Talk of the Town - Star Couple April 13 2005

Inside Cindy Simmons and hubby Aaron's Brookhaven home

During the afternoon drive, Cindy Simmons plays the pleasantly perky counterpart to Ray Mariner on Star 94's Cindy and Ray show. But at all other times of the day, Cindy is the pleasantly perky counterpart to Aaron, her husband of three years.

Where Cindy's talents shine on the airwaves, Aaron's shine on the driveways, patios, hardwood floors and ceilings of the homes he's created. A builder for the last four years, Aaron constructed the couple's airy, Craftsman-style Brookhaven bungalow himself, overseeing the process during the entire nine months it took for the home to be completed. Their Thanksgiving move-in couldn't have been better timed: In just a few months, the couple will complete another nine-month process with the arrival of their first child.

Creative Loafing: I love that your home is new but has an older feel about it. Were you inspired by the surrounding neighborhood at all?

Aaron: Actually, I've always just been a fan of the Craftsman-style bungalow. I drew the plans from scratch about two years ago.

Cindy: I had no idea that he could even draw a stick figure and he comes up to me, asking, "Honey, what do you think?" And he has this whole gigantic house plan - the upstairs, downstairs, everything was already in his head.

Was it a smooth process or did you ever find yourselves arguing over some of the details?

Cindy: I resigned myself from the very beginning to "you can do whatever you want, as long as there are closets and a front porch." I know he knows what he's doing.

Speaking of closets, I noticed that you have an impressive collection of Smurfs in your bedroom closet.

Cindy: When we were kids, we both collected Smurfs. When we first started dating, I started getting all these Smurfs for him off of eBay. And I'd try to hide them while we were dating.

Aaron: Those center ones [a bride and groom Smurf] are our wedding cake couple.

Cindy: When they brought the cake out at the wedding, that was the first time he'd seen them.

Was everything in your home done when you moved in, or were there still a lot of small things that needed to get finished up?

Aaron: The only thing that wasn't done was the basement, which I finished a couple of months ago.

That basement is amazing; the brickwork makes it feel like a whole different world.

Aaron: I've always wanted to live in a warehouse, but my wife doesn't want to. So I made one in the basement. All of the wood on the ceiling is from an old rooftop off a 60-year-old house. I spent a lot of time pulling nails out of it.

It look like there actually used to be windows down here.

Aaron: I laid the bricks in a herringbone style to give the effect that this used to be a window. In warehouses, the windows are bricked over a lot of the time.

This is such a cool room. Do you find yourself spending a lot of time down here?

Cindy: He's down here so much of the time now that if I hear anything down here, I'm like, "Yeah, he's in the basement."


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