A house aficionado crafts his favorite one yet in Roswell, with elements past, present, and future

“Of every dream house I’ve done, I’m most proud of this,” Jack Thomasson says.

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A house aficionado crafts his favorite one yet, with elements past, present, and future

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

As the founder of Coastal Living magazine and the mastermind behind the first 20 HGTV Dream Homes, Jack Thomasson has helped form the tastes and wants of homeowners for decades. For his own house in Roswell, he made it personal. “Of every dream house I’ve done, I’m most proud of this,” Jack says.

A house aficionado crafts his favorite one yet, with elements past, present, and future
After jogging past the original farmhouse many times, Christian eventually met the three sisters who had grown up there and still owned the property, and explained his and Jack’s vision to save the house. “Jack and I had literally sketched out a plan on a napkin at dinner one night,” he says. Their design was a renovation that incorporated the existing front porch and other elements to preserve its rural charm. Now, other people often stop to admire the house.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

A house aficionado crafts his favorite one yet, with elements past, present, and future
Mediterranean shell stone, with fossils embedded in the tiles, lines the pool area.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

The starting point for it all was a 1950s cottage—only 700 square feet—that sat on bucolic farmland near Roswell’s bustling Canton Street corridor. “I looked at the cottage’s architectural style and took off,” says Jack, who applied his residential planner skills to incorporate the original house into an expanded version. He and his partner, Christian Strong, have their primary residence in Florida, but they live here when spending time with Jack’s daughters, Dustin and Sidney.

A house aficionado crafts his favorite one yet, with elements past, present, and future
Cowhide chairs from Cantoni purchased for a previous house fit the casual vibe of the foyer, with its intentionally lower ceiling, since it’s part of the original structure. Lamps are by Arteriors.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

A house aficionado crafts his favorite one yet, with elements past, present, and future
With their Florida roots, the owners made connections to the outdoors a priority.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

A house aficionado crafts his favorite one yet, with elements past, present, and future
“If you’re going to have a vaulted ceiling, there needs to be a payoff when you look up,” says Jack, who lined the living room’s ceiling with stained white oak. The horse painting, Approaching Beauty, is by Roswell artist Patrick Taylor.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

The understated front porch, foyer, and one daughter’s bedroom are all from the original cottage, but then, Jack added on a larger, U-shaped structure with farmhouse elements. “No wasted rooms” became a mantra during the design process. The end result is a one-story home surrounded by views and access to the outdoors.

A house aficionado crafts his favorite one yet, with elements past, present, and future
Special features in the kitchen include a custom display wall made of iron and glass that wraps around the wall ovens. A series of paintings by noted Atlanta wine artist Thomas Arvid depicts hands holding wine glasses. The vertical arrangement and subject matter fit the kitchen perfectly, notes Jack.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

A house aficionado crafts his favorite one yet, with elements past, present, and future
The patina of reclaimed wormy chestnut floors is part of the dining area’s charm. Jack designed the iron and wood table himself. Chairs are from Alpharetta’s the Porch on South Main. Abstract paintings are by Santa Fe artist Rose Masterpol.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

A house aficionado crafts his favorite one yet, with elements past, present, and future
The spacious owners’ bath includes a custom metal mirror with a grid pattern, made by Braselton artisan Joe Mastrogiovanni.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Vaulted ceilings are a signature element, from the 26-foot-high versions in the great room and kitchen, lined with stained white oak, to equally interesting versions in the girls’ bedrooms, owners’ bedroom, owners’ bath, kitchen, and guest bedroom. Floors are reclaimed wormy chestnut from a North Carolina barn, adding to the rustic character. Jack also asked his mason to arrange bricks vertically, with heavier mortar in spots, a look inspired by a historic barn he saw in Macon. “There’s definitely a masculine vibe,” admits Jack.

A house aficionado crafts his favorite one yet, with elements past, present, and future
Entertaining thrives at this house, with outdoor spaces like this dining area. There is also a bocce ball court and a firepit with bench seating tucked into a bricked arch.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

A house aficionado crafts his favorite one yet, with elements past, present, and future
Sliding doors—made from a Brazilian teak screen that belonged to Christian in another house—are a focal point in the owners’ bedroom. The painting by artist Stefano Sanna, entitled Torso, is one of their favorites.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Although Jack comes from an industry with a keen eye toward trends, this house largely ignores ever-changing opinions. A move away from great rooms? He doesn’t agree, noting that the great room/dining area/kitchen is the home’s main gathering place—no bonus rooms, offices, or basements here. The idea that open shelves don’t belong in a kitchen? He and Christian, the cook of the house, use theirs daily.

This won’t be his last home project, but Jack hints he may be here a while. He admits, “I didn’t do anything here with the thought of resale.”

[Editor’s note: After this story went to press, Thomasson put the home on the market, listing it for $2.4 million.]

RESOURCES | Residential planner Jack Thomasson, the Home Department Landscaping Gibbs Landscape, gibbslandscape.com Exterior Paint: “Cotton Balls” by Benjamin Moore, benjaminmoore.com. Lanterns: Gas Lanterns by Sheryl, gaslanternsandlights.com. Foyer Chairs: Cantoni, cantoni.com. Lamps: Arteriors, arteriorshome.com. Great room Light fixtures (also in dining area and kitchen): Arteriors. Sofa and upholstered chairs: RH, rh.com. Side chairs: The Porch on South Main, theporchonsouthmain.com. Horse painting: Patrick Taylor Fine Art, patricktaylorfineart.com. Dining room Chairs: The Porch on South Main. Paintings: Masterpol, masterpol.com. Kitchen All appliances: Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove, subzero-wolf.com. Bar stools: RH. Owners’ bedroom Painting: SaSa Art, sasa-art.com. Lamps: Scott Antique Markets, scottantiquemarket.com. Owners’ bath Light fixtures: Lumens, lumens.com. Custom mirror: Joe Mastro Custom Iron, 678-600-4580. Pool area Furniture: RH.

This article appears in our Fall 2021 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

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