Remembering the past, looking to the future

by RaeLynn Callaway

Happy Birthday 501 LIFE! Congratulations to Sonja Keith and Donna Spears on a job well done. It has been an amazing five years, and I can’t wait to see what the next five have to offer. Thank you for bringing the 501 into my home and helping me get to know my “neighbors.”

It has been two years this month that I have been writing for 501 LIFE. What an awesome experience and blessing it has been to work with such fine women as Sonja and Donna. But even more of a blessing has been the opportunity to share in the lives of the 501 LIFE readers. Thank you to all who have opened their homes and given us a peek inside.

In making a list of my favorite Home features, it was so hard to narrow it down to just five. Each family I have had the opportunity to work with has been such a blessing to me.

1 – Home combines coastal flair with feel of the Deep South, March 2012

Joey and Donna Benton’s home wins the prize for my all-time favorite. What an honor and joy to meet a family so talented and creative. Donna’s gift to take old broken down furniture and decorative elements and make them relevant is amazing. The Bentons have become dear friends and will be lifelong cohorts.

2 – Organized wonderland, January 2012

I am crazy about anything and everything that has to do with organization. That’s why Lynn Lefler’s office/scrapbook room is one of my very favorites.

Using black and white in the furniture and shelving and adding yellow as the wall color made all the other colors come alive. It is a colorful, organized wonderland that inspires creativity.

3 – Rooms that capture kids’ personalities, interests, May 2011

This was my very first article for 501 LIFE. I remember the excitement as well as the anxiety of that first article. But how can you go wrong writing about kids?

I delight in working with kids. I absolutely love bringing all their ideas together along with their interests and creating their very own space. It’s fun to watch their faces glow as they see how all their ideas became a reality.

4 – Remodel adds beauty and function, October 2011

Working with Rob and Kaye Harkness to add an addition onto their Craftsman Style home was a wonderful experience. I loved being a part of watching beauty and function come together. My favorite part was taking on the challenge of their long, narrow kitchen and making it into a practical work space filled with elegance and charm.

5 – Balancing home and surroundings, July 2011

I love working on remodels, but I love it even more when it’s with my dad. Gutting a 30-year-old lake house and bringing it back to harmony with its natural surrounding was an awe-inspiring experience.

501 LIFE has been such a great addition to so many lives over the past five years. Join me in praying for continued success and blessings for Sonja, Donna and their staff.

Thank you again for such an inspiring magazine. It reminds us all how blessed we are to live in such an amazing part of the country. You won’t find a better place or people than in the 501.


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