Text by Shelby Deering
As an architectural designer, Tim Sandberg was no stranger to living on the road, moving from jobsite to jobsite, and staying at hotels with his wife, Janelle, at his side. In seven years, they called seven states home. Without a residence of their own, the two would take trips between projects, venturing across the United States and visiting over 17 countries.
But then came the pull to put down roots and purchase their first home, a stunner located in a Georgia suburb. When the couple moved in five years ago, the 2,800-square-foot house, built in 1999, needed a bit of care. “We refurbished the house ourselves,” Tim says. “Everything we did in the house was planned and designed together. It has been a labor of love and is an ever-evolving process.”
The couple sought to add their unique touches to the home, and they’ve certainly succeeded. Tim describes the décor as “rustic modern craftsman,” adding, “Nothing is too polished, and to me, the imperfections are what make them perfect. We embrace every scrap of reclaimed wood, splinter, and miscut we made in making the pieces in our house.”
Since the two had always lived on the road, they naturally needed furniture for their new home. Tim found a solution in cast-off materials at his jobsites. “I’d pick up scrap from around the jobsite and out of the demo pile and bring it home to see if we could make it into something,” he says.
The results of Tim’s treasure hunting are evident throughout the home in items like large elevator gears and old industrial scales pulled from a demoed army base. The couple unearthed family heirlooms as well, such as milk crates from Tim’s father’s childhood home or 70-year-old tools salvaged from his grandparents’ shop.
“We’ve become the place where old things go to get some new life in them,” says Tim. Instead of these found architectural pieces coming across as hard or cold, Tim and Janelle have presented the objects in a way that communicates a feeling of warmth. Industrial elements are softened against heartening accents like Brazilian walnut floors, sumptuous leather, a stone fireplace, and snug textiles and pillows that the couple can cozy up with on chilly winter nights.
“I’ve always loved the look and feel of old factories and warehouses,” Tim says. “The heavy beams and steel became an inspiration for our style. One of our favorite apartments we lived in was a 19th-century tobacco warehouse in Richmond, Virginia. Large wood beams and brick adorned the walls and were influential in what we wanted in a forever home.”
Cottage style also permeates the home, revealed through well-loved, classic details like the 1950s ice cream maker that was discovered at a friend’s family home and currently resides in the kitchen, or the vintage-inspired chandelier that hangs in the master bath. The kitchen has a decidedly cottage feel thanks to fresh, white cabinetry and open shelving, a DIY creation of wood and pipe materials.
The couple’s roots are firmly in place, especially now with the addition of their daughter, Harlow. But travel continues to be a great love for the two of them, as showcased through the drawings hung in Tim’s office. They each represent a city they’ve lived in or a country they’ve visited, weaving their adventures into the heart of their home.