Most of the time, they’re on the go as an award-winning interior designer and Food Network star respectively, but, occasionally, Elizabeth Ingram and Alton Brown are quiet lake people. Their second home (actually third, since they also have a place in New York City) on an Alabama lake is a brief two-hour drive from their Marietta loft.
Simplicity epitomized The couple purchased a basic ’60s farmhouse and took it down to the studs, leaving original roof trusses exposed. “I have fond memories of summer camp in North Carolina when I was a little girl,” says Elizabeth. “I basically wanted to recreate the simplicity and rustic innocence of that camp experience, so we just stripped everything down and used plywood as a humble building material.” Most of the budget was spent on the windows, to open up an entire wall that faces the lake.
Utility kitchen The food-centric couple prefers a cooking space that’s unfussy and somewhat deconstructed compared to typical kitchens, which might seem surprising, given that Elizabeth has designed such renowned restaurants as the Iberian Pig and Marcel and Alton long has hosted the Food Network series Good Eats and Cutthroat Kitchen (and the two of them created the popular Quarantine Quitchen YouTube series while at home during the pandemic). The utilitarian space features steel bases supporting the freestanding sink and counters, with a long concrete countertop on the island.
It takes two Traditionally, living areas are anchored with a sofa, but this one is just for the two of them and a pair of chairs. “I really just wanted to keep the furnishings very simple but texturally luxurious,” says the designer. “The swivel chairs act as our sofa, and, since our TV is on a lift that goes up and down in the cabinet at the end of the bed, we can pivot to watch that or stare out at the lake.” Elizabeth’s design studio created the chairs, covered in shearling and a wetsuit-like material called Maharam Scuba.
Bedroom basics A built-in bed has drawers, shelves, and a pop-up TV. “Most people want to be able to sleep a lot of friends and family at a vacation home, but we really just want to keep it for ourselves,” says Elizabeth. “That allowed us to keep it very simple, open, and small.”
This article appears in our Summer 2021 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.