A dream come true for one, a leap of faith for the other

by RaeLynn Callaway
Mike Kemp photos

In early 2000, Greg Paxton visited a beautiful home that sat high on a ridge north of Conway. “I thought to myself, ‘I would love to live in this place,’” Greg said. “The views were breathtaking.Out the front you see Conway, and if you go to the top of the ridge out back you can view Beaverfork Lake.”

Little did he know two bankruptcies, two foreclosures and 10 years later that dream would become reality. “I tried over several years to get the house, but it never worked out. Dianne and I had just finished remodeling another house when the realtor called. I was so excited, but it took a leap of faith for Dianne to agree,” Greg said. And after seeing the house you’d know why.

After several years with no one living in the house and water damage from an upstairs hot water heater burst, this house was far from the place Greg fell in love with. “I knew what the potential was, and I knew we could make it happen,” Greg smiled.

Three years into their project, Greg and Dianne almost have the house complete. “It’s taken us a little longer because we both have full-time jobs and are doing all the work ourselves,” Dianne said. Not to mention most of the crown had been removed from the house and hauled off. “It was custom crown, so every piece we’ve had to have custom made,” Greg said. “It’s very expensive, so we’ve done it a little at a time.”

The exterior is completely refreshed with new Hardy Board shake siding. All the landscaping and original fountains are cleaned up and running. The stairs and upstairs room’s carpet has been replaced with hardwood. “The stair landings and the upstairs flooring are from an old tobacco barn in Kentucky I found,” Dianne said. “An Amish man made it into tongue and groove for us to use.”

Greg and Dianne have also redone the kitchen, remodeled the half-bath and repainted and added slate to an upstairs focal wall. Next on their project list is to tackle the master bath and finish a wine room.

“Greg has so many projects and ideas he wants to accomplish; I just keep reminding him, ‘let’s get the inside finished first please,’” Dianne said with a chuckle. 


A board certified interior designer, RaeLynn Callaway owns CYInteriors (raelynncallaway.com). She and her husband, Bart, have three children and live in Conway.