The House That Was Meant to Be


Text by Rob Martin / Photography by John O’Hagan / Styling by Yukie McLean

As if this home wasn’t exceptional enough, this homeowner’s assortment of vintage pottery, artwork, and antiques makes it one of a kind.

Besides maintaining and caring for a great house, the best way to personalize your home with style is to fill it with wonderful and meaningful items—and from the looks of this Georgian abode, it’s evident that this home has no shortage of personality or style. Within its refined rooms, displaying well-chosen accessories, antiques, and period-inspired furnishings, the owner’s collection of 19th-century dishware and pottery commands equal attention. TorgersonTorgerson3 Torgerson1

Consisting of an assortment of English white ironstone china, brown and white transferware, caneware, and drabware, his impressive finds are tastefully displayed as works of art—which, in essence, they are. “I’m always searching for pieces that I know will interplay well with my other objects,” he states, “particularly those that work well in large groups.”

Torgerson4 Torgerson5

Anchoring the kitchen, an aged French butcher-block table adds just the right finishing touch. “Initially, I thought it might be too small in scale,” admits the homeowner, “but it fits perfectly and helps soften my selection of modern, stainless steel appliances.” The renovated kitchen reflects the harmony of objects and furnishings found throughout the house. Features like custom-made cabinetry, a farm-style sink, and limestone countertops provide ample space for work and storage without looking too formal.

Color also plays a key role in setting a tone for his interiors and highlighting his treasures. “Having collected English pottery for 20 years now, I’ve found that a neutral palette provides a pleasing backdrop for them,” he explains. “Such colors allow the house’s architectural details to speak clearly as well.”

Torgerson9 Torgerson7

Affectionately called ‘Sunbury’ by the original owner, who was fond of a small Georgia town by the same name, the house was designed in the 1930s by the well-known architect William Frank McCall. “Because I grew up in Virginia and visited Colonial Williamsburg during my youth, I was immediately drawn to Sunbury’s quiet elegance,” admits the present owner. “Other than a kitchen update, all of the home’s original features are intact, and will stay that way… hopefully forever!” Torgerson8

A 19th-century French ‘vaisselier’ base provides an ideal display piece for part of the owner’s impressive collection of English brown-and-white transferware, which dates from the early to mid1800s. Above the antique base, an 1842 English commemorative transfer jug, filled with dried quince branches, sits on a Black Forest game-bird shelf.Torgerson2

Situated in a corner of the drawing room is a unique piece of furniture believed to be a 17th-century English wainscot chair. An intriguing reverse spelling of RACES along the seat’s front apron adds to its appeal.Torgerson10

Before owning Sunbury, he drove by the house several times a week, and when he saw the ‘for sale’ sign go up, he bought it without hesitation. There’s little doubt that this owner and his collections were meant to reside here.

For more information visit