood home! The irony of that statement made by my antique-averse younger self is not lost on me.
Mine is truly a full-circle story – one that continues to unfold with each year that passes. It’s a real life testimony to how God works… that tug to buy an old house for my family which took me back to my roots was an integral part of the beginning of Revival Living Interiors. Although we didn’t realize it at the time, moving into our new/old house sparked a wonderful friendship with a sweet family across the street. That friendship evolved into the discovery of our mutual love for design and creating beautiful spaces. Stacie and I began by collaborating on a few small decorating projects, which led to discussing and then forming our business, which has grown exponentially into what it is today!
Waxahachie and Ellis County have expanded and changed so much over the years, but there will always be a call to honor the past and an appreciation of the history held within its boundaries. The stately historic homes which stand proudly on its tree-lined streets perpetually share the legacies of the families who have both raised babies and mourned the passing of loved ones within; a collective tapestry of lovely, richly-colored lives. The town of Waxahachie will always shine brightly in my memories as a hidden gem, reflecting an idyllic childhood filled with character, charm, love and happiness!