This sprawling Buckhead property was transformed into an artful showpiece for modern living

This New England-style country home is quintessential elegance

1535
New England-style exterior
This traditional New England–style country home, designed by famed Southern architect Lewis Crook, was built in the 1930s. Architect Caroline Reu Rolader worked to modernize the structure while keeping the elegance of the historic design. Family dog Jax sits on the front stoop.

Photograph by Rustic White

When John and Greer Tirrill discovered a 1930s Buckhead estate by famed Southern architect Lewis Crook, they saw its beautiful bones, beyond some obvious quirks—sloping upstairs showers, a dungeon-like basement, and a dilapidated cabin on the 2.3-acre lot among them. To achieve a livable, family-friendly home that both paid homage to its history and worked for modern living, they embarked on a significant renovation with the help of architect Caroline Reu Rolader and interior designer Alice Cramer.

Interior designer Alice Cramer
The Tirrill family enlisted interior designer Alice Cramer to craft a home that matched the formal architecture with the function of casual living.

Photograph by Rustic White

A chinoiserie coffee table from Travis and Company, a modern cocktail table from Huff Harrington Home, and a contemporary reading lamp from Restoration Hardware make the living room fashion forward and functional. The rug is from Stark Carpet.

Photograph by Rustic White

“It was major,” says Alice, who had worked with the Tirrills on a previous house. “People lived differently back then.” Over the course of the project, the team reconfigured the main level for better flow, created dual master bathrooms, and reduced the upstairs bedrooms from four to three to allow for larger bathrooms and closets, all while preserving the majority of the original structure and footprint. The result is a light-filled property with ample space for the family to entertain, relax, and enjoy their extensive collection of art and family heirlooms.

At first glance, the living room looks formal, but Alice designed it to be comfortable and not overly precious, with a casual-feeling shag rug and durable fabrics. The custom club chair and ottoman are by RJones, the plush sofa is Charles Stewart, and a stylish Julian Chichester cabinet conceals the television. “I wanted to make this room feel inviting, like you could sit down and watch a movie without damaging something,” says Alice.

Finished basement with heated tile floors
When the Tirrills bought the house, the basement wasn’t usable living space. “It was truly creepy,” Alice recalls of her first glimpse. She transformed it by adding slate-colored heated tile floors, clearing exterior debris away from the windows, refreshing the stone walls in a bright off-white paint, and adding sleek, midcentury-modern seating.

Photograph by Rustic White

Lime green dining room
Alice gave the dining room a dramatic, lacquer-like finish with high-gloss Fine Paints of Europe in Benjamin Moore “Savannah Moss.” Custom, Travers-trimmed Kravet velvet draperies frame a pair of original windows.

Photograph by Rustic White

A lime green door upholstered in velvet
A door was upholstered in velvet to match the moss-colored walls in the dining room, with a gray Holly Hunt faux leather on the kitchen side.

Photograph by Rustic White

Photograph by Rustic White

Arguably the most dramatic room in the house, the library-turned–dining room serves as both an entertaining space and a gallery of sorts, showcasing a sculpture entitled Confluence by metalsmith and friend John Medwedeff and a family collection of engraved silver. The high-gloss, moss-hued pine paneling makes the room a statement piece in itself.

Built during the same era as the house, the detached 500-square-foot cabin—called the “scout house” because former owners once hosted Boy Scout meetings there—exemplifies the Tirrills’ vision. Though it was nearly falling in, they worked to save its original windows, pine walls, and wooden floors hidden under asbestos-filled tiles and added a small kitchen and bathroom. Outfitted with period-appropriate vintage furnishings, it now serves as a guesthouse as well as a retreat for Greer, who is writing her second book. Says Alice of her clients: “They were patient, trusting, and saw the property for what it could be.”

Kitchen with marble counters
Cooking is a respite for the Tirrills, who gather nightly around the leathered Fantasy Brown marble island in the reconfigured kitchen. A seamless pocket door separates the main kitchen area from the butler’s pantry.

Photograph by Rustic White

Wood finished cabin
The homeowners saved the 500-square-foot cabin from near ruin. It now serves as a guesthouse, complete with a diminutive kitchen, wide front porch, bathroom, and original fireplace.

Photograph by Rustic White

Finished basement with heated tile floors
When the Tirrills bought the house, the basement wasn’t usable living space. “It was truly creepy,” Alice recalls of her first glimpse. She transformed it by adding slate-colored heated tile floors, clearing exterior debris away from the windows, refreshing the stone walls in a bright off-white paint, and adding sleek, midcentury-modern seating.

Photograph by Rustic White

Petite powder room
The petite powder room highlights old and new, with an antique French stone sink and graphic abstract wallpaper by Lindsay Cowles.

Photograph by Rustic White

The couple brought the bed, French chair, and ottoman from their previous home and layered in crisp new linens, an etagere, and a vintage mirror to create a serene master retreat.

Photograph by Rustic White

This article appears in our Fall 2019 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

Advertisement