Just over a year ago, Scott and Brandi Lewis grew a ‘wild hair’ — one that would transport their family a lengthy 532 miles from their home in Dallas, Texas to the quaint town of Oxford, Mississippi.
Their motivation? To move out of the city. Scott and Brandi hoped to raise their children in a close-knit, community-driven town. Scott, a Lafayette County native, knew he wanted to return home. The trek back to Mississippi also gave way to a dream: To open a premier bed and breakfast near Oxford’s historic Courtyard Square district.
To make the idea work, Scott would crunch numbers, investing in everything from geo-targeted marketing to website development. Brandi, a creative, would fine-tune aesthetic details and manage hospitality.
The couple, who have invested in ten rental properties throughout their marriage, were not new to the logistics of real estate. They originally hoped to purchase the Shaw-Kennedy home, an antebellum manor on University Avenue. When that fell through, a home on South Lamar Boulevard, just steps from the square and the university, awaited them. The home was a perfect fit.
Now, Scott and Brandi are only months from completion. Once stripped to the studs, bathrooms now offer dual vanities and marble countertops, and a sawdust-covered second floor signifies a 9,000 square-foot remodel.
The remodel made way for five suites, which guests can rent singularly or collectively. The Lewises envision hosting wedding parties, football fanatics and high-school students wanting to tour the university.
“My perfect guest would probably be a mother-daughter duo coming to tour the school,” Brandi said. “And getting to see that excitement with them, and providing them a safe, nice place to stay.”
Their ultimate goal is to offer a home that is luxurious, one that includes Italian linens, hot breakfasts and local artwork. Jennifer Russell Interiors of Oxford collaborated with the Lewises on decor, reimagining suites in quiet shades of blue, green and white.
“We want it to be nicer for the guests than where they’re coming from,” Brandi said. “It’s more private than a hotel.”