“I wanted an open and
modern kitchen, but one
that fit with the home’s
age,”says Brenda, with
daughter Eva,
Fresh paint and
landscapingperked up
the 1930s traditional-
style home,
n older home’s
architectural detail can be
a thing of beauty. Those
cramped kitchens and
choppy rooms? Not so
much. Especially for a young, active family.
But to live in just the right neighbourhood of
Atlanta, US, Brenda Carlton says, “We were
willing to be creative.”
Just the right neighbourhood is Atlanta’s
Morningside area where the homes, mostly
built in the 1920s and ’30s, feature cozy
traditional architecture with an old-world
feel and are close to quaint parks and the
shopping area. “It’s a very charming, family-
oriented place where you can get to know
your neighbours,” Brenda says.
She and her husband, Price, knew from
experience that changes would be needed
to outfit an older home for modern living.
While house hunting, they lived in a small
bungalow, its family room at the front of the
house and kitchen at the back. “We realized
then how important an open, connected
living plan would be for us,” Brenda says.
To get that in their 1930s home, the
Carltons gave up a small extra bedroom
and bath. Without adding square footage,
kitchen designer Ann Yarbrough helped the
couple rework the floor plan to create an
open living space that includes a breakfast
area, kitchen, and family room that connects
to the backyard so that smooth traffic flow
doesn’t get smothered and also the space
gives a feeling of openness.
Equally important? Decor that both the
couple and their children could enjoy. That
evolved with a hand from Jayme Armour
Leffler, owner of home furnishings store
Armour & Co. in the US, and items from her
nearby shop. Though Leffler wasn’t officially
signed on to help, she helped Brenda find
her design voice. “I need to have pretty
surroundings, which Jayme is very good
at,” Brenda says, “but I also wanted them
touchable and durable.”
They got both—beautiful living spaces
that are long-lasting—along with a soothing,
sophisticated style achieved through light
wall colours, natural materials, and serene
artwork. For parents who also have full-time
careers, “Calming and carefree is good.” ©
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