published Friday, August 30th, 2013

‘You Live in What?’ comes to Chattanooga area: HGTV program here to visit two unusual homes

The home of Sandra and Lamonte Bagby in Apison is a converted chicken house. About 80 feet of it is living space for humans, the remaining 140 feet is for the 37 animals that are used in their business, Bagby’s Critter Corral.
The home of Sandra and Lamonte Bagby in Apison is a converted chicken house. About 80 feet of it is living space for humans, the remaining 140 feet is for the 37 animals that are used in their business, Bagby’s Critter Corral.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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One family lives in a chicken house; one lives in a former church.

Both are getting a visit from HGTV, which is filming the two local homes for the show “You Live in What?”

Today, the crew is at the home of Jan Chenoweth and her husband, Roger Halligan, two artists who transformed a former Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall into their living space. They also plan to add an art studio.

The property and the building, located in Red Bank’s White Oak neighborhood, “didn’t look ‘churchy,’ but more like a home from the mid-1960s,” Chenoweth told the Chattanooga Times Free Press for a story in June about the home.

HGTV officials saw the story and decided to feature the home on the show.

The building had no kitchen and still had men’s and women’s separate bathrooms when Chenoweth and Halligan bought it, so they had to gut and renovate the interior. They also replumbed, rewired and reroofed. They moved in earlier this year.

“I don’t think many home studios have 33 parking places and even their own handicapped parking,” Chenoweth said.

HGTV also will film some of Chenoweth’s and Halligan’s sculptures on the Riverwalk.

On Saturday, the crew will be at the home of Sandra and Lamonte Bagby in Apison. The couple have taken a 220-foot chicken house and turned it into a combination home for them and a barn for their business, Bagby’s Critter Corral, a mobile petting zoo that visits birthday parties and churches and corporate events, as well as bringing school field trips and others to them.

The process started four years ago, Sandra Bagby says, when she and her husband moved back to his family farm after years of living in Atlanta. The chicken house had been sitting empty for about 20 years, and his parents suggested the idea of revamping it. The Bagbys have lived in the home throughout the renovation, she says.

Eighty feet of the house is now living space for them with three bedrooms and two baths, she says, while the rest is living space for 37 animals, which include an alpaca, rabbits, a potbellied pig, sheep, mini Scottish highland cows, a mini horse and two mini donkeys. The two spaces are attached and, to get to the animals, “we just go out a set of double doors,” she says.

The 30-by-40-foot living space in their home — which includes the kitchen, dining room and living room — has hosted a wedding, a weekly Bible study session and other gatherings, she says.

“We could shove the furniture back and have a barn dance, if we wanted to,” she says with a laugh.

There’s no air date yet for the episodes featuring Chattanooga homes, but “You Live in What” airs at 8 p.m. Fridays on HGTV.

Contact staff writer Shawn Ryan at sryan@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6327.

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