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Heritage Plantation accommodates Schmidt family’s energetic lives

The Schmidt family: Raleigh (seated from left), Julia and Skyler. Maximillian (standing from left) and Phil. (Photo by Jen Fouts-Detulleo)
The Schmidt family: Raleigh (seated from left), Julia and Skyler. Maximillian (standing from left) and Phil. (Photo by Jen Fouts-Detulleo)

MADISON – Heritage Plantation has served as home base for Phil and Julia Schmidt’s family for the past 15 years, as they pursued careers, community volunteerism and cheered on their sons in numerous sports.

The house’s amenities convinced the Schmidts to buy. They liked the crown molding, arched foyer and glass block surrounding the front door that filters morning sunlight while still affording privacy. The two-story, red brick home has four bedrooms in 2,900 square feet.

For family meals without television, the Schmidts often eat in their screen porch and kitchen/dining area. “It’s a time to catch up with what’s going on in school, at work and with social lives,” Julia said.

In choosing furnishings, their top priority was furniture suitable for sons Maximillian, Skyler and Raleigh; style took second place. Originally, the house was entirely beige. Now, vivid wall colors jazz the environment with a terra-cotta kitchen, green great room, bronze dining room and lilac foyer.

“Artwork and furniture pull it all together,” Julia said. With their fancy for color, the Schmidts also have hung homemade stained glass, paintings and rugs. In addition, they have a few antiques from grandparents, like a handmade ironing board circa 1940.

Their oversized garage gives Phil workspace to build furniture. Their home has his custom-made bed, bookshelves, stained glass windows, computer desk, dining room table and bar stools.

“We had a ‘marriage building exercise’ last fall, working together, refinishing our kitchen cabinets. We finished the night before family arrived for Thanksgiving,” he said.

Heritage Plantation’s walking paths, pool and tennis courts lure them outside to exercise and catch up with neighbors. “While I plant colorful flowers across the house’s front, Julia contributes by entertaining me with stories,” Phil said. “We raise tulips in spring, then more flowers for summer and fall.”

Julia works at Hogan Family YMCA’s front desk. Phil is manager of Fantastic Plastic, a video production company in Huntsville. “He has surprised many people in Madison, recruiting them to act in local commercials,” Julia said.

The Schmidts attend Asbury United Methodist Church, where Phil helps the video tech crew during contemporary worship and Julia serves as an usher.

“We’ve volunteered with Huntsville Hospital Foundation several years, and Julia serves on Madison Hospital Women’s Council,” Phil said. “Like many parents, we’ve followed our sons, volunteering in soccer, football, basketball, cross-country and track.”

Their oldest son, Maximillian, 22, is completing a mechanical engineering degree at Auburn University. Skyler, 20, earned his HVAC technician degree at Southern Union State Community College in Opelika. “They both play soccer in leagues in Auburn,” Phil said. “Skyler coaches young soccer players.”

Raleigh, 17, is a senior at James Clemens High School and serves as Student Government Association executive president. He participates in cross-country and track.

The Schmidts hike on Rainbow Mountain and bike to Mooresville year-round. “For a serious workout, Phil and the brothers pedal from home to Monte Sano and back,” Julia said.

Phil formerly served on Madison Board of Education.

Phil is originally from Michigan, while Julia grew up in Eva in Morgan County, Alabama. They met when Phil started to work as space and science reporter for WAFF-48, where Julia worked in commercial production.

“When you add together the quality of the schools, the number of deep friendships we’ve made, and the fun we’ve had raising a family here, it’s hard to beat Madison, Alabama,” Julia said.

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