Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Five beautiful houses: Inspiration in Brookwood Hills–2013 Home Tour

There is a wonderful tour of homes this Saturday (March 23, 2013), taking place in one of Atlanta's most charming neighborhoods, Brookwood Hills.  The theme of this year's tour is inspiration, and I was invited to be on the ‘expert panel’ that had the opportunity to preview the houses and provide reflections and observations on the five houses featured on the tour. 

I don't write about Brookwood Hills very often, as it is not on my beaten path (it is wonderfully located in Buckhead, but is fairly private because it is a completely self contained neighborhood).  However, it is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Atlanta, with many older homes built in the 1920s - 1940s that have been meticulously maintained, and newer homes that are built to suit the eclectic character of the neighborhood.

I love this description of Brookwood Hills, from Buckhead.org:
Large Mediterranean, Georgian, Colonial and Tudor homes line streets shaded by towering oaks 100 years old. Lush ivy on walls and in beds keeps the area green even in winter. Lots tend to be small, often less than one-half acre, with homes set near the street, but the landscaping is lush and gardens are carefully maintained. Sidewalks and absence of traffic encourage walkers, joggers, bicyclists and impromptu street games. (Source)
The Home Tour takes place this Saturday, March 23rd, from 10 am to 4 pm.  Tickets are $30 each, and proceeds benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  Tickets can be purchased online through the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta website:

Or, tickets can be purchased at any of the houses on tour (on the day of the tour). 
Here is a sneak preview of the houses...

This low country style home, designed by architect Jack Davis, was built in 2006. The charming exterior (built with hand crafted bricks) and the large, peaceful lot inspired the current homeowners to make their second intra-neighborhood move.   The wife, an interior designer, worked with architect and Brookwood Hills resident Stan Dixon to reshape the interiors to reflect the family’s personality.

The most dramatic aspect of the redesign came from reconfiguring the kitchen layout and adding new windows to bring in natural light.  A new lighter and brighter color scheme was introduced, reflected in the painted cabinets (which were recycled from the previous kitchen design), the marble countertop on the island, and the stunning mosaic tile backsplash.

Throughout several areas of the house, wood beams and shiplap paneling were added to create a more casually elegant feel. Unique light fixtures are clearly a hallmark of the home décor, bringing charm and style to the spaces. Another highlight is the homeowners’ extensive art collection, built over time with a focus on what they love rather than simply for investment purposes. All this comes together to reflect the family’s style in a highly personal way.

This charming, architecturally significant house was built in 1926 in the Tudor Revival style. So appealing is the exterior that it was listed as one of Atlanta’s top 10 homes in 1988.  When the current homeowners purchased the house in 2006, they began a year long renovation in order to lovingly restore the home to its original beauty. Some of the original features were restored, including the cedar shake on the exterior, the walled garden, and the fireplace in the living room (the original mantel was found in the basement and was reinstalled).  Many of the original windows are still in place, with their characteristic wavy leaded glass, so reflective of the time in which the house was built.

The most significantly updated element of the home is the kitchen, situated in the center of the house. The custom cabinetry and furniture in the kitchen were designed by Cb Miles and fabricated from a single rare Rosewood tree.

The homeowners have a passion for collecting and have a discerning eye for fine and unusual furniture and art. The resulting décor is highly personal, marvelously curated, and a beautiful reflection of the passions and interests of the homeowners. The combination of the classic and traditional architecture, and the eclectic and modern interior shows that the old and the new can be juxtaposed and even blended beautifully in modern day life.

Built in 1931, this bungalow style residence was the childhood home of a current Brookwood Hills neighbor and has been remodeled three times. The most recent renovation was completed in 2009 by Paula and Glenn Wallace, president/co-founder and senior vice president (respectively) of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). The home features works by more than 50 talented SCAD artists, both alumni and current students.

The Wallaces personally redesigned the current interior, which includes a curated mix of European and American antiques and contemporary art, accented by a luxurious assortment of textiles from around the world.

While they refurbished much of the original kitchen cabinetry and millwork, the updated look is a superb complement to the home’s original character. During the recent renovation, the most significant structural change was the addition of a beautiful screened-in veranda that features slate floors. Antique wooden angel wings that flank the outdoor fireplace, another highlight of the space. Many of the items throughout the house were imported from France, including a set of vintage French dining chairs with original leather seats that came from L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.

This 1920’s house was renovated in 2011 in order to meet the changing needs of a growing family.  Architect Stan Dixon (also a Brookwood Hills resident) worked with the homeowners to create a design to update the spaces and make the house more functional for the family.

One of the highlights of the renovation is the kitchen, which was enlarged to create a magnificent light-filled space that is truly the heart of the house, and has ample room for a family of six.  The design is beautiful, with gray and white marble countertops, a solid slab marble backsplash, and white custom cabinetry accented with dark knobs and handles. 
A new screened porch with fireplace was added, which has become a favorite space for both entertaining and family time. The flow of the house was dramatically improved by creating a hall that connects the family room to the kitchen (eliminating the need to pass through the formal dining room en route to the kitchen). In addition, an exquisitely designed stairwell with a wall of windows was added to provide better access to the existing basement space.

The homeowner also redesigned the interiors during the renovation, working with designer Lauren DeLoach. The foundational elements of the rooms are soothing and neutral, with punches of the homeowner’s favorite colors: orange in the living room, green in the family room, blue in the dining room and kitchen. The neutral base allows the rooms to flow beautifully from one to another, and the unique colors give the rooms personality and individuality. This Brookwood Hills home has style and functionality that will endure for generations to come.

This house is the quintessential classic Brookwood Hills home. Designed by one of Atlanta’s most renowned architects of the 20th century, Francis Palmer Smith (the architect of the Cathedral of St. Philip), this house has only been lived in by three families since it was built in 1924.  The curb appeal of the house is storybook perfect, with its  classic lines, great architectural beauty, and perfect scale for the lot and neighborhood.

The interiors of this home, primarily designed when the owner purchased the house in the early 1970s, have remained timeless and reflect the trend of bright décor that is once again in vogue today. Additions to the décor have been accumulated through the years and hold rich and dear family memories. The piano in the front hall and the sparkling crystal chandelier in the dining room are particular sentimental favorites.

A walk through this home poignantly reflects the way in which a charming Brookwood Hills house is full of memories, and is lived in, loved, preserved, and cherished through the years.

(As a side note, this house is featured in a new book on the architecture of Francis Palmer Smith – click here to see on Amazon).

The Home Tour takes place this Saturday, March 23rd, from 10 am to 4 pm. Tickets are $30 each, and proceeds benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Tickets can be purchased online through the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta website:

Or, tickets can be purchased at any of the houses on tour (on the day of the tour, March 23).

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  1. Oh...I so wish I could go to this tour!

  2. We always need inspiration but these days even more! Thank you Olympia

  3. More more more! I love house tours....and so love when I find out about one locally. Wish I were closer!

  4. Great post Holly! We were honored to have you on our "Expert" panel. See you on Saturday!

  5. Good morning Holly. It is always great to learn about neighborhoods keeping character alive! They do provide a great source of information and inspiration. Like so many others I wish I were closer to take advantage of the tour. I am sure it will be a success. -Tonya

  6. I'm very tempted to fly to Atlanta from Maryland to see all these beautiful homes in person! Thanks for sharing! -Melissa

  7. I LOVE going on house tours and so wish I could see the inside of these beauties. We have the Traditional Home/ Greensboro Junior League house in April and I can't wait! So fun to see the fabulous designs in person...Happy Wednesday!

  8. I am hoping to grab a friend and make it! xo - Tina

  9. Yes TTI, Brookwood Hills is a charming as it gets in Atlanta even if you don't get to see inside.

  10. Oh, I want to go inside!!!!! :)

    Hope all's well Holly. xo Terri

  11. I bet that was a fabulous tour! I love the look of that last house!...xv


  12. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful piece of information. I must say that while reading your post I found my thoughts in agreement with the topic that you have discussed, which happens very rare.

  13. I am going through this post and thinking of it’s theme and trying to understand what is this post about.


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