Their quaint new abode presented the perfect canvas for Julie to try her hand at decorating. “I was so excited for the opportunity to decorate in a coastal style,” she says. “Not overboard or cheesy, just a comfortable, casual look.” Julie used a palette of blue with bright coral accents throughout the home. Eager to invoke a lived-in and collected feel, she spent hours perusing antiques shops for vintage finds to accent the décor. As a former teacher, she also interspersed well-worn books throughout each room for a more personalized touch. The resulting ambience is reflective of both the couple’s eclectic style and their new surroundings.
“It’s been a bit of an adjustment,” Julie says. “It’s a slower pace down here. There’s time to stop and chat with the neighbors and you don’t have to rush off somewhere.” Karl and Julie appreciate the sense of neighborly familiarity, as it was missing from their former neighborhood. Mark Ballard, the chief marketing consultant for The Cottage Building Company, says this camaraderie is no happy accident. “From the wide, welcoming front porches to the common spaces, everything was designed to facilitate interaction and create a sense of community,” he explains. It seems this community suits the Chortanoffs quite well. “We really feel that this is our dream home,” Julie says. “We couldn’t be more pleased.”
To bring some of her Northern roots into her new Southern home, Julie collected a few Hershey antiques to use in nostalgic displays. The display includes an antique tray, chocolate tin, chocolate mold, hand mixer, and double boiler—the latter three were a gift from Mark, whom Karl and Julie befriended on their initial visit to the community, to “strengthen the story” of Julie’s vintage chocolate vignette.