This Home Beautifully Blends Contemporary Design and French Aesthetic

dining room with deep red velvet chairs and French doors
Photography by Stephanie Welbourne Steele

Text by Hannah Jones

Francie and Ogden Deaton’s ranch-style house might appear to be a classic American abode from the outside, but as you cross the threshold, you’ll find yourself transported to a modern European retreat. Decked in neutral hues and accented with vibrant color and rich, inviting textures, the entire home offers a delightful respite that feels calm and chic. The living room exudes a relaxed and casual atmosphere, perfect for lounging, while an abundance of windows allows natural light to cascade in. “Our kitchen and family room have a casually elegant style that we love,” Francie says. “We knew this would be the spot where our family and friends would gather, so we wanted it to be cozy and comfortable.”

neutral-toned living room leading into open-concept kitchen
Photography by Stephanie Welbourne Steele
bright and open kitchen with large island
Photography by Stephanie Welbourne Steele

The main living area leads into the open-concept kitchen, where contemporary style blends harmoniously with elements that have a rich history. Antique touches mingle with clean-lined modern art to create a refreshing, eclectic look. “The Deatons’ house is a great mix of old and new,” designer Alison Gorrie says. “I love the mix of modern artwork and lighting with antique and family-loved pieces.” The Deatons’ furniture is a casual take on traditional pieces, with neutral gray and greige fabric. Mixes of antiques like a delftware planter and Francie’s grandmother’s ornate silver tea service set add a touch of European elegance to the main living space.

Classic formal living room
Photography by Stephanie Welbourne Steele

While their living room and kitchen exhibit a comfortable and casual design, the couple’s formal living room and dining room showcase a more classic French style. Francie relied on designer Leigh Ann Moor to combine her home’s contemporary furnishings with her flair for French aesthetics. “Seaming the formal and informal rooms that are basically connected posed a challenge,” Leigh Ann recalls. “We didn’t want to distract from the rich colors in the rugs of the formal living room and dining room, so we kept the neutral palette set by the kitchen finishes and used them in the furniture and rugs in the new family den. The neutral palette along with the natural light creates a very soothing and calming space.” The open-concept floor plan allows for a complementary style in both rooms with red furnishings tying them together. Stately white columns and an ornate molding usher guests into the formal dining room, with two walls of windows and a skylight that allow natural light to flood in from almost every angle.

lavender girls room with canopy bed and matching drapes
Photography by Stephanie Welbourne Steele

In the Deatons’ daughter Newman’s room, Alison used French toile in lavender to give the space a feminine and elegant feel. A large corona canopy frames the bed while also adding height and softness, and monogrammed pillows add a personalized touch. The monochromatic look extends to the walls and the bedside table, which is draped in a lavender-and-white gingham fabric.

rustic and modern back porch
Photography by Stephanie Welbourne Steele

Though the interior of their home is exquisite, the Deatons’ favorite room isn’t a room at all—it’s the back porch. Local landscape specialist Holly Camp assisted with the overall design of the outdoor escape. “Our favorite room hands down is the covered porch with the fireplace,” Francie says. “We start and end our days here.” And with a dining table and cozy seating nook complete with a fireplace, it’s easy to see why the family loves the space so much.

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French Cottage 18 cover