Roswell native and interior designer Anna Braund returned to her hometown after graduating from the University of Georgia, where she’d met her husband, Adam, a psychotherapist who’d grown up in Marietta. So even though work often takes the couple into the city of Atlanta, they decided to stay OTP when they got ready to build a house. “We really wanted to put down roots in a place where we’ve experienced such a great sense of community,” says Anna, adding, “We like that the pace is a little slower here.”
They also liked the idea of living within walking distance of the restaurants and shops of historic Roswell, even if it meant downsizing from their suburban home with a pool. The couple bought property near the heart of town, but structural damage made it impractical to preserve the lot’s original residence. They did manage to save an old white barn, which inspired their compact 2,500-square-foot house. “We loved the barn’s old patina and character,” says Anna. “Farmhouse architecture seemed to fit the unpretentious look we were going for.” Their new cottage is a modern, streamlined take on classic Southern Vernacular style, with crisp white siding and a wide front porch with a metal roof.
While in the planning stages, the Braunds agreed on two guiding principles: Locals only, and less is more. “We hired architectural designer Lew Oliver, who lived 1.4 miles from the house, and builder Brendan Walsh, who is less than a quarter mile away, both so talented in their fields,” says Anna. Kitchen cabinetry was built by Keystone Millworks in Milton. And custom doors, including a trio of mahogany French doors along the front porch, came from Marietta manufacturer Robert Bowden.
“I can’t take credit for those beautiful doors,” says Anna. “They were totally Oliver’s design. But I think the three sets of doors convey a more hospitable welcome than windows would.”
Inside, Anna and Adam chose farmhouse touches such as tongue-and-groove walls and beamed ceilings, but elevated the look with elegant details. For instance, the powder room sink is made of solid marble with brass fixtures. “A freestanding washstand would be expected in a farmhouse powder room,” explains Anna, “but I wanted it to feel more polished.” In the kitchen, soapstone countertops and floating walnut shelves are upscale but still feel organic.
Furnishings are a mix of family pieces and relaxed seating. The dining chairs had a previous life in Anna’s childhood home. “We don’t have a formal dining room, but we eat so many meals at this walnut table,” says Anna. “I love sitting on the chairs I used as a child, next to a photograph of Highway 1 that a friend took while we were on vacation together.”
“Personal items make a house a home,” she continues. “I like something of significance in every room.” Accessories also keep it local and a bit sentimental: a painting by good friend and Roswell artist Britt Bass Turner hangs in the living room, and the couple’s wedding china serves as unexpected art on the walls of the master bath.
The Braunds believe their new home is true to the spirit of the original house it replaced. They even asked the blessing of the sellers. “We wanted to honor their memories,” says Anna. “From the beginning, we thought what a beautiful expression of community it would be to gather our friends and neighbors to build a house.”
Interior design Anna Braund Interiors, annabraund.com. Architectural design Lew Oliver, lewolivernest.com. Builder Brendan Walsh, Lehigh Homes & Development, 704-609-2827. Exterior Paint color: “All White No. 2005,” Farrow & Ball, farrow-ball.com. Lighting: Hinkley, hinkleylighting.com. Custom doors: Robert Bowden, robertbowden.com. Kitchen Cabinets: Keystone Millworks, keystonemillworks.com. Backsplash tile: Waterworks, waterworks.com. Lighting: Hinkley. Breakfast room Table: Central Station Original Interiors, centralstationinteriors.com. Living room Slipcovered chairs: Bungalow Classic, bungalowclassic.com. Master bedroom Linens: Gramercy Fine Linens & Furnishings, shopgramercy.com. Bergère-type chair: Anthropologie, anthropologie.com. Powder room Sconces: The Big Chandelier, thebigchandelier.com. Porch Navy chairs: Brown Jordan, brownjordan.com. Sofa: Kingsley Bate, kingsleybate.com. Antique table; coffee table made by a friend.
This article originally appeared in our Summer 2016 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.