In 2006, Stephanie Nase began her search for a charming bungalow in Virginia-Highland before moving on to Inman Park and Candler Park. But she wasn’t having much luck in those well-known intown neighborhoods. “One day, I happened to drive across DeKalb Avenue from Candler Park into Kirkwood,” she says. “I had never heard of Kirkwood and was surprised to find this gem of a neighborhood.” The very next day, she snagged an early 1900s Craftsman bungalow. Among its architectural charms: vintage hardwood floors, built-in cabinets and wainscoting, high ceilings, and window seats.
After living there for nine years and focusing on outdoor projects, Stephanie decided to lighten up the interiors next. “The house began to feel too masculine and somber,” she says. “The paint was too dark for me, and so were the green granite countertops in the kitchen.”
She decided to hire an interior designer—which turned out to be much easier than finding the house. Stephanie first asked the owner of the vintage-furnishings store City Issue for a designer suggestion. Their recommendation: Perry Walter. When she posed the same question to the manager at Jonathan Adler at the Shops Buckhead Atlanta, Perry’s name came up again. While on the Kirkwood Tour of Homes, she asked a neighbor who had helped with decorating decisions, and, once again, Perry was the man. “Perry seems to specialize in midcentury designs,” Stephanie says. “I’ve always loved midcentury-modern furniture design, but I wasn’t sure if I could incorporate it in a Craftsman, so I needed someone to help me figure it out.”
With Perry on board, the pair first lightened and united the overall house inside by painting walls shades of pale gray and white. The designer also worked with contractor Adam Wood of Ashwood Homes to freshen up the kitchen and baths, adding new countertops and tile. Then came the fun part: figuring out furniture placement and adding colorful fabrics and window treatments with a modern bent. “Fortunately, Stephanie isn’t afraid of pattern or color and wanted to put a little pink and glam into her home along with the turquoise and greens,” Perry recalls.
He played off midcentury furniture she already owned, reupholstering some and acquiring new, complementary pieces. Perry also layered in modern furnishings from other eras to keep the look well-balanced and lighthearted. Patterned contemporary wall coverings and pillows brought in the spirit of the ’50s and ’60s; a retro-looking wallpaper by Cole & Son covers the dining room ceiling, providing the kind of wow factor Stephanie wanted.
The rich wood of the house used to be the main attraction, but now, it shares the spotlight with other visual treats. “I do love the wood tones and the overall aesthetic of the Craftsman bungalow,” Stephanie says. “And I feel like now, rather than compete, the vivid colors and lively patterns actually show off the wood.”
This article appears in our May 2018 issue.