The charm of the house of Annesdale Memphis flavors


Sarah Sakaan and Charles Davis were both born and raised in Memphis. They were friends during their time at White Station High School, but were never romantic until they crossed paths years later in New York City, where each had moved to begin their respective careers.

Sarah is an actress, playwright and artistic director of the Polybe + Seats theater company, as well as the former director and in-house sommelier and tasting guide of Brooklyn Winery. Charlie is a musician (he is a drummer for the band Trash Goblin), artist and full stack developer at Red Van Workshop.

In March 2018, Sarah and Charles tied the knot in downtown Memphis. “The following May, while we were still living in New York City, we had our first child. We returned to Memphis just before Thanksgiving 2019,” Sarah said. The couple moved into a charming Craftsman-style bungalow on Goodbar in Midtown.

Sarah and Charlie love their new home.

Sarah continued, “As we got to know Memphis again, we found out that we were going to have our second child. Now in the grip of the pandemic, and as parents of two (Margot, 2, and Phoebe, 1), Sarah and Charlie realized their home was too small for their family.

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve taken tons of walks around the adjacent neighborhoods and fell in love with Annesdale,” Sarah said. “It looked like a secret neighborhood in Midtown. It was calm, beautiful, diverse, and a bit off the beaten track, which has always been a part of our style. In the beginning, we were too busy and too overwhelmed with our rapidly changing family life to seriously seek a new home. But once Phoebe was born in September 2020, and especially after she started crawling around February 2021, the search for a bigger home began.


“We have reviewed a dozen properties in person and hundreds more online. Back in April, we decided not to move, but instead to expand the house on Goodbar (which we still loved). We started to study a contract with an architect. We planned to sign the contract one weekend and submit it the following Monday morning. But we did see a house on Agnes Place appear on the market. We contacted Deborah Mays, an agent for Hobson Realtors, to view the house the next day. That Friday, as we walked out of town, everything came together. We immediately knew the house was right for us and made an offer on the spot.

The living room features leaded glass panels on either side of the fireplace.
The spacious backyard includes a house to the rear which now houses offices for Charlie's remote technical work.

The couple bought a two-story brick house (circa 1910), which had a separate workshop. They paid $ 300,000 for approximately 2,600 square feet of living space in the main house and an additional 1,000 square feet in the back house. Their new home offered five bedrooms and two bathrooms. The house checked off many amenities that were on their wishlist.

“I wanted a laundry room that wasn’t in the basement,” Sarah said. “In addition, we were hoping for a house with a large dining room because we like to entertain and we both have large extended families in Memphis. A backhouse or workshop that could be converted into an art studio, rehearsal space for music or future theatrical productions was also on our list. Turns out our current back home was ideal and now also houses office space for Charlie’s remote tech work.

“We love to garden, so we were hoping for a garden with gardening potential,” Charlie said. “And we really wanted a pedestrian area for our family. ”

In addition to these features, the couple said they loved their new home for its covered porch, closed upstairs veranda, wide front door, rounded windows in the front room, and series of framed windows. lead glass.

The house originally belonged to the restaurateur "Big Jean" Grisanti.  Sarah and Charlie recently renovated the kitchen area with new appliances, freshly painted cabinets and French doors.

“We have 10 foot ceilings and beautiful hardwood floors throughout the house,” Sarah noted. “And our house has its own Memphis flavor – ‘Big John’ Grisanti was the original owner.”

The couple said they made some changes. “We added patio doors to the kitchen / breakfast room, opened up a wall between the breakfast room and the kitchen, updated a few appliances, painted cabinets, removed a suspended ceiling in the kitchen and smoothed other ceilings. Also, we changed the light fixtures in some rooms and found space for the laundry to be moved upstairs near the bedrooms. We have also restored the oak floors in the dining room and the kitchen. In the back house, we added sound insulation and transom windows, ”Charlie explained.

For their Phase II, the couple said they plan to do more kitchen renovations, add new countertops, more cabinets and updated hardware. They also plan to build a pantry in the kitchen, update the existing bathrooms, add a full bathroom upstairs, and add a full bathroom to the workshop.

The living room piano is there so the whole family can learn to play and enjoy music.
The boudoir, which was part of an addition from a previous owner, is located at the rear of the house.

“We love our new home and find our neighborhood to be very charming,” said Sarah. “Our neighborhood is filled with beautiful old houses and tree-lined streets. We are delighted to meet our new neighbors.

Emily Adams Keplinger is a freelance journalist who produced this article for the Advertising Department.


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