At Home with… David Fenley

A Few Of David Fenley’s Favorite Things

By Janice Carter Levitch

Photos by Andrea Hutchinson

The architecture of certain homes can hold us spellbound at times with gracious silhouettes and striking entryways. At first approach, the entryway to David Fenley’s home may present itself as imposing, but you soon discover it’s brimming with a Southern charm that could melt away the slightest inclination of anything but hospitable. Step inside this historic home and you are immediately transported to the pages of “The Great Gatsby.” It’s a property he long dreamed about owning ever since he was a youngster in high school.

“I still pinch myself that I actually live here,” Fenley says.

Every house has a few items that make it a true home to its owner. Fenley’s house is just that: a place that shows his panoply of soulfulness.

1. Stained glass art

“The stained glass is taken from a picture I took of my dogs,” Fenley says. “Thistle is a yorkie and Lucky is a mixed breed rescue. A friend saw the picture and took it to a person who makes stained glass art and had it made for me.”

2. Country boy room

The room was a screened-in porch until Fenley had it converted into an enclosed room. “I’m half country boy and half city, so this is the country room. (My) family history is all about farming. My grandfather invented eggnog and the drumstick ice cream. Fenley Model Dairy started in the 1870s and was first to put milk in cartons from bottles. On the walls are the Fenley Model Dairy vintage calendars, and it’s all about the land.”

3. Beehives

“The bees go with the wildflowers as a part of the ecology to take care the property,” explains Fenley. “I have two hives now and will probably add two more next year. They are situated near the wildflowers so they can continue to help produce new flowers.”

4. Tulip Poplar Tree

The tulip poplar also will help attract the bees. “I feel as though I’m the steward of the trees,” admits Fenley. “I work with an arborist and have plans for each of them on the property as far as the nutrients and a hydration system goes. There are about five ash trees and other varietals that we watch over. I’ve planted a lot of new trees and that’s what makes a big part of this house and property a home to me – it’s the trees.”

5. Field of Wildflowers

“It’s all about farming the land; that’s why it’s in me with the wildflowers. It’s a mix of perennials that’ll be early blooming to late fall. Rather than just one that the bees would pollinate, it offers a variety. The poppies are blooming now, and then the Black-Eyed Susans you see more in the summertime followed by the sunflowers, too.” VT