A LOOK INSIDE TAYLOR INNWhether you're an out-of-towner looking for a Southern getaway weekend or a local in need of a staycation, Taylor Inn's got plenty to offer.
BY AMELIA CAMURATI
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANN-MARIE WYATT
While typical vacations are planned around big cities and tourist attractions, many Americans are leaning toward “staycations,” giving them a chance to enjoy the convenience of staying local without dealing with the work and stressors of everyday life.
Taylor Inn was built in 1890 and changed hands a few times before Glen and Paige Evans purchased the main house, chicken coops and Big Truck Theater last April. Longtime fans of the theater, Evans and her husband were excited about the chance to renovate the century-old home.
“I love to redo old houses. That’s my passion,” Paige says. “I’ve done about 14 altogether, top to bottom. This house, it really wasn’t about the house when we bought it, it was more about the Big Truck Theater because we had been former fans of Big Truck Theater.
“When I saw the whole place, I really liked it. This had been used as a bed-and-breakfast before, but the bedrooms were being used for storage and the house had a lot of deferred maintenance. I knew it was going to take a lot to get the house right. Every time I came out here, I’d look at this house and think, ‘What in the world am I gonna do with this?’”
Focused on filling the needs of steadily growing Taylor, Evans saw a bed and breakfast as the perfect fit with two bustling restaurants and the wedding venue, The Mill at Plein Air, all within walking distance along the quaint roads. The inn has been bringing visitors to town constantly since opening in September and has seen many guests return for more than one stay.
The main house is a bright, clean white, with five themed bedrooms for all kinds of tastes, from the vintage-inspired Happy Days room to the traditional Country French room.
It’s outfitted with wireless Internet and cable television and sleeps 14 adults in the five-bedroom, five-bathroom home.
The rooms are filled with objects from manager Allison Borders’ and Evans’ families, bringing special meaning to the inn.
“The decoration is a labor of love. You get here, and you hate it during the restoration, but then it starts to come together,” she says. “You put in something, and suddenly a light comes on and you know what it’s going to look like. I think it’s got a little big of a nostalgic magic to it that when you walk in, you can feel comfortable.
“I can’t tell you the number of people that have come here and says, ‘I had this growing up,’ or ‘my grandmother had this.’ It is quirky things, and not everything’s beautiful, but it beautifully fits. If we had come in and done a very formal, elaborate décor, it would not have fit in this community. Taylor is full of quirky and cool and artsy people.
“This is what it’s supposed to be.”
The Chicken House, an adorable tin-walled coop-turned-cottage, sleeps four with two twin beds in a loft above the kitchen and main sleeping area. Still connected to the modern world with wireless internet and Apple TV, the little cottage can be as secluded as renters want, Evans says, with some opting to be left alone during their entire visit for a restful, tranquil vacation.
The neighboring Big Truck Theater, an intimate music venue popular among local artists, is still in the works, Evans says. Currently, the space is available for event rentals for anything from graduation parties to weddings and receptions, but the ultimate goal is to bring the truck-bed stage back to life with both local and well-known artists to pay the bills while highlighting musicians from the community as it always has.
“We want it to make its money so then we are able to do the smaller things that don’t really make you so much money but still contribute to this artistic community,” Borders says.
Travelers looking for a comfortable place to stay with family that feels like home, look no further than Taylor Inn.
“It’s a country chic little hole in the wall,” Evans says, “but it’s a happy little hole in the wall.”