Avondale home has national curb appeal

Secret was kept for more than a year

Terry and Walter Woodliefs’ “15 minutes of fame” was planned, but still arrived unexpectedly.

It all started in April 2014 when the Woodliefs were invited to participate in a hush-hush project. Although Terry Woodlief first thought the invitation was at best a ploy to sign up for a magazine subscription or at worst a scam, she did some Internet research to validate the person behind the offer that had been shoved through her mailbox slot.

Terry and Walter Woodlief on the porch of their Avondale home, featured in HGTV Magazine’s Curb Appeal column.

“It had the magazine’s logo but it wasn’t sealed or stamped, so I thought ‘that’s odd.’ I found the person on the letter was connected with the company, so I sent an email,” said Woodlief.

After determining it was legitimate, the Avondale couple agreed to participate and was asked to keep the agreement confidential.

A month later neighbors in their block of Avondale Avenue noticed some suspicious activity at the Woodliefs’ home. Spotting ladders leaning against the 1923 Mediterranean-style home and photographers snapping pictures, neighbors thought for sure the home the Woodliefs have lived in for 20 years was going on the market.

Terry and her husband kept the secret from all but close family for well over a year. They didn’t know exactly when the secret would go public, so they were surprised when the big reveal finally occurred.

“We were on a cruise, without Internet access,” said Woodlief. “When we pulled into the Jacksonville port, I checked my email and Facebook and spotted a posting from a neighbor who used to live across the street.”

The cat was out of the bag. The Woodliefs’ home was featured in the Curb Appeal section of HGTV Magazine’s September issue, which hit newsstands in August.

Terry and Walter’s home, along with other houses in Plymouth, Michigan and Louisville, Kentucky, were shown as examples of how readers can copy the landscaping, house paint colors, porch furniture, potted plants and even the mail slot in the front door.

“After they took pictures, they asked me to identify certain elements, such as specific plants and flowers, and porch furniture,” said Woodlief, art teacher at Central Riverside Elementary School. She even took the photos to a home and garden center to confirm the care of the flora, as that was part of the lengthy questionnaire.

A minimum of retouching was done to the final photo, which appeared in the magazine.

“They cleaned up the front walk because when it gets wet it looks kind of yellowish,” said Woodlief. “They also cleaned up the roof. It’s darker than that,” she said, pointing to the photo.

“We were proud, but very humbled, to be chosen when there are so many beautiful homes in our neighborhood,” Woodlief said.

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News


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