Radical Freedom
The Stickler Home

By Lee Ann Taylor • Photography by Brian W. McDonald

Archeologist Justin Stickler was transplanted from the Wiregrass to Orange Beach, Alabama, as a part of an oil spill emergency response team for what was supposed to be a brief relocation. Four years later, the Sticklers are thankful to finally be calling Dothan, Alabama, home once again. But this time around, home looks different. From 3,700 square feet to 1,400 square feet, the Sticklers have sacrificed space, but they more than make up for it in style.
     Justin and his wife, Darby, decided the face of home would change for them. After reading the book Radical by David Platt, Darby felt encouraged to downsize. Selling their 3,700-square-foot Dothan home and looking for a smaller version became their plan. “The less you have, the less you have to deal with,” Darby says. “We were ready to be consumers who let go.” Darby explains that after living in a fully furnished rental home for four years, “We knew that we no longer wanted to be tied down by a house. We wanted the freedom to enjoy life.”
     Lured by the central location, cost efficiency and beauty, Darby found a home in the Garden District that needed more than a little love, quite a bit of opening up and just as much drywall work, to put it lightly. Giving special attention to proficiently utilizing storage space, the Sticklers set about constructing openness and flow in once closed-off spaces. That meant demolition, and in many parts of the home, taking it down to the studs. “Knowing we would need to start over in a lot of spaces is what really sold me on this home,” Darby states. “I knew we would be able to work with the old bones of the home while making the spaces our own. It would be a new home with an old shell.”
     Four tiny spaces joined to make a great room that houses a sitting area, family area, dining room and kitchen. The galley-style kitchen showcases an 11-foot island that serves as the hub. [subscribe to read full article]