Lights, Chroma… Plants

Cottages & Bungalows - - Cottage Kitchens -

Want to cul­ti­vate a time­less at­mo­sphere in your own home? Here are a few tips to get you started.


Thanks to mod­ern-day con­ve­niences, light­ing a room is much sim­pler than in Vic­to­rian times. Add to your am­bi­ent light­ing with warm, sup­ple­men­tary lamps and wall lights. Choose lights that fit with your home’s at­mo­sphere, even if they aren’t strictly from the same era as ev­ery­thing else.


White is an ex­cel­lent, time­less color. In ad­di­tion to in­tro­duc­ing a fresh, clean look to a room, white also pairs well with other col­ors, while mak­ing a pleas­ant con­trast. Try white on the walls and on ac­cent fur­ni­ture.


A bit of green can go a long way in keep­ing an an­tique-rich room fresh and lively. The jux­ta­po­si­tion of flour­ish­ing new greens with well-kept old cre­ates the time­less feel­ing ex­em­pli­fied in the Wald­burg houses. The same can be true outdoors, where a fresh new gar­den adds life to the prop­erty. Massey and Franck in­cor­po­rated 13 va­ri­eties of trop­i­cal plants into the new court­yards.

In keep­ing with the his­tor­i­cal in­tent of the house, thet wo de­cided to re­store fea­tures that ex­isted on only

one side of the house, while adding them to the other.


Along with re­mov­ing non­con­tribut­ing fea­tures, the ar­chi­tects needed to en­hance and shape the fea­tures that up­held the town­houses’ his­toric­ity and the in­tent of the orig­i­nal builders, Tully and Grady, who built mul­ti­ple Sa­van­nah houses at the time. Massey and Franck per­formed re­con­struc­tion on the houses’ foun­da­tions: restor­ing the orig­i­nal Sa­van­nah gray brick piers, as well as cre­at­ing new piers from the same old bricks, which they dis­cov­ered un­der the home.

The floor­ing too was a good deal of work. At the be­gin­ning of the project, vinyl cov­ered the orig­i­nal pine floor­ing, which had fallen into ill re­pair, with the oc­ca­sional hole and bro­ken plank. Massey and Franck sanded, sealed and swapped out boards to bring the pine floor back to its orig­i­nal sta­tus. When it came to the walls, the ar­chi­tects un­der­took the am­bi­tious task of re­cast­ing the plas­ter mold­ings in­stead of sim­ply re­plac­ing the walls with mod­ern sheetrock. Orig­i­nal medal­lions now crown the wall, while cer­tain ar­eas con­tain new mold­ings mod­eled af­ter the old, where the old had been re­moved in past ren­o­va­tions.

Franck and Massey re­moved win­dows and doors where nec­es­sary, mak­ing mod­i­fi­ca­tions when pos­si­ble. To

main­tain the house’s his­toric­ity, they opted to use only dou­ble-hung 6-over-6 wood win­dows. They re­moved the mod­ern win­dows en­tirely and re­placed bro­ken glass in ex­ist­ing, his­tor­i­cally ap­pro­pri­ate win­dows. Franck and Massey also re­hung the weights and chains, to op­ti­mize func­tion­al­ity as well as his­toric­ity.

The chim­ney sur­rounds in­volved a sur­pris­ing bit of work to redis­cover their his­tor­i­cal footprints. Be­cause of the ren­o­va­tions over the past sev­eral decades, the fire­place had be­come dis­guised un­der layer af­ter layer of paint. The sur­rounds, which ap­peared to be con­structed from wood, turned out to be soap­stone, hid­den un­der­neath sev­eral coats of color. “Find­ing the soap­stone be­neath the lay­ers of paint was a pleas­ant sur­prise.” Massey and Franck say, “The green soap­stone is such a beau­ti­ful ma­te­rial that it adds rich­ness to the in­te­ri­ors of the town homes.”The ar­chi­tects re­opened the fire­places and even re­built the chim­neys. Franck and Massey re­stored sur­rounds and chim­neys alike, and then hung the or­nate, newly re­stored chim­ney pots over them.

In keep­ing with the his­tor­i­cal in­tent of the homes, the two de­cided to re­store fea­tures that ex­isted on only one house, while adding them to the other. For ex­am­ple, while Franck’s side fea­tured a newel post from the orig­i­nal town­house, Massey’s side had been built over be­cause of the apart­ments. How­ever, the ar­chi­tects were able to model an iden­ti­cal post on Massey’s side, based on the ex­ist­ing newel on Franck’s.


Af­ter restora­tions, the ar­chi­tects had a num­ber of de­ci­sions to make in terms of their own ren­o­va­tions. While they em­pha­sized the need to find the houses’ orig­i­nal foot­print, they also elected to make cer­tain mod­ern­iz­ing changes, to in­tro­duce a time­less qual­ity to the homes. Massey and Franck say, “In­ten­tional de­sign el­e­ments were in­cor­po­rated to give the house[s] a fresh and time­less pres­ence. We were able to spec­ify with great care a co­he­sive se­lec­tion of finishes and fix­tures [such as] style of cab­i­netry, col­ors of paint, light­ing fix­tures, plumb­ing fix­tures, etc. that are time­less yet ap­peal to mod­ern sen­si­bil­i­ties.”

MIR­ROR IM­AGE. A sym­met­ri­cal ar­range­ment makes this bed­room a serene, re­lax­ing area with match­ing side ta­bles, pil­lows and art­work. The lovely worn fin­ish of the scrolled-arm bench adds a mem­o­rable look. Par­al­lel styling is ef­fec­tive for the bed­room, be­cause it gives off a rest­ful, if pre­dictable, vibe. EL­E­GANT ES­CAPE. The bath­tub is an ex­cel­lent choice for restora­tion in old bath­rooms. Where a shower could have been in­stalled, the bath­tub at­tests to the his­toric­ity of the cur­rent house. The elec­tric can­dles on the wall also nod to the older houses’ style, while the white­ness of the room breathes time­less­ness. MAG­NIF­I­CENT MAS­TER. The gray up­hol­stered head­board is a plush fo­cal point of the room, flanked by the an­tique bed­side ta­bles; the vibe of this space is ca­sual yet stately. The French door lead­ing to the ve­randa gives this room its dream-room sta­tus.

In ad­di­tion to in­te­rior dec­o­rat­ing de­ci­sions, Massey and Franck added a few larger mod­ern touches, con­tribut­ing to the present houses’ time­less qual­ity. One such choice was the kitchen, which Franck and Massey clar­ify was “the great­est de­vi­a­tion from the his­toric home’s floor plan.”They con­structed the new kitchen on the site of the orig­i­nal din­ing room, at the mid­dle of the house, be­cause“to­day’s res­i­dents spend a ma­jor­ity of their time in the kitchen.”The new kitchen has a good deal of stor­age space, which is un­com­mon in a tra­di­tional Vic­to­rian home, while the old kitchen be­came a new den.

The homes’ orig­i­nal trunk rooms, a tra­di­tional sec­ond-floor stor­age el­e­ment in Vic­to­rian homes, be­came laun­dry rooms with ad­join­ing bath­rooms. Ad­di­tion­ally Franck and Massey added gar­den court­yards at the rear of the prop­erty, as well as a guest­house on each side. “This new build­ing,” Massey and Franck say, “helped form con­tained pri­vate gar­den court­yards with sooth­ing foun­tains on each side of their di­vid­ing wall.”They also topped off each twin with a new apart­ment or of­fice space, and fresh­ened up the outdoors with “an abun­dance of trop­i­cal plants,” from sable palms and saw pal­met­tos to aza­leas and au­tumn ferns.

GAR­DEN ROOM. Twin wicker chairs look out at the charm­ing out­door scene, com­plete with an ex­quis­ite trel­lis-in­spired back­drop and dé­cor from around the world. The wood­pile be­neath the col­umns, as well as the invit­ing fern, draw the out­side into the room, mak­ing it a tran­si­tional area be­tween in­doors and out.

VIN­TAGE EDGE. This sit­ting room is a pleas­ant blend of com­pare and con­trast. While the glow­ing burl wood frames on the far wall are a pic­ture of con­trast, the com­ple­men­tary tones of the urns and the arm­chair on the right are a vis­ual com­par­i­son. The two-tier ta­ble is a good choice for a small room—it of­fers dou­ble func­tion with­out the bulk. The in­dus­trial style light fix­ture gives the room its touch of edge.

|TOP| UP­DATED FOR LIV­ING. One of the most mod­ern­ized ar­eas in the houses are the newly ren­o­vated kitchens, which fea­ture mod­ern plumb­ing and cook­ing ameni­ties. The stone coun­ter­top and the sink are newer fea­tures, as are the two hang­ing lights. The glass-fronted cab­i­nets al­low the home­own­ers to dis­play vin­tage and an­tique table­ware that harks back to the orig­i­nal home.

|LEFT| KITCH­ENETTE. The sim­ple chic open-plan stu­dio di­vides along the rug line, and fea­tures a re­lax­ing sofa rest area, as well as a ta­ble for two. De­tails like the pago­daesque light fix­ture, the geo­met­ric pat­terns on the sofa cush­ions, and the paint­ing over­head, add def­i­ni­tion and glam.

EAT AND HOST. This gor­geous kitchen af­fords heavy-duty meal prep and easy-go­ing en­ter­tain­ing, thanks to the cozy seat­ing area.

QUAINT COUN­TRY CHARM. This bed­room is a

seam­less com­bi­na­tion of old and new, as the quilted bed­cover and man­tel mir­ror tout shabby and chic roots, while the an­tique desk and chan­de­lier add a

fine an­tiques feel.

|BE­LOW| EV­ERY­DAY EX­OTIC. A bit sim­pler, the sec­ond court­yard fea­tures out­door seat­ing and a more open feel. The de­sign­ers used a plant­ing pat­tern for the ivy fence to cre­ate a sim­ple yet unique

de­sign fo­cus.

|TOP| OUT­DOOR OA­SIS. The new court­yard fea­tures an abun­dance

of trop­i­cal plants, as well as seat­ing for guests. It also af­fords a pri­vate en­ter­tain­ing space for each

of the town houses.

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