They were young, savvy business owners with a point to prove: Antiques have a place in modern living.

So Amelia and Jeff Jeffers- who at 39 and 42 are the country's youngest owners of a national auction house- teamed with a builder to design a home for last year's BIA Parade of Homes in Dublin.

They intended to create a new place that could provide the space and function a family needs while also showcasing antiques.

They did it too well. Six months into the project, the Jeffers-who own Garth's Auctioneers & Appraisers in Delaware and had long lived in a large 1810 home on their business's property-decided they wanted to buy the Parade house themselves.

About a year after the project's completion, the couple and their four children-ages 12, 10, 8 and 6-are enjoying life in their new digs. "Here, the antiques almost pop," Amelia said. "It's almost like it breathed new life into our collection."

There's also something to be said, she joked, about turning on the thermostat and it actually heating the whole house. Their clients, the Jeffers said, thought they were crazy to give up their old, labor-of love home. But as the children grow and become more active, the couple wanted to spend more time with them and less on maintenance. "The reality is," Jeff said, "it's about family living." Family living is actually what the Jeffers were about before they even had children.

Jeff, who is originally from the Cleveland area, had taken his Ohio State University degree and opened two Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants in West Virginia- one near West Virginia University and the other near Marshall University. He met Amelia, a West Virginia native who was studying at WVU, in Morgantown, and they married and began running the restaurants together. Soon, the then-owners of Garth's-who had been impressed by Jeff after he painted their house in college and subsequently gave him business advice on his restaurants-invited the Jeffers to work with them and eventually take over. The couple, who wanted children, saw the auctioneering business as a lifestyle more conducive for family, so they made the jump. (They sold both restaurants last year.)

Nearly 15 years into the business, they have successfully ushered Garth's into the 21st century with, among other things, an active Facebook page and online auctions. Meanwhile, they've acquired a taste for antiques themselves.

Their personal collection includes several Ohio-made pieces, and ranges from handcarved wooden chests that hold family photos to an iron trivet beside the oven that is actually used. "It's about the story, who made it," Amelia said.

Jeff, who can recite a time period and tale about nearly every piece in their home, said they value that these items were crafted for somebody for whom the maker clearly cared. He says one of his colleagues once said it best: "Great folk art is really an affair of the heart."

The Jeffers hope their own home is proof that old and new can beautifully blend. "You can change a room with one antique," Jeff said. "It doesn't have to look like your grandmother's house."