Lake Living: Does Your Home Speak to You?

Photo/collage painting of the historic Drish House, in former and present glory, by Allison Adams. Photo/collage painting of the historic Drish House, in former and present glory, by Allison Adams. Allison Adams

Every house has a story. Every home, a voice. Every day, I am in contact with families with the urge to move – sometimes up in size, sometimes to something cozier, less time consuming. 

Some people are drawn to the history of a place. Others are in search of something brand new. But over time, even those new homes become worn and weathered by voices and footsteps carved by those who inhabited them. 

I watched from the sidelines as Nika McCool took what was once an old fraternity house and made it a place for her boys to live while here in college, shooing squatters from beneath the hundred-year-old porches. She got the renovation bug. Many of you may recognize her as the name behind the newly enhanced Drish House, which she took on shortly after that first project was completed. 

Nika acquired a building with a history. This one, with a history of fire being seen from the cupola, stories of eerie death and heartbreak, and love. 

The Drish Home was built in 1837 as a former plantation, when Dr. John Drish had it erected with massive Doric porticoes.  Here we are 180 years later, with hopeful brides basking in the sunlight beneath the massive Ionic porticoes – placed there by a home renovator who had a taste for Italianate architecture when he inhabited the space.

Yes, even on historical homes, families want to make their mark. Nika chose to remove the additions and let the original integrity speak. Hundreds are flocking to be a part of the revival at parties and reunions that are sure to please all the past inhabitants.

Does your home speak? What does it say to you? What does it say to those who visit? Do you savor the tired floors that were marked with tiny feet that are now size 12? 

Magazines beg us to buy into the glamour and glitz of the home. But after a long day, the greatest gift is to walk into the place you have made for love and for your family. It is the comfort within the walls, not the décor, that soothes a broken heart or fixes a scrape with a Band-Aid and a kiss. 

I am embarking on my own revival in a home that had so many memories packed into the eaves. I wonder how they will ever get their things moved. My home on the lake, I am passing to a family with five little ones who will soon be splashing off the deck and making memories not unlike those my now-grown children experienced. 

Home should be about the experience. A magnificent stairwell will not raise a child to be a kind person. Marble floors will not build a foundation for integrity. The hearts that beat within the walls are all that matter. 

Blessings, and go mess up your house a bit this weekend with some memory opportunities you saw on Pinterest!

Allison Adams

Allison helps bring families and homes together at Lake Homes Realty and has a new blog,, where she will share her renovation experiences of an 80's home being re-purposed for her family. Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

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Allison Adams

Broker Associate at Lake Homes Realty / - As a landowner and former owner of my own Real Estate company on the Gulf Coast, I am thrilled to be a part of cutting edge marketing and technology with LAKE HOMES REALTY, who will market your lake front property assuring that it gets seen.


Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.



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