I’ve always had a firm opinion that some houses are charmed – and the house next door has been blessed again and again with good fortune and good owners. It’s always been one of my favorites and I’ve loved watching it over the years in all its stages of humbleness and glory.
This is sort of a long story so please bear with me. When we first moved to the street, a little yellow ranch occupied the space. The owners were elderly and darling. The gentleman of the house had worked for Brunschwig et Fils for years so all the windows had lovely curtains and fabric. He was a dapper and refined man and we liked him immensely.
Later on, a young couple in the real estate business bought the lot and built the current house. We loved watching it go up and appreciated all the little touches they thought of: a glorious slate roof, chimney pots, a darling guest house and plenty of curb appeal. And then one day, the For Sale sign popped up and we waited to see what would happen.
It turned out that our new neighbors were the fledging all-star writer, Emily Giffin Blaha and her husband, Buddy. They had just moved to Atlanta from London and Emily was about to have her babies. The house next door was a perfect fit for them.
Somehow, in between writing best-selling books and raising babies, Emily put her own special signature on the house.
Time passed and we had such fun being friends and watching Emily’s dear family grow – and her career grow, too. (A shameless plug for Emily. Her seventh book, The One and Only, comes out in May. We can’t wait.)
It wasn’t too long before Emily and her husband realized they needed more space so the For Sale sign went back up.
It was a match made in heaven for the next and current owners: Tom, Debra and their sweet young son. My husband and I immediately adored this couple and started thinking that the house next door was a magnet for really smart, attractive people….
Debra and Tom asked Barbara Heath and Tim Green of The Mercantile to help them design a fresh, clean interior design that could withstand a few more years of toddlerdom but still read sophisticated and chic. And, as usual, Barbara and Tim did not disappoint. And we were over the moon when Huff Harrington Fine Art was invited to collaborate on the fine art selections for the house. It was a blast working with a team that really loves art – and can make decisions based on the emotional tug and pull of art.
Our favorite local magazine, Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles, loved the house too and sent over Erica Dines, one of best interior photographers out there, over to shoot the rooms for its current issue. Her images are always clean and creative like this one here from the archives of Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles:
So…feast your eyes on the house next door. (And please excuse our humble horn-tooting for our own artists. We’re proud and we can’t help it!)
So this is the story of a house that began small and humble – and ended grand in spirit, form and function. In the end, it all boils down to creating an environment that is smart, comfortable and easy on the eye, body and soul. Because, after all, a home is a home and that’s always where the heart is.
(Curl up with the April issue of Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles and read the entire article about the house next door here.)