Abundant light and historic details create an enchanting vibe in this Druid Hills charmer

If you like natural light, you'll love this abode

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Druid Hills home
The 1922 house, with its green, Ludowici clay tile roof, gives a nod to several architectural styles, from Classical to English Arts & Crafts. It originally belonged to a doctor who met patients in a small room off the foyer. The architectural plans by Karen Soorikian added finished square footage on the second floor without altering the house’s appearance from the street.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

When Jenni Kelly first stepped inside her Druid Hills house in 2012, she discovered a wonderland of historic treasures, from original doors and windows to tile, sconces, and even old-fashioned radiator heating. But what really compelled her was the natural light. “It just really enchanted me,” says Jenni, who soon after settled into the house with her husband, Chris, and their two children, June, 12, and Joe, 14. Several years later, when they decided to upgrade, they didn’t want to lose any of the original charm of the house, which had been owned by the same family from its construction in 1922 until 2007. After seeing her work on a neighbor’s house, Jenni enlisted architect Karen Soorikian for a plan to enlarge the kitchen and the second floor. She called upon an old friend and interior designer Heather Kerwin to develop a colorful but cohesive look, driven by shades of green and a mix of vintage and modern furnishings.

Druid Hills home
“Jenni had a lot of really cool stuff and vintage pieces already,” says interior designer Heather Kerwin. “She’s fearless when it comes to color and pattern.” The Eames chair was Jenni’s father’s, bought in the 1960s when he was working for IBM. “I remember living with it my whole life,” says Jenni. The vintage coffee table is from Savvy Snoot, and the sofa is from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Druid Hills home
The midcentury Heywood-Wakefield dining set sits beneath a sputnik chandelier from Arteriors.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Druid Hills home
“The light is what really captivated me,” says homeowner Jenni Kelly, noting the original, oversized, south-facing windows and French doors that open to a front terrace. She found the vintage cane chairs from a local seller on eBay, and they still bear price stickers from Rich’s Department Store. The settees are from Restoration Hardware, and the chandelier is from Antiques and Beyond.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Druid Hills home
A small addition allowed for a breakfast room with grand windows that match those in the front of the house. A West Elm chandelier anchors the space. Family dog Flash likes to lie on the cool, concrete floor tiles.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Druid Hills home
The cabinets were constructed by Soorikian Furniture, led by Karen’s husband, Matt, who is also an architect. They are painted in Benjamin Moore “Essex Green,” which changes dramatically with the light, from piney to nearly black. Vintage knobs and pulls came from a bin at Scott Antique Markets, and interior designer Heather Kerwin found the graphic, encaustic cement floor tiles at Original Mission Tile. In contrast, the simple plaster hood has an understated grace. Mark Sage from Bobo Intriguing Objects found the Belgian worktable that was just the right size. The living finish faucet by Perrin & Rowe by Rohl was a splurge.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

The kitchen, formerly bound by walls on both sides, was opened to create a sunny breakfast area. Upstairs, the team discovered what Karen calls “the magic attic”—a wealth of unfinished space that could be built out to create the children’s rooms, including a secret hideout accessed through cabinet doors. The fresh vibe never came at the expense of the original elements. “We reused every single thing,” says Jenni. “It’s a lot more work than just getting something new, and not every builder wants to do that.” But Fredrick Hetzel of Four Square Building Company was up to the task. “I was terrified of losing the feeling of this house,” says Jenni. “It was so important to me to preserve its integrity, and that’s clearly been accomplished.”

Druid Hills home
The project was a team effort from designer Heather Kerwin, architect Karen Soorikian, and homeowner Jenni Kelly, from left to right. Kelly Wearstler wallpaper makes a big impact in the small back foyer.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Druid Hills home

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Druid Hills home
The color combinations in the master bedroom—featuring Sherwin-Williams “Functional Gray” on the walls and “Peach Fuzz” on the ceiling—tie into the patterned floor tile selected to upgrade the master bath. The bedding is from Anthropologie.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Druid Hills home
“A lot of people think it’s the master,” jokes Heather of the spacious bathroom the children share. The tub is from Vintage Tub, and the cabinets are by Soorikian Furniture, with Rejuvenation pulls.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Druid Hills home
Daughter June’s room is painted a soothing hue, Benjamin Moore “Palladian Blue.” An original door was adapted to fit into the roofline.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Druid Hills home
The kids’ light-filled upstairs common room was original to the house, but the rest of the second floor was unfinished attic space. The tall rooflines allowed Karen to carve in the two children’s rooms, walk-in closets, a large bathroom, and a laundry room—plus a secret hideout for the kids. “We used every inch of it,” says Karen. “That’s one of my favorite things to do: find space in houses and maximize it.”

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Druid Hills home
Jenni found the vintage-looking audio console at Urban Outfitters. She filled it with her father’s old records—mostly ’70s country.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Resources
Architect
Karen Soorikian, Soorikian Architecture, soorikianarchitecture.com
Interior designer Heather Kerwin, Heather Kerwin Designs, heatherkerwin.com
Builder Fredrick Hetzel, Four Square Building Company, foursquarebuildco.com
Living room Settees: Restoration Hardware, rh.com. Chandelier: Antiques & Beyond. Painting: Liz Tran, liztran.com. Paint: Benjamin Moore “White Dove,” benjaminmoore.com
Kitchen Cabinetry: Soorikian Furniture, soorikianfurniture.com. Cabinet paint: Benjamin Moore “Essex Green.” Floor tiles: Original Mission Tile, originalmissiontile.com. Plaster hood: Artistic Plaster and Stucco, artisticplasterstucco.appspot.com. Work table: Bobo Intriguing Objects, bobointriguingobjects.com. Faucet: Perrin and Rowe by Rohl, rohl.com. Pendants: Circa Lighting, circalighting.com. Sconces: Schoolhouse, schoolhouseelectric.com.
Breakfast room Chandelier: West Elm, westelm.com.
Den Couch: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, mgbw.com. Paint: Benjamin Moore, “Forest Valley Green.” Coffee table: Savvy Snoot, savvysnoot.com.
Back foyer Wallpaper: Kelly Wearstler “Crescent,” kellywearstler.com.
Master bedroom Wall paint: Sherwin-Williams, “Functional Gray,” sherwin-williams.com. Ceiling paint: Sherwin-Williams “Peach Fuzz.” Bedding: Anthropologie, anthropologie.com.
Dining room Chandelier: Arteriors, arteriors.com. Stools: Antiques & Beyond.
Attic art room Chandelier: West Elm.
Kids bath Cabinetry: Soorikian Furniture. Tub: Vintage Tub, vintagetub.com. Pulls: Rejuvenation, rejuvenation.com. Windows: Marvin, marvin.com.
Daughter’s room Paint: Benjamin Moore, “Palladian Blue.” Light fixture: Shades of Light, shadesoflight.com.
Attic nook Paint: Benjamin Moore, “Courtyard Green.”

This article appears in our Fall 2019 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

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