Gregory and Lindsey Smith’s Home is a Lesson in Connecting with Where You Are
We fell in love with Lynchburg from afar,” said Lindsey Smith, standing in the kitchen of the A-frame home she shares with husband Gregory and 13-year-old son Oliver.
Both Louisiana natives, Lindsey and Gregory met in their senior year of college and connected over growing up in small towns outside of Baton Rouge.
“We grew up 20 minutes apart from one another, but never met,” Gregory, who now leads the development department for sporting equipment company Marucci, remembered.
After living in Baton Rouge together for 10 years, the Smiths knew they were ready for a change but weren’t sure where to move.
“I’ve traveled out West a lot and I knew I wanted mountains, hiking, and easy access to the beach,” said Lindsey. “But the West Coast felt unattainable.”
“If we tried to move there, it would be so expensive,” Gregory added.
But in the summer of 2017, the Smith family road-tripped north, stopping in Lynchburg before making their way on to Charlottesville and then Richmond. After just five hours in Richmond, the Smiths turned around and made their way back to Lynchburg. Lindsey had been following a handful of Lynchburg accounts on social media, and already knew how special the area seemed, and how much it offered similar outdoor amenities to the West Coast.
“We booked an Airbnb on the way back and also contacted [realtor] Victoria Bartholomew,” Lindsey remembered. “We knew this was home.”
By 2018, the Smith family had moved to Lynchburg—tucked into an early 19th-century home close to downtown Lynchburg. That home became a transitional home for them, emphasizing just how much they valued space, peace, and quiet.
So when a fellow parent connected to Boy Scout Troop 29—their son’s troop—mentioned that their A-frame house just outside of the Lynchburg city limits was going on the market, the Smiths jumped at the opportunity to view it. From the moment they pulled into the tree-lined driveway, surrounded by nothing but bird and squirrel chatter, they knew they had found their new home.
The Smiths moved into their new home in 2019 and have been making it theirs ever since.
“Our strategy has always been to get to know a place and a space before making any big decisions or changes,” said Lindsey. “I worked for Juniper Ridge [a wilderness fragrance company] for a while and their owner was a great mentor to me. He would often quote writer Gary Snyder by saying, ‘Find your place on the planet. Dig in, and take responsibility from there.’ And so that’s what we’ve done.”
The home was move-in ready, with only the need for the Smiths to make the aesthetic changes they saw necessary to truly make the space their own.
“We absolutely loved the big windows [in the living room] and we wanted to choose a paint color that almost made the walls disappear so you only saw nature when you looked out,” said Gregory.
That intentionality to unobstruct nature is seen throughout their four-bedroom home and the surrounding two and a half acres. Wood paneled ceilings give way to towering windows and each room in the home has natural elements and textures on display.
“We like to blur the lines between inside and out,” explained Lindsey.
It’s not just nature that the Smith home connects with, however. There is a central line of generational and ancestral connection that tells a unique story of how the Smiths got to where they are today.
“We haven’t bought a ton of ‘new’ furniture,” Lindsey said. “Most of it is family heirlooms or from estate sales.”
With designers like Jersey Ice Cream Co. and Sibella Court and visually stunning locales like Wisconsin’s Camp Wandawega as inspiration, the Smiths have expertly woven familial elements throughout their home.
On one table, a tiny sleeve of postcards exchanged between Lindsey’s grandparents while her grandfather was away during WWII rests, inviting the passerby to pause. In the downstairs guest bedroom, an unassuming oak and pecan headboard tells the story of Hurricane Katrina and Gregory and his father’s combined labor to create a furniture piece that will stand the test of time.
Walking through their home, both Gregory and Lindsey can point to any piece or element and rattle off their respective stories with expert accuracy and great care.
In one room there’s a truck-tarp ottoman—full of texture and slightly undone—that Lindsey purchased from Anthropologie when she worked on their visual team. In the breakfast nook, a dining room table, lovingly purchased by Lindsey’s mom as an engagement gift, marks the years of Lindsey and Gregory’s relationship. Above their fireplace mantle, Great Blue Heron by painter John James Audubon—who often identified himself as a native Louisianan—casts a wary eye on a bobcat that Lindsey’s father hunted in the ’70s. Wooden walking sticks and a vessel full of bird feathers tell the stories of the countless hikes the Smiths have gone on as a family. Even the most subtle detail—a tiny stamped “X” on an All Roads Studio iron peg rail—marks the Smiths’ 10 year wedding anniversary.
No matter where one turns in the Smith home, stories and nostalgia abound. There’s a sense of permanence—of investing in pieces that last and of nurturing them so they do. That feeling makes its way outside of the large sliding glass doors and out into the porch and surrounding land, as well.
“I grew up gardening with my grandmother and mom,” said Lindsey. “They were the type that would knock on a neighbor’s door and ask them the name of a plant, and so that’s what I grew up with. And my grandmother grew up during the Depression, so she never wasted anything.”
Tucked into nooks, sprawling across river rock, and sweeping up the back hillside, native plant life thrives.
“Most of our plants are propagated or grown from seed. It’s a great practice at being slow,” explained Lindsey, wearing a ring with the words “Live Slow” stamped onto it, putting a period to her point. “We think of ourselves as stewards of a place rather than owners. We’ve prioritized native plants and are a certified pollinator habitat.”
Even amongst the plantlife, heirloom pieces can be found. A cast iron cauldron that Gregory’s grandfather once used as a cookstove now lives a second life as a water fountain—water pumping from a cast iron pitcher pump they pulled from Gregory’s grandparents’ property.
“When we talk about getting to know a place, you have to think about nature,” said Lindsey. “Nature is different every single day and you can always see something new, whether we’re hiking the same hike we’ve done a hundred times or walking in our backyard.”
The Smith’s nature- and heirloom-filled home feels like an extension of that state of mind. With elements and family pieces expertly blending in with the home’s natural surroundings, there’s always something new to see and a new story to unravel.