Coming Home in Columbus

BY SARAH RAINES & PHOTOS BY LAURA DANIELS

Sue Burkhalter has found a new adventure in Cady Hills in Columbus, with a one-story French Country-style home with plenty of room to entertain the whole family.
Burkhalter has lived in Columbus since the 1970’s. She raised two sons in the area, and is now able to spend time with her five grandchildren who live in Starkville and New Hope.
Four months ago, Burkhalter moved into a house of her own. The Khaki-colored brick home is one story with curved, deep brown shutters to match the steep dark brown tiling of the roof.
Matured plants set an outline for landscaping in the yard. A maple tree, rosebushes, and yaupon shrubs take up permanent residence in the landscape, and the greenery leaves enough room for Burkhalter to add more pops of color to her garden in the spring.
Local designer and shop owner Penny Bowen helped Sue settle into her new home. A long-time friend and client, Burkhalter asked for Bowen’s help in making the space her own.
“She has a very eclectic style,” Bowen said. “She has traditional pieces with the contemporary art and so we repainted the whole house to be kind of a neutral pallet, bright and airy so that all her bright artwork and furniture would kind of pop off of it.”
Bowen drew the house’s original design before it was built, and Burkhalter purchased it from its original owners, changing a few of the details to fit her own style. The cream-colored walls of the living room have grey shelving centered around a white and grey sand-stone fireplace with a flat-screen television and a simple grey clock. The furniture chosen was modern and comfortable, with fluffy couches and chrome-based vase-like lamps perched atop black tables.
Burkhalter is a retired music teacher, and she currently accompanies voice students at Mississippi University for Women and plays piano every Sunday at Covenant United Methodist Church. One of her most prized possessions is her polished black Kawai Baby Grand piano.
“That was probably the hardest thing to find a home for in the new house, because I had a separate room for it in the old house,” Burkhalter said. “This house, it just took a while to find its place, but I did. I love where it is, now. It’s perfect.”
The Kawai sits surrounded with Burkhalter’s collection of musical accessories, tying everything together. A framed “Tosca” opera poster and other musical decorations hang on the wall, displaying their owner’s love for composed art.
The floors of Burkhalter’s house are heart of pine, and dark wooden beams accent the country style of her home. Two separate sitting areas are connected in one large open space, and an extended island with eight barstools serves as extra dining space alongside the open dining area so guests don’t have to be separated into different rooms during large family get-togethers. Black and red intricate Persian rugs outline the dining areas, with a tasteful black chandelier hanging overtop the dining table and a mirror outlined with a frilled gold frame to reflect light back to the room.
Burkhalter said the open floor plan is one of her favorite features of her new home. It allows her to entertain more guests without the separation added by walled-off rooms.
“On my mother’s side we have a family reunion every year that’s always at my house, with about 25 to 30 people,” Burkhalter said. “My life revolves around my children and my grandchildren. I have been blessed, that’s for sure.”
The backyard features a porch for congregating and a pool for entertaining, with furniture and a television on the porch, as well as patio furniture a few steps below on the pool level.
Burkhalter looks forward to hosting her first family reunion at the end of June in her new house, and said she can visualize many family Christmases in years to come.

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