A Comforting Colonial Cottage

The Killebrew Home

When someone approached Carylon Killebrew in 2010 looking to buy her North Chattanooga home of 30 years, she would have never guessed it would lead her to where she is today. After listening to her heart and, most importantly, God, she decided to sell her conveniently located property that provided the space for her to have whatever it was that she desired, whether that be a barn and horses or chickens and cows. 

A change of pace led Killebrew to an industrial Tuscan home on the Southside, but after a number of years, she longed to get back to a property that provided her with space and tranquility. “A realtor brought me up here, and in the driveway, before I even made it up to the house, I knew this was where I wanted to be,” recalls Killebrew, who now lives on an eight-acre estate atop Signal Mountain.

By Christina Cannon / Photography by Creative Revolver

A moss-covered stone retaining wall that snakes through a thicket of trees takes visitors up the driveway and to the front of the home. A stone pathway surrounded by hedges of various sizes careens toward the home’s entry and gives way to a small red brick porch that provides interior access. 

Stepping foot inside, guests find themselves in a hallway that also doubles as a foyer. Coated in bright white paint and illuminated by natural light, this cheery part of the home is grounded only by the natural walnut floors and wooden door, which plays off of a geometric light fixture of the same material that hangs in the center of the hall. Nearby, a wooden coat rack made from an imported French door is mirrored by art prints on the opposite wall, and custom wainscoting provides an added dose of charm. 

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Just off of the main hallway is one of the home’s living spaces, which sports an array of mixed colors, patterns, and materials. Here, the richness of this federal revival home has been replaced with elements that are as chic as they are soft. Fabric-covered sofas and armchairs surround a striped ottoman, while pops of pink and red emerge from the textiles that dot them. 


close up of white fireplace with brick accents and built ins


Two contemporary concrete side tables support glossy black tabletop lamps complete with oversized drum shades.

“Although much of my furniture was brought with me, I needed somewhere to put these lamps that wouldn’t take up too much room,” explains Killebrew. “These tables have a special place in my heart because they were made by my grandson Austin, and I like that they add another material and style to my eclectic aesthetic.”

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Rounding the corner of the entrance hallway, visitors find themselves in the dining room where a long wooden table feels as if it were personally crafted for the exact dimensions of the space. Place settings for eight have been thoughtfully curated and appear under a chandelier that hangs from an ornate collar. 

The entire arrangement is situated in front of a set of French doors topped with a multi-paned transom window, allowing the room to be flooded with even more natural light and a gentle mountain breeze. 

“I’m really into family. It’s almost like I’m an extension of my family, and every Sunday, we are in this room enjoying lunch together,” says Killebrew. “Most weekends, we’ll have 18 or 20 people here. It’s amazing how the openness of this home keeps it from feeling tight or cramped.”

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Killebrew does note, however, that spillover is unavoidable and that the great-grandchildren will often be found dining and playing in the nearby study. In this room, wood paneling and a wood-burning fireplace with a brick surround create an inviting and cozy atmosphere. A wood buffet table supports a set of matching tabletop lamps, just like in the main living room, and open shelving displays a suite of serveware and other heartfelt items.

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Progressing further into the house leads to Killebrew’s favorite room – the kitchen. Light country pine cabinetry runs around the perimeter of the room, and its unfinished, knotty appearance contributes to the minimalistic and natural lifestyle that Killebrew is so fond of. 

“I really like for all of the spaces and furniture in my home to be used or have value,” Killebrew notes. And this no-frills kitchen embodies that sentiment, having everything it needs and nothing it doesn’t. 

Open shelving along the left wall makes grabbing items a breeze, and the lack of window treatments again keeps the space airy and bright. 

“I intentionally did not use curtains or shades in the majority of the rooms throughout the house, but I still have plenty of privacy,” says Killebrew. “I love to garden and cook, and now when I’m in the kitchen, it almost feels as if I’m outside, giving me the best of both worlds.”

Off-white countertops and brass hardware maintain the neutral color palette that runs throughout most of the home and is only broken up by the coolness of the stainless-steel appliances and a set of tufted gray backless barstools. 

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Carylon Killebrew with dogs Sam and Kate

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Upstairs, the master suite offers the same sense of peace and tranquility as the lower level. White paint cloaks the walls and travels up the vaulted ceiling that houses a combination of recessed lighting and a brass and crystal chandelier. 

Four windows, along with a set of French doors, offer a glimpse into the tree canopy just outside, and a sofa along with two armchairs provide more than enough seating. Two stacked area rugs add a unique visual element, and another gas fireplace with a brick surround rests under a soft, oversized still-life painting. 


gas fireplace with painting above it, and elegant chandelier in master suite


This room, just like every other one in the Killebrew home, is meant to evoke a certain lifestyle – a lifestyle where purpose and intention preside over the worries of the world and natural beauty and family bonds are savored. 

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