This growing Southern city is laden with quiet cozy streets packed with jewel box cottages just waiting to be refurbished.
Designer Chris Hutcheson and her husband, John, knew when they pulled up to the quaint 1920s cottage on a side street in Smyrna, Georgia, that it could be their dream cottage. They also knew it would need plenty of work. “As soon as we drove up to this house, I felt like I was home,” says Chris, who had a vision of a comfortable space that would offer a respite from her busy job as part owner in Dear Keaton, an online interiors business, and John’s work as a contractor.
She and John wanted every inch of the southern cottage to be updated with a neutral flair that would accent their collections and antiques. They set out to carefully plan the renovation so they could maximize storage, include additional lighting, and add a little more space.
The first order of business was removing the three walls dividing the living room, dining room, and kitchen to create one open space or gathering room. Cherry cabinets and stainless appliances offered the look they were seeking. Glass tiles were used behind the stove and hood area.They found that turning the tiles backward gave a dull backdrop to this area that continued the frosted look of the appliances. Larger subway tiles were used for the backsplash, and granite countertops in soft gray tied it all together.
Unique lighting pieces are used throughout the house to add a little drama and much-needed additional light. A sunroom was added to the side of the cottage, keeping small original windows in place to allow more light to filter into the interior rooms. To add some storage, nooks for collections were added to the small hallway that leads to the guest and master suites.
One nook has antique pewter, while the other stores their wine collection in a cleverly built-in wall space. The master bedroom suite was made larger by adding on to the cottage across the rear of the home and adding a master bath. Since storage space is at a premium, Chris says they keep storage for clothing simple using an antique armoire, bedside tables, and chest of drawers—one for each of them.
In order to keep the home’s design neutral, without being too feminine or masculine, Chris used antique pieces that have sentimental value and she wove her favorite color, black, into the scheme inside and out. For the most part, the home carries small pops of color with neutrals and whites, but black is present in every room.
With their busy lifestyle, Chris’s love of home and her design plan gives the couple a simple respite from the hectic business world. The home’s landscaping reflects a love of outdoors, with lots of green winter grass, and a wonderful area to grill and entertain eight months of the year. “We love having company over, spending quality time on the patios, playing with our two pups or gardening,” says Chris. “We’ve found our little slice of heaven here.”