Although he always loved art and painting, Bill Maypole didn't always pursue it.
"I was interested in automobiles and interested in being practical," said Mr. Maypole, who once worked as an automotive designer for General Motors and was director of design for Volkswagen before moving to Augusta 13 years ago to design golf cars.
After bypass surgery a few years ago, Mr. Maypole decided to focus more on his painting. Now he spends many hours a day in his studio behind the home he shares with his wife, Jo, president of the United Way of the Central Savannah River Area.
Designed by architect John Sandeford, the 2,200-square-foot, Georgian-style home is in Forest Hills. The two-story structure has three bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths. Two of the bedrooms and two of the bathrooms are upstairs.
An open studio with French doors looks out into the back yard with its greenery and a fountain that spills into a goldfish pond.
"It's very conducive to painting," Mr. Maypole said.
His art studio has a small bathroom decorated with military memorabilia. He also has a small room to keep supplies in.
"He has the neatest studio of any painter I've ever seen," Mrs. Maypole said.
The studio is an addition to the original home, which was built by Mrs. Maypole's father, Harold Rutti, in 1985.
"I was a single parent. My dad had retired but came out of retirement to build a house for Amanda (her daughter) and me," Mrs. Maypole said.
When she and Mr. Maypole married, they decided to move into her home.
Another favorite place in the home is the columned back porch, accessible from the living room and the dining room.
Wisteria vines have wound around the columns and on the wood frame overhead.
"I love wisteria," said Mrs. Maypole. "There's nothing more Southern to me than wisteria."
The second Sunday of each month brings family to dinner. As the doors of the dining room open and the leaves of the dining room table are added, the porch becomes overflow space.
"It's a neat porch," Mrs. Maypole said. "It's wonderful for family gatherings. The kids love it."
An oil painting of a country scene hangs in the room as well. A friend of the Maypoles salvaged the painting from a fire. It was black with soot, but the friend gave it to Mr. Maypole in hopes that he could use the frame for one of his portraits.
Intrigued at what lay beneath the black, Mr. Maypole went about restoring the painting. Amazingly, much of the paint remained.
A full-length oil painting of Mrs. Maypole's daughter hangs as a centerpiece in the room. Mr. Maypole admitted being a little nervous at painting family members, and this is the only one he has done so far.
Other stories can be found in a china cabinet in the front hall. The cabinet contains the Olympic torch Mrs. Maypole carried during its 1996 run through Augusta. It also holds racing trophies won by Mr. Maypole's parents.
The home's overall style has changed over the years as the two families merged, and Mrs. Maypole said she's pleased with the result.
"He had his stuff, and I had mine. Part of the fun was putting it together," she said.
Reach Charmain Brackett at (803) 441-6927.