House Envy: This Garden Hills gem was designed by the late Brian Bethea Smith

The Tudor-style home enjoys a prime location near Alexander Park and the Garden Hills pool and clubhouse

Shortly after Dave and Jean Marie Bridges married, they purchased a home in Garden Hills, one of their favorite Atlanta neighborhoods. The house, a renovated ranch situated in the center of two lots on Ellwood Drive, suited them fine for a few years; but eventually the couple decided to build their dream home. Since they loved the area and didn’t want to move, they tore down the ranch and replaced it with two houses—compatible, but not identical, Tudor-style homes designed by the late Brian Bethea Smith, a respected Atlanta architect recognized for his ability to create houses that blend perfectly with surrounding structures. The couple placed one of the homes on the market and moved into the other.

“It’s not often you get to decide what your neighbor’s house will look like,” jokes Jean Marie, who says that working with Smith was delightful. “Everything he did was ‘old school’ and drawn by hand. We had a great partnership from the start.”

Built in 2008, the Bridges’ 7,000-square-foot home enjoys a prime location near Alexander Park, Atlanta International School, the Cathedral of Christ the King, and the Garden Hills pool and clubhouse. It features an open floor plan with high ceilings, white oak floors, and lots of room for entertaining. The spacious kitchen, which includes a large granite-topped island, a walk-in pantry with a second dishwasher, and top-of-the line appliances, adjoins a vaulted keeping room with a stone fireplace. There’s also a breakfast area, family room, large dining room, and guest suite on the main level. A spacious outdoor porch with a fireplace overlooks the manicured back yard.

Then there’s the upstairs level, which features three guest suites, a laundry room, and a large master suite with his-and-her dressing rooms, a morning bar, and a marble bath. Both the master bedroom and bath open onto an expansive patio. The terrace level includes a recreation room, media room, wine room, bedroom, and bathroom. There’s also a four-car garage with plenty of storage space.

Jean Marie especially loves the home’s many windows, another of Smith’s trademarks. “It’s nice to see the yard from almost every room,” she says. “We have year-round color, so it’s beautiful no matter what the season.” She also appreciates the home’s open floor plan. “We enjoy entertaining, and we’ve hosted some big parties here. It’s surprising how many people this house can handle.”

Although the Bridges love their Garden Hills home, they are moving to Brookhaven to be closer to their son’s school and to Dave’s office. “We intended to stay here forever, but it’s no longer geographically convenient,” says Jean Marie.

This Buckhead home, located at 2672 Ellwood Drive, is listed for $1,695,000. For more information, contact Debra Johnston of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Georgia Properties at 404-312-1959 or