1744 Homestead House

When opening this entry door to the Homestead House the enormity of the home’s history washes over you. Classified as a Historic Landmark this is considered to be one of the most prominent properties in Lawrenceville.

Although having been well cared for over the years, this Federal Architectural gem needed some updates. Under the new stewardship of a young growing family, I was commissioned to coax this 1744 beauty into the 21st century.

In the Entry, which opens to the Library, Dining Room & Club Room, everything was in good working order.  All original, the locksets were all operational, and the centuries-old wood doors and leaded glass fanlight and sidelights, are all grand and beautiful! With architectural bones as these, all I had to do was listen to what the house had to say.

My love of antiques and collecting set me on the right path for this historic project. It’s notable in every corner of this home.

During the construction of the library, some base molding had to be removed. What was uncovered was a surprise. Wallpaper! I had it analyzed, and it was deemed to be from the 1880s and part of the “Aesthetic Movement”. Hand-painted in a gold leaf Oriental style, I took the fragments and had them framed – now lovingly hanging in the Entry Foyer.

The Front room was a blank slate. The homeowner had requested a Custom Library.  It is now a warm and inviting space just off the Entry Foyer. This room gives a home to their extensive book collection.

Selecting the right lighting, whether it be sconces, lamps or chandeliers was essential to the overall aesthetic.

Keeping the windows open captures not only the light but the wonderful architectural panels so beautifully executed within each opening.

The homeowner had a tremendous art collection (with reframing, as a bonus). We used the art throughout the house. The only exception is the France Jodoin oil painting titled “For Idle Dreams of Things, Which Cannot Be” hanging above the library fireplace. I spotted the piece at Pryor Fine Art in Atlanta and thought, “Perfect!”

Antique Regency armchairs, English cloverleaf side tables, and a federal-style bull’s eye mirror complete the library with an effortless stroke of graciousness. Achieving a sumptuous and comfortable environment!

Located in the center of the main entry hall I positioned a petite settee for some repose. I love how the bird prints, that once belonged to her mother, add softness and charm. The gentle green hue is perfect with the accent pieces.

Connected to the Library by remarkable wood doors is “The Club Room”, a name I decided to call it based on the elements of design.

The fireplace sports Mueller Tiles, the late 19th century, giving a slightly more casual aura than marble. Four club chairs surround a round coffee table, a flip-top game table can be opened when needed and a baby grand piano (not pictured) set the tone for celebratory moments.

The Dining Room underwent a transformation! We removed a more recently built-in cabinet, primed out the red-painted walls, and refinished the quarter-saw oak floors. I wanted to add texture, so I proposed the grasscloth wall-covering & sisal seagrass area rug, a perfect foil to all the antiques. The chandelier is new but has a historic design reference. I found the 17th-century Dutch cabinet while shopping at Bell & Preston in Georgetown. It was the groundbreaker for the dining room design. I decided to keep the neutral silk curtains – a hem and good cleaning with fresh hardware were all that was needed.

Anchored by a mini-French commode, in between the windows, is the 19th-century wall clock with Eglomise painting of Mount Vernon and Hitchcock-painted decoration, another possession of this couple’s unique inventory of history. It made a wonderful addition to the dining room’s textural footprint.

The Dutch cabinet had such a presence that I wanted a strong balance on the opposite wall. Enter the” Highway Map of The United States”, a favorite piece of the couple, it is wonderful to showcase the map in such a prime spot in the dining room. A Chippendale sideboard stationed underneath acts as a server and offers great storage.

I feel a strong masculine/feminine vibe in the dining room.  Like poetry, a bit dreamy and a bit grounded, by flowers, friends, and family that draws a mental visual into reality! Cheers!

Staying with my traditional roots, I wanted the kitchen to have a dusty aged feel but inject some drama & glamor with thoughtful materials. My goal with interiors is not to implement any trends, especially in a kitchen.

The kitchen was a complete gut, taken down to the studs, we found old stone but unfortunately, it was covered in lead paint. Disappointed that we couldn’t use it as a feature, we opted to cover it so we could have a fully functional space. A walk-in pantry was removed to capture more floor space. The French range from Lachance takes center stage with reclaimed timber as the vent hood cover.

The 9-foot island contains an oven, storage, and a microwave drawer. Using quartzite counters in Leathered “Belvedere” accentuated the black theme. New floors were installed in cypress wood with a dark walnut stain. Although the kitchen has a white appearance it is a warm golden hue called “Hidden Cove”.

Upper cabinets were eliminated for a more open feel. Beautiful hand-glazed tiles with a crackle finish reflect all the natural light from the triple window over the sink area. With all of the light, it is a great place to keep potted plants and herbs. The kitchen now has all the features of a chef’s kitchen for modern living and cooking!

Originally located off the Solarium, the powder room was relocated during the kitchen renovation. I moved it to the a spot in between the kitchen and the solarium. By making this switch we were able to gain space and improve accessibility. Having an empty shell to work with is always fun and powder rooms really allow me to do that.

Wallpaper, stunning Kenya Brown marble, a custom vanity and stone floor were the materials I pulled together to create that “oh wow” moment. Finding antique Asian merchant watercolors took it over the top for me. My client had vintage tiles that I framed to hang outside the powder room door. It was amazing how they tied in with their coloration and style.

The Solarium is everyone’s favorite spot. My client wanted to have an adjunct space for everyday living, casual meals, and a corner for playtime with their new baby.

As architecturally stunning as it was it certainly wasn’t physically inviting. The floors had the Mueller tiles, and as precious as we all knew they were, they had to go in order to make the Solarium user-friendly. The windows were drafty, and the lighting was poorly conceived. All these issues were corrected during the renovation stage.

My design was to have a built-in banquette for everyone to gather. There is easy access to the kitchen and through the Dutch door is the Tavern Room.

The Tavern Room operated as the village tavern for 50 years first licensed in 1755, it was surely an influential hub of activity, where the course of a young nation was debated with fervor.

Although we did not decorate the Tavern room we wanted to upgrade the hidden bar behind the closet door. The counter surface was gold Formica with a “seen better days” sink & faucet. I wanted to take the opportunity to upgrade this little space while all of the other trades were on site.  Staying with the marble and brass theme I’ve given the space a bit of appeal.