A novelist’s house and writing shed in Roswell offer lots of mysterious twists

The writer calls her custom house “the anti-open concept.”

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A novelist’s house and writing shed in Roswell offer lots of mysterious twists
Vintage furnishings from Antiques & Beyond and City Issue join a concrete floor in the living room, part of the
curated aesthetic. The designers chose a nubby performance fabric for the vintage sofa as a hearty spot for the family dogs.

Photograph by Marc Mauldin

“Our client’s style is a mixture of Don Draper meets Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil meets the Brontë sisters,” says Kate Duffy, one of the team with Duffy Scott Interiors. “She loves the mix, and she loves vintage.”

A novelist’s house and writing shed in Roswell offer lots of mysterious twists
Architect Tim Adams followed the land’s topography when placing the various wings of the house. “By breaking apart the pieces, each space would have differing views of the natural surroundings,” he says. Sherwin-Williams’ “Tricorn Black” covers the exterior.

Photograph by Marc Mauldin

A novelist’s house and writing shed in Roswell offer lots of mysterious twists
“I love sitting outside to write,” says the novelist homeowner. “The patio has these different seating options that all have an old-fashioned, handed-down, shabby-elegant feeling to them.”

Photograph by Marc Mauldin

A novelist’s house and writing shed in Roswell offer lots of mysterious twists
Open-shelving in the kitchen provides a place for displaying art and vintage pieces. Family dog Birdie welcomes visitors.

Photograph by Marc Mauldin

The client in question is a novelist who specializes in dramatic books with a bit of darkness and sometimes murder. Her custom house in Roswell is sprawling and what she calls “the anti-open concept,” with a charming shed in the back where she gets down to business. “As a writer, I’m definitely more of an introvert rather than somebody who loves to entertain,” she says. “I wanted to provide lots of small, discrete spaces where my family could all be together at the same time but also do our own thing.”

A novelist’s house and writing shed in Roswell offer lots of mysterious twists
Gray linen shades in the dining area (not shown) have an undertone of lilac to play off alabaster lamps.

Photograph by Marc Mauldin

A novelist’s house and writing shed in Roswell offer lots of mysterious twists
A concrete sink and Sherwin-Williams’ “Mink” are a moody backdrop for this powder room. “We love the added intrigue of the vintage portrait reflected in the mirror,” says Christy Scott Spearman of Duffy Scott Interiors.

Photograph by Marc Mauldin

A novelist’s house and writing shed in Roswell offer lots of mysterious twists

Photograph by Marc Mauldin

“Black was intentional as a color choice,” says Christy, shown here on the left with her design partner Kate. “Since many of [the owner’s] treasures leaned into a feminine place, we felt that bringing in the masculine contrast of black would give those elements the tension it needed.”Architect Tim Adams designed the farmhouse to flow with the topography of the wooded property. “I thought it would be nice to let the house grow across the landscape and not be confined like a typical home,” he says. “Breaking apart the footprint would give the home a sense of a structure that evolved over time.” As a strong statement, the exterior is painted a dark gray, with an aluminum roof and bluestone floor tile both outside and inside. The interiors include a vaulted ceiling and plenty of windows to keep the look bright and airy. Modern cabinetry is combined with antique furniture for an updated mix.

A novelist’s house and writing shed in Roswell offer lots of mysterious twists
Schumacher fabric frames the windows in the primary bedroom. Bedding is by Pottery Barn.

Photograph by Marc Mauldin

A novelist’s house and writing shed in Roswell offer lots of mysterious twists
A Secret Garden vibe permeates the seven-plus–acre backyard, which features a custom swing and arbor.

Photograph by Marc Mauldin

A novelist’s house and writing shed in Roswell offer lots of mysterious twists
Antique furnishings and pots from Dovetail contribute a European touch to the writer’s shed, which the owner decorated herself. The centerpiece is a 1940s Globe Wernicke tanker desk.

Photograph by Marc Mauldin

The writer’s “she shed” is particularly cozy, like a rustic cabin. “I decorated it myself so it’s more of a hodgepodge,” says the homeowner. “The hero piece was a 1940s Globe Wernicke tanker desk I found on Ebay, and I love my grandmother Emily’s chair in the pink velvet and an Urban Outfitters daybed for napping—I seriously take naps while writing.”

RESOURCES | Interior design Duffy Scott Interiors. Architecture T.S. Adams Studio. Landscaping Sears Smith & Associates. Exterior/writing shed Paint: “Tricorn Black” 6258, Sherwin-Williams. Shed patio furniture: Fig House Vintage. Front entrance bench: West Elm. Front door mat: The Rope Co. Swing pots: Dovetaile. Daybed: Urban Outfitters. Kitchen Red pot on stove: Le Creuset. Pantry cabinet color: “Wrought Iron” 2124-10, Benjamin Moore. Powder room Wallpaper: Morris & Co. Concrete color: “Mink” 6004, Sherwin-Williams. Living room Wall sconces: Katy Skelton. Custom coffee table: Rustic Trades Furniture. Pillows: Anthropologie. Vintage decor: Antiques & Beyond and City Issue. Framing: LM Frame & Gallery. Dining table: Chairish. Lamp shades: Lamp Arts. Walls: “Chantilly Lace” OC-65, Benjamin Moore. Primary suite Drapery workroom: The Drapery Designer. Drapery panel fabric: Schumacher. Roman shade fabric: Fabricut. Bedding: Pottery Barn. Vintage runners: ABN Rug Gallery, 678-907-9001. Walls: “Simply White” OC-117, Benjamin Moore. Foyer Bench upholstery: Lewis & Sheron Textiles. Fabric: Fabricut. Guest bedroom Rug: Loloi. Lamps: Uttermost

This article appears in our Summer 2024 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

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