As quick as the click of a Canon’s shutter, fashion photographer Liz Von Hoene decided to buy her 1952 house in Decatur’s Parkwood neighborhood. Peeking through the vacant home’s ample windows in the summer of 2015, she saw the sun-soaked open floor plan she’d been hunting for. Even more exciting, she spied original period elements. “I could see a Herman Miller floating sideboard. That was one of the things that made my heart go ka-thunk ka-thunk,” she says.
Liz and her partner, Rebecca Weinberg, are no strangers to style. Liz shoots for high-end clients like Neiman Marcus, and Rebecca is an Emmy-winning wardrobe stylist best known for outfitting Carrie and company on the HBO series Sex and the City. In this house, the pair saw a gem, and the sellers found doting new owners who would appreciate the one-of-a-kind home, which was designed by their father, architect Thomas E. Garner. They even pulled out hand-drawn blueprints and news clippings about the house to show potential buyers. “It was very clear that the family wanted to make sure that whoever purchased the house understood the architectural integrity,” Liz says.
She and Rebecca promised the Garners that they would polish the 3,300-square-foot family home with respect. “That’s been really important to Liz and me—to understand what we have here and try to build on it, versus trying to make it something that it’s not,” Rebecca says. Most decisions were to preserve rather than replace, since the new owners loved so many native features of the cozy three-bedroom, 2.5-bath home, including the brown-black and charcoal-stained cedar shakes on the facade, the caramel brick chimney, the flame-orange doors, and the parquet floors in several rooms.
The women enlisted carpenter David Jones for delicate restoration projects—“things that most people would just rip out because they don’t know how to fix the situation,” Liz says. For example, two of the bedrooms are divided by sliding a central partition, but the doors were no longer operable. David restored and reinstalled them.
An all-new, stone-gray-and-white kitchen is the most impactful change, although the original U shape was retained. “We just opened it up, made it a little bit larger,” Liz says. Designer Tory Winn and carpenter Brian Ashworth created custom cabinets incorporating open shelves to display collections of creamy ceramics and Cathrineholm enamelware.
The couple furnished the entire home with vintage treasures as glamorous as their careers. In the living room, for instance, a fashion model shot by Liz cranes her impossibly long neck over finds like Adrian Pearsall swivel chairs, a curvy sofa in robin’s egg blue silk, and a Noguchi coffee table.
Although the home is as well-dressed as a runway, it’s also suited for a casual, celebratory lifestyle that includes children (five between the two of them, ages 12 to 25). “We love cooking in the kitchen with groups of people around, sharing wine, sharing stories, taking it all outdoors, jumping in the pool, and watching the kids play four square on that little patio,” Liz says. “It’s a beautiful house, but we live in it.”
Landscape designer L. F. Saussy Landscape Architects, lfsaussy.com
Kitchen designer Tory Winn Interiors, torywinninteriors.com
Carpentry David Jones, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cabinetry Brian Ashworth, cabinetcottagellc.com
This article originally appeared in our Spring 2018 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.