House Envy: Vintage industrial chic in Virginia-Highland

From shabby apartments to stunning family home in two years
Adair Avenue
Courtesy of Horner Baker Partners

Located in the heart of Virginia-Highland, the charming five-bedroom at 1019 Adair Avenue appears to have leapt from the pages of a  storybook. And for one couple, Anthony and Ann Guy, the historic house truly did spur a fairytale romance.

The couple met at a party in the building, during the 50-year period when it served as an apartment block. They hit it off, and today—one marriage, two kids, and one massive renovation later—the Guys live in the place where they first met, though they’ve recently put it on the market.

The couple purchased the four then-dilapidated apartments in 2006, with the intention of transforming the space into one single-family home. The down-to-the-studs renovation took nearly two years to complete, during which a three-story addition was added to the back of the building.

Because a City Hall fire destroyed the records, no one knows the exact year the house was built, though it was certainly between 1900 and 1915. (By 1916, the house was the center of a well-publicized dispute known as the Great Adair Arc Light Controversy, which involved some black paint, a disgruntled pastor who did not want a community arc lamp shining into his bedroom, and a whole lot of irritated neighbors.)

During the renovation, the Guys endeavored to maintain a “vintage industrial chic” vibe with designer wallpaper, French tiles, and vintage lighting. While some elements, such as the heart pine flooring on the third floor, are original to the house, most of the décor comes from salvaged and repurposed antique pieces sourced elsewhere. The 110-year-old kitchen island, for example, came from a French department store. Tiles in the foyer were reclaimed from England. And the one-of-a-kind clay kitchen backsplash tiles were hand-painted by a British artist. Elsewhere, old meets new: Restored Tudor fireplace mantles are paired with modern gas fireplaces. Other aspects, such as the Art Deco pedestal sink in one of the five bathrooms and the airy, open floorplan, are relatively modern without seeming out of place.

Listing agent Chase Horner of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, says, “The owners really wanted to create an environment where it was hard to tell what was old and what was new. I think they succeeded.” To add to the intrigue, the owners even added a “secret door” leading from the wet bar to the dining area. Outside, a professionally landscaped yard features an English garden surrounded by a fence handcrafted from petrified locust wood.

The well-situated abode is on the market for $1,175,000. Contact Chase Horner of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty at 404-334-4919 or for more information.