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Rita Yerby and Gene Miller have utterly reworked the inside of their three bed room historic residence in Montford.
Angeli Wright/

They have lived in a number of homes over the years, remaking every one to their liking.

But about 2½ years in the past, Gene Miller and Rita Yerby determined to go away the Deep South, packing up their belongings and shifting to Asheville.

“We wanted a change,” Rita stated on a current night, sitting on a classic couch in the couple’s cozy Colonial-style residence simply north of downtown.

The transfer was not precisely on the spur of the second — the married couple spent a number of years monitoring climate circumstances right here, ultimately spending a winter in city to make it possible for they might tolerate the colder temperatures — nevertheless it was the first time that they had ever lived collectively outdoors Alabama.

Tucked alongside the principal thoroughfare in Montford, their 1920s-era house is one of 10 homes set to seem on the Montford Holiday Tour of Homes Dec. 10. Now in its 21st yr, the self-guided tour showcases exceptional dwellings all through the historic neighborhood. Proceeds from ticket gross sales will go towards neighborhood enhancements and after-school packages at the Montford Recreation Center.

Like many of the quaint homes right here, this one is particularly charming round this time of yr. Outside, round the tiny, rounded portico, garland festoons taupe-colored columns, wreaths hold on home windows and lights illuminate the balcony.

Inside, the home has a cushty really feel, with conventional and midcentury trendy accents.

Throughout are vintage and classic furnishings, hardwood flooring and lighting fixtures usual from brass and hand-blown glass. There are unique wooden doorways and single-pane home windows painted black, and paintings adorns the white partitions.

The most cozy area, the front room, contains a fuel hearth and upholstered furnishings, together with a reside Christmas tree in entrance of a pair of French doorways.


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Built in 1926, the couple’s two-story brick residence served as a boarding home for a time, later turning into flats earlier than returning to a single-family residence. It incorporates about 2,400 sq. ft, with three bedrooms and 3½ baths.

While it appeared structurally sound, the inside underwent a dramatic makeover after the couple purchased it in the summer time of 2014. Rooms have been remade, partitions have been torn down and repainted, and flooring have been refinished. A heating and cooling system was put in, amongst different issues.

What as soon as was a eating room is now a elegant, light-filled kitchen, accented by marble counter tops, dark-stained wood flooring and Murano glass pendant lights.

In the rear, a spacious screened porch was added that sits atop a storage and overlooks the sloping yard. It adjoins a tiny deck the place Gene finds himself smoking ribs most each Saturday in the fall. (It’s a ritual he performs earlier than his beloved school soccer staff, the University of Alabama, takes the subject.)

“It has to be done right,” Rita stated of transforming homes.

As for the old style exterior, it has remained largely unchanged, save for brand spanking new shingle and metallic roofs.

Carried out by a contractor, the renovation took a few yr and a half, ending in early November. The venture encountered some setbacks; the home sits in the Montford Historic District and is topic to preservation tips established by the Asheville-Buncombe Historic Resources Commission.

The couple moved in months beforehand, after dwelling for a few yr in a ranch-style home in Weaverville. They got here from Birmingham.

In their 50s and 60s, Gene and Rita had lengthy thought-about shifting to Asheville, citing its temperate local weather. After renting a home in Montford throughout the winter three years in the past, they put their Birmingham house up on the market.

For Rita, a self-described “serial remodeler” who runs a graphic design enterprise and who has lived together with her now-retired husband in greater than a handful of homes in Alabama that they reworked, their newest enterprise has proved worthwhile.

But requested if the couple envisions staying put this time round, she stated with a smile, “I never feel permanency.”


The house: A two-story Colonial-style home in Montford with about 2,400 sq. ft, with three bedrooms and 3½ baths.

The house owners: Gene Miller and Rita Yerby. The married couple have lived in a number of homes over the years, transforming every one.

Wow issue: The charming decor of the inside. The combination of conventional and midcentury trendy accents consists of vintage and classic furnishings, unique wooden doorways single-pane home windows and brass and hand-blown glass lighting fixtures.


What: 21st annual Montford Holiday Tour of Homes.

When: 1-5 p.m., Dec. 10.

Tickets: $25 at the Asheville Visitor Center present store, at 36 Montford Ave. (money or verify solely) or on-line at ($1.50 comfort payment per ticket).

Learn extra: Call 828-258-6101 or go to


To nominate your home or that of a good friend for this function, contact Bruce Steele at Include your phone quantity and a phone quantity for the home-owner, if not you.

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