My New Home: Gated community of Toscana Park offers convenient location

Emily Adams Keplinger  |  Special to The Commercial Appeal

Amberly and Patrick Woodard relocated to Memphis from Reno, Nevada, for Patrick’s job. He is a physician and leads digital enterprise development initiatives for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare.

Amberly works for AVIA Health, a digital health innovation firm based in Chicago, leading its Precision Medicine practice. The couple knew they were looking for a home that would afford them the space to each have a home office. Amberly works remotely and with the pandemic still underway, a second home office for Patrick was ideal.

“In addition to dual home office space, we also wanted a large entertaining area and a spacious chef’s kitchen because we both like to cook,” said Amberly. “With family living out of town, we knew we needed a dedicated guest room. And, we wanted to have a TV room that was separate from the main room where we would entertain. Also, we hoped to have a wine cellar. Outside we wanted a large patio and enough fenced yard space for our dog to have plenty of room to run around. Lastly, we wanted a two-car garage.”

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To help them find what they were looking for, Patrick and Amberly enlisted the aid of Melanie Blakeney, an agent with Marx-Bensdorf Realtors. She was referred to them by the relocation services associated with Patrick’s new employer. 

“Melanie was wonderful in helping us decide in what areas of Memphis we would find the things we love, like access to parks, proximity to restaurants, etc.,” said Amberly. “She was very nice and helped us narrow down our results based on her vast experience and knowledge of the market. More importantly, she took the time to know us. In addition to her expertise in real estate, we loved working with her as her personality was a perfect fit for us.” 

“Melanie took us to see approximately 18 different properties,” said Patrick. “We looked at homes in a variety of neighborhoods, including Mud Island/Harbor Town, South Bluffs and a few other neighborhoods in East Memphis and Germantown.”

The couple found the home of their dreams in the gated community of Toscana Park in East Memphis.

“The home’s French Country architecture was appealing to us, with lots of Old World charm” recalled Amberly. “There were extra touches, too, that really made this home stand out to us, like three French barn doors from the Pierre Frey original building in Paris, an Italian light fixture in the dining room and an antique Belgian greenhouse window. And there was plenty of room, approximately 4,400 square feet of living space, with three bedrooms and five bathrooms.”

The Woodards paid $780,000 for their home. It was built off Park Avenue about 15 years ago in a gated community that backs up to an abundance of green space. 

“The layout of this house is very open, with a large central entry hall,” explained Amberly. “Our dog likes that, too, as she likes to run up and down the hallway. We also appreciated that there was a convertible gas/wood fireplace and tall ceilings in the main entertaining space. Our former home was a three-bedroom/four-bathroom house, but our new home is more open and larger. We also have a larger outdoor area.” 

Patrick said that they have made a few changes to make their new home exactly what they wanted. He explained, “We’ve already repainted the interior with a more contemporary color scheme, brighter colors with jewel tones like sapphire and emerald, and we’ve updated both powder rooms to brighten up their look. Additionally, we’ve replaced the former wine nook with a formal wine cellar. And we’ve replaced several of the light fixtures to bring a mid-century modern feel to our home.”

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As they settled in, the Woodards have found that they really like their new location.

“We’re located close to work for Patrick, in a quaint, gated enclave near The Dixon,” said Amberly. “We’re close to amenities like grocery stores, as well as great restaurants. We also like living close to the Memphis Botanic Garden and the Dixon Gallery and Gardens. We try to go to both places as often as possible to enjoy the beauty there and a chance to walk and unwind.”

Emily Adams Keplinger is a freelance reporter who produced this feature for the Advertising Department.

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