Home Authors Posts by Fran Worrall

Fran Worrall


House Envy: This Bauhaus-style Ansley Park home is a modernist’s dream

Giancarlo Pirrone was driving to work 18 years ago when he spotted a house for sale at 280 Beverly Road in Ansley Park. The architect and developer (and co-owner of upscale pizzeria Varuni Napoli) was drawn to the modern home’s strong geometric lines and minimalist design, and he immediately contacted the realtor. After touring the 2,574-square-foot house, he made an offer on the spot.

Pirrone, who studied architecture at Columbia University and has designed and restored a number of residential properties over the years, has a keen eye for detail and is a self-confessed modernist at heart. “This home was amazing for its time and still beats all the semi-modern imitations we see around the city. It could have been designed by Walter Gropius,” he said, referring to the German architect who founded the Bauhaus School and is widely regarded as a pioneer of the modernist movement.

Built in 1986, the three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath house features pickled oak hardwood floors, large windows, soaring ceilings, a unique glass roof, and an open three-story atrium. The first floor has a spacious living room, a formal dining room, a guest room, and a master suite with a fireplace, spa bath and dressing room. The gourmet kitchen boasts sleek designer cabinets, Corian countertops, stainless steel LG and Miele appliances, and a separate breakfast area. Upstairs there’s a second master bedroom and bath, a loft office, and a large bonus room. The attic level has a sunroom, a Swedish sauna room, and a steam room.

The home also has plenty of high-end technology, including four separate phone lines, high-speed wiring, cable in every room, a state-of-the-art security system, and sophisticated lighting and sound systems, both of which can be operated remotely. Pirrone recently installed a high-efficiency heating and air conditioning system that saves energy and reduces utility bills.

Outside is a two-car garage and a private courtyard with a hot tub and a fountain. The meticulously landscaped grounds feature a diverse mix of flowering plants, shrubs, and trees, including azaleas, camellias, gardenias, ferns, hollies, hostas, rhododendrons, Japanese maples, spruces, and a variety of fruit trees.

Pirrone says his favorite feature is the openness of the home’s interior. “You can see the entire space from almost every room,” he said, noting that the house is ideal for showcasing artwork and furnishings.

Although he has enjoyed the home and has raised two daughters there, he recently found a larger house that better suits his lifestyle, which includes hosting a variety of social events such as dinner clubs, jazz concerts, and gatherings of the Italian Cultural and Conversation Club of Atlanta. “Although most people are downsizing at this point in their lives, I actually need more room for parties and other get-togethers,” he said.

This Ansley Park home is on the market for $1,250,000. For more information, contact Jared Sapp of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty at 404-668-7233 or jared@jaredsapp.com.

House Envy: Live in a charming restored bungalow by the BeltLine in West End

When Rick Baggenstoss spied the Craftsman-style bungalow on Holderness Street in Atlanta’s historic West End, he claims it was love at first sight. Although the abode, built in 1911, was long vacant and in disrepair, the real estate developer immediately saw its potential. “The house had great bones, lots of charm, and an ideal location within walking distance of area shops, restaurants, and the BeltLine,” he said.

Baggenstoss, the owner of Nice House, LLC, an Atlanta company that renovates historic and turn-of-the-century homes, bought the 2,800-square-foot bungalow in June 2016 and began a painstaking restoration that included refinishing the hardwood floors, installing new plumbing, updating the electrical wiring, putting on a new roof, and adding a new dual heating and air conditioning system. He also converted the upstairs attic into livable space.

The four-bedroom, three-bath home now has lots of amenities and high-end finishes, including 10-foot ceilings, original (but improved) fireplaces, and true divided-light windows. On the first floor are three bedrooms and two full baths, as well as a family room, kitchen, dining room, and keeping room. The kitchen features custom cabinets, quartz countertops, a subway tile backsplash, stainless appliances, and an island with a built-in wine rack.

The second floor includes a spacious master suite and bonus room. The master bedroom, which opens onto a private deck, has a vaulted ceiling and a generous walk-in closet. The master bath has double vanities, quartz countertops, and a large shower. Baggenstoss predicts that potential buyers will particularly appreciate the bonus room, which could serve as an artist’s studio, an office, or a playroom. Outside, there’s a front porch, a manicured lawn, and a long driveway for off-street parking.

West End, named after London’s trendy theater district, is one of the city’s most diverse and vibrant communities and a mecca for many Atlanta artists. Located just three miles southwest of downtown, adjacent to Atlanta University Center, it boasts five city parks, a variety of restaurants and bars, easy access to public transportation, and several award-winning charter schools. Its many historic homes reflect a range of architectural styles—from American Foursquare and Craftsman to Folk Victorian and Colonial Revival. A number of notable people have lived in West End, including former Atlanta mayor E.P. Howell and author Joel Chandler Harris, whose home, the Wren’s Nest, is a museum open to the public. In addition to being listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the West End District was the first locally designated historic district in the City of Atlanta.

This West End home, located at 430 Holderness Street, is on the market for $455,000. For more information, contact Josh Stanton of Keller Williams Realty Metro Atlanta at 678-829-8838 or hjosh@kw.com.

House Envy: This modern masterpiece was designed by Georgia architect Robert Green, one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s last apprentices

If you’re a fan of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, then this midcentury-modern home in Buckhead may be the closest thing to his work you’ll find in Atlanta. Designed by Robert M. Green, a native Georgian who apprenticed under Wright in the late 1950s, the 5,100-square-foot abode displays all the elements of his trademark organic architecture, including the use of wood, water, metal, stone, concrete, glass, and light to create a serene sanctuary that infuses nature into every room.

The four-bedroom, six-bath home, built in 1980, is situated on a 2.09-acre lot in Buckhead, near Paces Ferry and Mount Paran roads. Its unique layout includes three wings. The living wing, anchored by a massive stone fireplace, features soaring wood ceilings, George Nelson pendant lighting, and triangular window cut-outs. It incorporates a spacious living area, an open dining room, and a temperature-controlled wine gallery with black slate flooring.

The chef’s kitchen has custom cabinets, leathered granite countertops, a coffee station, two dishwashers, a teak bar, and top-of-the-line appliances. The kitchen, dining room, and family room open onto the terrace and pool area, complete with waterfalls and a sun deck.

The master wing includes a spacious bedroom with wood-planked vaulted ceilings, a private wrap-around patio, and additional space that can be used as a sitting room or office. The spa bath boasts a steam shower with wi-fi speakers, a separate vanity area, two dressing rooms, and a Zen-like bathing room with Ipe flooring, skylights, and chromotherapy.

Then there’s the guest wing, which has three bedrooms, each with a private bath. The home also has a finished lower level with abundant storage space. Outside, there’s a three-car garage and a gated entry that opens onto meticulously manicured grounds.

Earlier this year, a comprehensive restoration was completed under the careful guidance of Atlanta interior designer and contractor Burns Century, who stayed true to Green’s vision of balancing form and function with elements that connect art and nature. She updated both the exterior and interior of the home—the former with new outdoor lighting and landscaping and the latter with top-of-the-line materials and technologies, such as 3-D tiles in the kitchen and baths, custom cabinetry and fixtures, and home automation apps for everything from thermostats to lighting.

Century, who grew up near Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most acclaimed works, said that restoring and updating the home had special meaning for her. “I enjoyed integrating modern technology into this iconic design masterpiece while staying true to its architectural integrity. It’s not just about using natural materials,” she noted. “It’s about a process—the relationship between nature and architecture and how it relates to both the interior and the individual.”

This Buckhead home, located at 3905 Parian Ridge Road, is on the market for $2,725,000. For more information, contact Debra Johnston of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Luxury Collection at debra.johnston@bhhsgeorgia.com.

Midcentury-modern houses are in demand in Atlanta—and at a higher premium

Midcentury Madness
1749 Hummingbird Lane in Druid Hills recently sold for $776,000.

Photograph courtesy of DOMO Realty

It’s no secret that midcentury-modern furniture is back in vogue. But now, the era’s ranch-style and split-level homes are selling better than ever, according to Vanessa Reilly of Atlanta boutique real estate firm DOMO Realty, and a specialist in modern style. “These houses are bringing a higher premium these days, in large part due to the influx of West Coast buyers, many of whom are in the movie business.”

The hallmarks of midcentury style, which is rooted in the 20th century Modernist movement, include simple lines, low-pitched roofs, clerestory windows, and the incorporation of the outdoors. “The look is clean and streamlined, where form follows function,” Reilly says. And although midcentury modern homes can be found throughout Atlanta, she notes that the majority are close to I-285, areas of the city that were developed in the late 1950s through the early 1970s, with the highest concentrations in the neighborhoods of Amberwood, Collier Heights, Northcrest, and Northwoods.

Here, three MCM houses recently on the market and for how much.

Midcentury Madness

Midcentury Madness

Midcentury Madness

In Chamblee’s Huntley Hills neighborhood, 3813 Greenhill Drive was listed for $399,000. Built in 1959, the renovated 1,427-square-foot home includes three bedrooms, two baths, and a chef’s kitchen with custom cabinets and quartz countertops. The master suite includes a bath with marble tile, a custom shower, and designer fixtures. According to listing agent Inna Eidelman of Beacham & Company, Sirzyk + Eidelman Group, natural light fills the home. “During the day, you don’t need to turn on a single lamp or overhead light,” she says.

Midcentury Madness

Midcentury Madness

The house at 1749 Hummingbird Lane in Druid Hills recently sold for $776,000. Designed by noted Atlanta architect Isaac Saporta and built in 1953, “the home is a flawless representation of 1950s midcentury modern architecture,” says listing agent Reilly. The 3,335-square-foot abode has four bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths, a commercial roof, and expansive windows in every room. There’s also a renovated kitchen, refinished hardwood floors, a double-sided fireplace, a full basement, and a courtyard with a koi pond.

Midcentury Madness

Midcentury Madness

In Ansley Park’s Sherwood Forest neighborhood, 1711 Barnesdale Way is for sale for $1,499,000. The 3,267-square foot house, built in 1951, has three bedrooms, three full baths and two half-baths. A heated indoor pool—said to be Atlanta’s first—opens onto a large patio. Betsy Robbins, who purchased the home in 2004 from the estate of its original owners, restored it down to the vintage-style pulls for the cabinets. “This property is the most unique midcentury I’ve seen in the Atlanta area,” says listing agent Dawn Landau of Keller Williams Atlanta Midtown, Team Environs. “The indoor pool, flat roof, and cypress paneling are all features that honor this architectural style.” The house has been featured in commercials, television shows, and movies—including The Last of Robin Hood, starring Kevin Kline, Susan Sarandon, and Dakota Fanning.

This article appears in our Spring 2018 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

House Envy: Former residence of legendary Georgia Tech football coach Bobby Dodd is up for sale

In 1996, a friend told Ken Ellner about a real estate open house at 88 Polo Drive in Ansley Park. At the time, Ken, a dermatologist and native New Yorker who had moved to Atlanta after completing his medical training, was living in Park Place in Buckhead; and, although he enjoyed the amenities of the luxury high-rise condominium, he longed for a home with a yard.

Ken arrived a few minutes early but was allowed in to take a tour. “Almost immediately, I knew this was my house,” he says. Fifteen minutes later, he had made an offer on the charming Dutch Colonial home that overlooked the golf course.

Built in 1904, the 3,763-square foot house, once owned by famed Georgia Tech football coach Bobby Dodd, not only has an abundance of curb appeal, but also features well-proportioned rooms, architectural details, and lush landscaping. Moreover, it boasts a prime location within steps of Piedmont Park, the Atlanta BeltLine, and the Ansley Golf Club.

The four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath house has a formal living room, a spacious dining room, a den, and a completely renovated kitchen with custom cabinets, granite countertops, a subway tile backsplash, and stainless appliances. There’s also a separate breakfast nook and a wet bar with a sink, a wine fridge, and an ice maker. The master suite has a fireside sitting area, a large custom Poliform walk-in closet, and a spa bath with marble floors and countertops.

Over the years, Ken has made a number of upgrades to the home, including replacing the HVAC system, waterproofing the basement, and adding a slate roof with copper gutters. He also removed the vinyl siding and restored the wood that was original to the house.

But the biggest upgrades were to the backyard. Several years ago, he hired a landscape architect and created an oasis complete with a resort-style pool, hot tub, outdoor shower, sitting area, and palm trees. He then added floor-to-ceiling windows and French doors along the back of the house for a seamless transition to the vacation-like outdoor escape.

Although Ken loves his house and the Ansley Park neighborhood, he travels often and wants fewer home-related responsibilities. “At this point in my life, I need a place I can lock up and leave at will,” he said. “This is a wonderful house, but it’s time for the next chapter.”

This Ansley Park home is listed for $1,600,000. For more information, contact Jason Cook of Dorsey Alston Realtors at 404-431-1384 or jasoncook@dorseyalston.com.

House Envy: Newer Virginia-Highland Craftsman boasts a great location and all the amenities

When Terri and Mike Younker, high school sweethearts who grew up in Marietta, first spotted the house at 630 Virginia Avenue, they knew they had found their next home. Terri, a retired Delta flight attendant, and Mike, a veterinarian who had recently sold his practice, wanted to relocate from Peachtree City to Atlanta’s Virginia-Highland neighborhood to be near their daughter and two young grandchildren. The five-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath Craftsman-style abode was exactly what they were looking for.

The 5,100-square-foot house, built in 2010, is located near Piedmont Park, Ponce City Market, and the Atlanta Beltline. The home is also steps away from the area’s many restaurants, shops, and galleries.

Developed in the early 1900’s, the Virginia-Highland neighborhood derives its name from the intersection of Virginia and Highland Avenues, the heart of its busy commercial district. Known for its diverse dining and shopping, the neighborhood boasts charming sidewalk cafes, nightclubs, salons, art galleries, yoga studios, and trend-setting apparel stores. Homes in the neighborhood reflect a variety of architectural styles, including Colonial Revival, Craftsman, and English cottage.

The newer build had all the features Mike and Terri wanted—an open floor plan, a state-of-the-art kitchen, large closets, and updated bathrooms. The dramatic views of downtown Atlanta were a bonus. “The skyline is absolutely gorgeous, especially at night,” Terri said.

The home’s main level features a living room, a family room, and a spacious dining room. The gourmet kitchen has custom cabinets, marble countertops, a generous island, a butler’s pantry, top-of-the-line appliances, and a separate breakfast area. The second level includes a master suite with a large spa-like bath, three additional bedrooms, and a laundry room.

A finished basement includes a bedroom, bathroom, game room, theater room, and wine cellar. There’s also a whole-house AV system and a detached two-car garage.

The Younkers particularly appreciate the home’s locale. “Virginia-Highland is such a walkable neighborhood,” said Terri. “We love being able to stroll to restaurants and shops as well as to Ponce City Market and Piedmont Park.”

Although Terri and Mike have enjoyed in-town living, their daughter and her family recently moved, so they have decided to return to the suburbs to be near Terri’s parents. “This is a wonderful house with the best location in the city,” said Terri. “We’re really going to miss it.”

This Virginia-Highland home is listed for $1,595,000. For more information, contact Tommy Webb of Foundations Realty Group at 678-485-9037 or twebb.re@gmail.com.

House Envy: This cozy mountain retreat comes with fishing, hiking, and lots of social activities


If you’ve been dreaming of a mountain retreat, then the house at 94 Old Mill Creek Circle in Chickamauga might be exactly what you’re looking for. Located in Cloudland Station, a 450-acre gated community located 20 minutes from downtown Chattanooga, the 2,700-square-foot home is only two hours north of Atlanta, yet feels like worlds away.

The carefully planned neighborhood is committed to architectural authenticity, with homes that reflect the evolving style of the region beginning in the late colonial period and going through the mid-20th century. Cloudland Station’s theme is a celebration of “the simple things”—fishing in the community’s stocked lake, hiking its elaborate trail system, or attending social events on the village green.

In 2014, Judith Martin decided to purchase a lot after seeing the community online. She had lived in Peachtree City for years but wanted to relocate to be closer to family in Chattanooga. Cloudland Station “was love at first sight,” she said. “There’s something very special about this community. It’s magical.”

She selected a Southern Living house plan but made some modifications, including installing extra-large windows and opening the interior spaces. The two-story cottage-style home features three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, a family room, a spacious living room with a stacked stone fireplace, a dining room, and a gourmet kitchen with a large island, Shaker cabinets, and marble countertops. The main level master suite features a spa-like bath with a standalone tub, a walk-in tiled shower, and a large walk-in closet.

There’s also a slate roof, front and rear covered porches, and lots of architectural features, such as timbered ceilings, shiplap siding, rough-hewn beams, and pine floors. Much of the work was done by local craftsmen, including the home’s post and beam construction.

Judith especially loves the expansive windows that offer views of the changing seasons and the area’s abundant wildlife. She also enjoys the large stone fireplace, which, she cheerfully points out, is not pre-fabricated. “This is a genuine old-fashioned fireplace. It actually puts out lots of heat.”

The community’s social activities are also a huge appeal for Judith. “There’s always something going on here,” she said. The annual Fourth of July fireworks display is one of her favorite events.

Although she dearly loves her Chickamauga home, Judith recently made the decision to relocate to a metropolitan area for health reasons. “When I moved here, I felt I was finally home,” she said. “I’m going to miss this place so much.”

This Chickamauga home is listed for $649,700. For more information, contact Ryan Piersant of Keller Williams Realty at 423-645-4650 or ryan@livechattanooga.com.

Vacation Home Community Snapshot: Cloudland Station


Cloudland Station


This 450-acre gated community in Chickamauga, Georgia, is nestled in a lush valley at the base of scenic Lookout Mountain, approximately 20 minutes from downtown Chattanooga and two hours from Atlanta.


Part of what makes this family-friendly north Georgia community special is its commitment to conservation and history; its theme is a celebration of “the simple things” (think potbellied stoves and a general store). There’s a circa 1799 Cherokee chief’s cabin on the premises, as well as the remains of several old homesteads, whiskey stills, and orchard farms. Approximately 200 acres are in a conservation easement.

Price range

Home sites start at $90,000, with cottages and homes ranging from $150 to $200 per square foot. The community will soon break ground on a collection of “not-so-tiny homes”—small houses ranging from 1,000 to 1,600 square feet with cozy bedrooms and a hearth room—that will range from $215,000 to $260,000, including the lot and home. They’re intended to be economical and low-maintenance.


Residents can start the day with a cup of coffee at the former one-room schoolhouse, which has been converted into a coffeehouse and lending library, and later enjoy an afternoon treat at the Sweet Shoppe. Outdoor enthusiasts can fish and canoe on Lake Angela, take a swim in the infinity-edge saline pool, or hike a trail system that includes leisurely strolls along the creek and heart-pumping treks up Lookout Mountain. There’s also bocce ball and croquet. The community sponsors regular social events, many of which are held in its 165-year-old renovated recreation barn or on the village green.

What’s unique

Cloudland Station is committed to traditional architecture. Within its four distinct home themes—Cottage Charm, Homestead Nostalgic, Cabin Rustique, and Mountain Traditional—are a variety of approved styles that reflect the evolving architecture of the region from the late colonial period through the mid-20th century.


Cloudland Station sits within easy driving distance of the Civil War site Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, world-class climbing and hiking sites like the breathtaking Cloudland Canyon State Park, kitschy Rock City, and Ruby Falls. In Chattanooga, stroll the riverfront and pedestrian bridge, visit the Tennessee Aquarium and the Hunter Museum of American Art, and dine at award-winning restaurants. cloudlandstation.com

House Envy: Soak up history in this stately Neel Reid home in Druid Hills

It was on nightly walk around the neighborhood when David and Michele Wilson noticed a ‘for sale’ sign at 850 Oakdale Road. The year was 2003, and the couple were living two blocks away on Springdale Road. They had long admired the stately home, which was designed by revered Atlanta architect Neel Reid and built in 1915.

David, a cardiologist, and Michele, a stay-at-home mom, thought the house would be an ideal place to raise their three young children. “After looking inside, we were completely sold,” Michele said. “We loved the grand entry, the well-proportioned rooms, and the architectural details.”

Indeed, the home is filled with Reid’s trademark features, including high ceilings, intricate moldings, door pediments, perfectly scaled rooms, lots of windows, and a formal courtyard. Situated on 1.2 acres in Druid Hills, which has no shortage of grand historic houses, the residence is convenient to Emory University, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, and the Paideia School.

The home’s ownership also has a rich history. Its original owner was Sigmund Montag, proprietor of the National Pencil Company, where Leo Frank was employed. Montag was also the great-uncle of Driving Miss Daisy playwright and Atlanta native Alfred Uhry.

The 5,887-square-foot house has five bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths, a large foyer, a formal living room, a spacious dining room, and a charming screened porch with brick flooring. A 2004 renovation by custom home builder James Cotton included a kitchen makeover and the addition of a family room, breakfast room, and master suite. The renovated chef’s kitchen features glazed cabinets, granite countertops, and an expansive center island.

Outside, there’s a bricked courtyard and two side patios. The level back yard includes a small pond. The home also comes with a 250-square-foot carriage house with a one-bedroom, one-bath nanny suite.

Michele particularly appreciates the lightness and brightness of the house. “There are lots of windows and French doors, and every room has a pretty garden view,” she said. She also loves the screened porch, where the family often gathers for summer suppers.

Despite their love for the home, the Wilsons—now empty nesters—recently listed it for sale. “We plan to stay in the area, but we don’t need this much house anymore,” Michele said. “It’s time for a new family to make memories here.”

This Druid Hills home is listed for $3,100,000. For more information, contact Debbie McDonald of Karafotias Realty at 404-808-0998 or debmcdon@bellsouth.net.

House Envy: This East Cobb Georgian Revival merges classical design with modern amenities

If your dream home merges timeless design with lots of amenities, then take a look at this Georgian Revival in East Cobb. The new build, designed by Jerry Spangler of TSW Architecture and constructed by Cablik Enterprises, adheres to the principles of classical architectural style, meaning its proportions and scale are based on dimensions deemed in ancient Greece and Rome to create balance and visual harmony. What’s more, it’s loaded with all the modern conveniences—from a state-of-the-art sound system to whole-house security. It’s also close to the restaurants and shops of historic downtown Roswell and the Avenue East Cobb.

The exterior of the 8,000-square-foot home features traditional red brick, a balanced front façade, a double-columned porch, and a trellised porte-cochère, all of which embody Georgian style. Inside are 12-foot ceilings, heavy moldings, hardwood floors, and perfectly balanced room arrangements. Architectural details, such as board-and-batten molding and coffered ceilings, are found throughout the house.

The five-bedroom, six-and-a-half bath home has an open floor plan, with a formal living room, spacious dining room, family room, and cozy reading nook. The gourmet kitchen boasts custom cabinets, marble countertops, a large island, a butler’s pantry with a wet bar, and top-of-the-line appliances. A mudroom, located off the kitchen, has built-in cubbies and lots of extra storage space. The master suite features two walk-in closets, a sitting area, and a spa bath with marble herringbone floors, a freestanding tub, and an enormous glass-enclosed shower. French doors lead from the master suite to an upstairs covered deck.

Then there’s the unfinished basement level, which provides space for additional bedrooms, a second kitchen, or a home theater. The house also includes a built-in sound system and security system, as well as an attached two-car garage and a detached one-car garage with an unfinished upstairs level. Builder Alan Cablik says he’ll work with the buyer to make optional upgrades, such as finishing out the basement and garage space or adding a pool or tennis court.

For architect Spangler, designing this Georgian Revival style home was a labor of love. “I enjoy working in both the contemporary and traditional design worlds, but creating classically inspired homes is particularly rewarding,” he says. “Their inherent elegance and balance touch me in a very special way.”

This East Cobb home, located at 5140 Timber Ridge Road in Marietta, is listed for $1,899,900. For more information, contact Allen Snow of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty at 404-931-1176; or allensnow@atlantafinehomes.com.

Follow Us