Harriet and Scott Monnig’s Andover Lane Georgian-style home is the definition of Southern hospitality. The welcoming entryway is cozily lit and uniquely decorated with colorful and original artwork, family heirlooms, and hand thrown pottery. Guests are immediately greeted by Stella, the Monnigs’ friendly German Shorthaired Pointer. Each rug, chair, mug, and art piece has been selected and cultivated over time, adding to the intentionality, purpose, and heart for hospitality evident in every nook and cranny of the Monnig home.

The Monnigs relocated to Augusta from Anchorage, AK, and consider their spacious home a gift that affords them the opportunity to host friends and neighbors, especially fellow transplants without family in town.

“I think [hospitality] is one of our gifts, especially our gift together that we can share with other people,” explains Harriet.

Harriet and Scott Monnig’s Andover Lane Georgian-style home is the definition of Southern hospitality. The welcoming entryway is cozily lit and uniquely decorated with colorful and original artwork, family heirlooms, and hand thrown pottery. Guests are immediately greeted by Stella, the Monnigs’ friendly German Shorthaired Pointer. Each rug, chair, mug, and art piece has been selected and cultivated over time, adding to the intentionality, purpose, and heart for hospitality evident in every nook and cranny of the Monnig home.

The Monnigs relocated to Augusta from Anchorage, AK, and consider their spacious home a gift that affords them the opportunity to host friends and neighbors, especially fellow transplants without family in town.

“I think [hospitality] is one of our gifts, especially our gift together that we can share with other people,” explains Harriet.

The evolution of the Monnig home has been a labor of love. Harriet and Scott arrived in Augusta in 2005 with three young boys (one set of twins), and a fourth on the way. The couple was drawn to the original configuration of the house with three bedrooms upstairs and a guest room downstairs (an important feature for this hospitality-driven family). The spacious four bedroom, two-story home looked significantly different 14 years ago and has undergone dramatic renovations and additions through the years to accommodate the growing family.

The dining room, now situated to the left of the front door with a large inviting table and a wealth of chairs, opens into the kitchen. But originally, this space served as the living room – closed off to the rest of the house and rarely used or enjoyed (apart from Christmas morning). Five years ago, Harriet and Scott decided to make changes to their downstairs space and moved the dining room into what was the living room, cut a hole in the wall to increase the flow from the dining room to the kitchen, and opened up the kitchen to flow directly into the den.

The kitchen was due for an update though much of the original layout remained intact with slight shifts of counters and appliances.

“I say it’s like the shifting of the continents,” jokes Harriet about the kitchen updates. “Everything kind of broke away. The island broke off and this broke away from that.”

Harriet grew up in East Tennessee and has a background in commercial interior design, which is evident in every stylized and decorative detail of the home. The kitchen is spacious and overlooks the pool outside and the cozy den beyond the kitchen. While modern and casual, there are elements of Harriet’s Southern roots with her collection of pottery mugs (displayed in a glass cabinet above the Keurig), antique furniture, and various original artworks.

“I like symmetry and classic things. But also really simple things which takes [my style] to modern as well. I probably have as much pottery as I have silver,” says Harriet.

With the kitchen updates came a laundry room expansion as the family had quickly outgrown the original. The back hallway off the kitchen was added to include a walk-in pantry and updated laundry room space complete with orange custom-made sliding barn doors.

“I love the story of these doors,” says Harriet. “Our contractor made them based on an old time, rip-out-of-a-magazine picture that I’d had forever of barn doors like this in the pre-Pinterest days. The back hall is actually one of my favorite rooms now.”

Home renovations carried over into the backyard with the construction of a stunning outdoor patio area with another long table for hosting dinner parties and enjoying family dinners, an outdoor fireplace with cozy furniture, an inviting pool, and “something we lovingly call the rec house,” says Harriet.

The rec house, positioned on the far side of the pool, serves many purposes. With a large living space, kitchen area and bathroom, it transforms into a rental property during Masters week. During the rest of the year, the four Monnig boys use the rec house for homework, hanging out with friends, and jamming on their keyboard and drum set.

Throughout the home are vignettes, reminders of their years in Alaska, art from new-found Georgia artists, and treasures from precious family members. Perhaps one of the most unique pieces is a large clay sculpture of Madonna and Child, created by Harriet’s grandfather (several of his other sculptures are displayed out in the front yard).

The Monnigs took their time styling and decorating the family home. Harriet consulted fellow interior design friends, but the majority of the art, decor and furniture was “curated and collected” over the years. Several of the large paintings in the library and dining room are from Alaskan artists. A unique and vibrant orange abstract piece hangs in the entryway painted by a local Augusta student. Harriet enjoys venturing down to Scott Antique Markets in Atlanta to carefully browse for completing pieces.

Through the years, the Monnigs have opened their home for Bible studies, work and school events, fundraisers, boy scout and cub scout meetings, dinner parties, and summer barbecues. Their new back porch is a sanctuary, the rec house a resting place, the open dining room an invitation to gather together for good food and deep conversation. Harriet says she has been encouraged by the Biblical reminder “to whom much is given, much is expected.”

“People in our church say you’re either a guest or a host, and we would say in this house that we’re blessed with, we prefer to share that [with others],” says Scott.

The Monnigs know first hand what it’s like to uproot an entire family and move across the country. In such a transient community like Augusta, it’s important to both Harriet and Scott to make others feel at home, to extend invitations for dinner, and provide a place to grow in relationship with old and new friends.

“I like the feeling of helping others feel at home, so I think [hospitality] is one way that we are able to do that,” says Harriet.

 

Photos provided by Jeannine Rae Steinkuhl

 

Article appears in the February/March 2019 issue of Augusta Magazine.

Have feedback or a story idea? Our publisher would love to hear from you!

6 + 12 =