The Herald Bulletin

April 20, 2013

Martins’ homey feel

Couple’s Pendleton home a ’gathering place’ for guests

By Emma Bowen Meyer
For The Herald Bulletin

PENDLETON, Ind. — Jeff Martin grew up on a farm and, although he never missed the work linked to such a life, he did find he missed the land. When an opportunity arose to buy a favored home along with 65 surrounding acres, the move from Fortville was easy to make.

“I’ve always liked this area and always liked Pendleton,” said Jeff, mortgage lender. “I like being out in the country.”

Although he and his wife, Pam, have moved outside the confines of a neighborhood, they are far from secluded. Company often fills the rooms — as well as the yard and pool — to the point where renovations have centered on pleasing guests and making entertaining convenient.

“I always say: ‘The more the merrier,’” said Pam, volunteer and occasional substitute for Liberty Christian School. “I would rather the kids be here and have their friends here than have them go somewhere else. Our neighbors’ kids also go to Liberty and we are pretty close with them.”

Extra traffic from guests creates a more homey feeling for Pam — as she grew up near the hustle and bustle of Anderson University. With a mix of Church of God Convention traffic, free fair traffic and general college life humming nearby, country life was not her first choice.

“I do like it now, though,” she said. “We lived out in the country for a few years when I was a teenager and I hated it. But I love it here and it is a gathering place. My cousin even got married in the back yard and it was just beautiful.”

Tiki hut is festive

The bulk of the changes made by the couple since they moved in eight years ago are around the backyard in-ground pool. First they installed a patio that replaced a deteriorating deck. A lovely brick enclosure adds aesthetic appeal and an outdoor kitchen encourages the party to go on and on.

“The first year we had the kitchen and counter out there it was too hot and no one would hang out around it,” said Pam. “We went to a home show and saw a tiki hut and knew that was what we needed.”

Now a festive tiki hut shades the outdoor kitchen and eat-at countertop, allowing guests to refresh themselves and escape the sun.

But on cold winter days visitors can enjoy the convenient layout of the spacious indoor kitchen. The island feature barstools for additional seating, but sometimes Pam pulls them aside to create buffet access. Seven or eight leaves can fit into the nearby kitchen table to provide 17 to 20 guests a seat while the formal dining room can accommodate overflow.

“We took out the smaller island and added this one for more space,” said Pam. “We were also able to add another oven. I wanted the contrast of making it white while the rest of the cabinets are wood. I really like the way it looks.”

The couple also finished the attic space, creating two bedrooms and a play room. With two daughters, Ryan Olivia Knight, 14, and Katie Martin, 10, slumber parties abound and the space is joyously used.

“We have been blessed with this house and want to share it,” said Pam.

Each week, Emma Bowen Meyer features a Madison County home. If you know of a home that should be showcased, send an email to emmagoldiemeyer@yahoo.com.