A Radiant Reflection

By Christina Davenport
Photography by Clay Terrell/Creative Revolver

If you were to ask Andrea Aaron what constitutes a home, she would likely tell you that a home is meant to be a reflection of whoever lives there. It should show everyone who enters what things its caretaker has done and where they have been, what they like, and what exactly it is that they hold closest to their heart.

This has been Aaron’s philosophy for most of her life, but when she went to downsize to a beautiful mountaintop condo, that very ideal proved to be both a comfort and a challenge.

“I originally began looking for a new place because I wanted something a little smaller, and I also didn’t want to maintain a yard anymore,” explains Aaron. “But transitions – even positive ones – are hard, and I hadn’t given much thought about the emotional letting go that would be necessary in order to sell the home where my kids grew up. It became all about learning how to honor the past while also letting go of it.”

Although curating her new space and letting go of a house full of memories was by no means easy, Aaron, who recently welcomed her first grandchild, is now living in a tailored space all her own where all of her things deeply resonate with her, and family members are still precious visitors with whom to share the stories of yesteryear.

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Inside the Aaron home, the stage is immediately set for the layered style that lies in wait. The foyer makes an impact with its use of a towering antique mirror that’s delicately tucked behind a console table topped with fresh hydrangeas and a bamboo lamp. A nearby settee is the perfect place for slipping on a pair of shoes before heading out for the day, and potted plants, along with a series of framed bird nest drawings, are a charming ode to nature.

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Progressing further into the home, visitors arrive in the living room, where Aaron’s traditional but eclectic personality is on full display. “When people walk into this room, I hope they get a sense of who I am. And maybe … there are even some parts of me that I can’t articulate that come out in the furnishings of my home,” says Aaron.

A small but ornate chandelier hangs from a medallion in the center of the room, and its traditional style plays well with a series of patterned armchairs that encircle a wooden, glass-top coffee table. A velvet sofa rounds out the seating arrangement, and with all of the various elements at play, this room provides an explosion of color, albeit muted. The real pièce de résistance of this room, however, is a gallery wall that contains one-of-a-kind creations from friends and family, as well as other coveted works of art purchased for their sheer beauty.

“In my other home, there wasn’t much wall space to display all these pieces I had from some of my dear friends, so when I got the chance to do so, I jumped on the opportunity,” says Aaron. “I also like seeing all the books that I’ve been influenced by over the years. I like to joke that the built-in to the left is what I read during my 20s and 30s, and it got me to the shelves on the right that represent my 40s and 50s.”

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Adjacent to the living space is Aaron’s dining area – one of the most cherished rooms in the entire home. With stunning views of the Chattanooga Valley, this room offers up relaxation with an added dose of quirkiness. A fun floral wallpaper wraps around the entire room, while a wooden oval dining table with six mismatched chairs sits front and center. Elegant dentil molding is paired with an ornate wooden sideboard that houses an array of hand-blown glassware. A nearby china cabinet is another precious piece that’s been in Aaron’s possession since she purchased it at the young age of 23.

But the display of curated serveware doesn’t stop there. Around the corner, a closet has been repurposed into a drink station where antique glasses stretch as far as the eye can see. In addition, hand-selected covers of The New Yorker coat the walls, and their dates coincide with important dates in Aaron’s life, such as birthdays and anniversaries.

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In the kitchen, white cabinetry runs along the perimeter and is combined with white countertops and a creamy marble backsplash. Certain stainless-steel appliances pop with their metallic sheen, while others fade into the background with their cabinetry-style doors. Also offering up contrast are the black frames enclosing an over-the-sink window and a door leading to the deck.

kitchen table

“I wanted to use black framing to help draw your eye outside and to the view,” explains Aaron. “It also created this very dramatic look that this space otherwise would not have had.”

Passing through one of those very thresholds takes guests to Aaron’s deck, which features sweeping treetop vistas. Various seating options and potted flowers punctuate the space and provide a quaint garden feel.

“I love to come out here and enjoy a cup of tea when I wake up,” says Aaron. “This is my happy place, and even when I have people over, it seems as if we’re always out on the deck.”

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Also featuring show-stopping views is Aaron’s spacious master suite. Here, muddy greens, pale blues, and a soft peach color create a soothing color palette and can be found in everything from an antique velvet sofa and traditional armchair to euro-pleated drapes and even the walls themselves.

Stepping into the master bathroom, guests are greeted with a wall-to-wall vanity that exists in tandem with marble floors and sleek makeup lighting for a refined approach. An arched mirror bisects the space, and its golden finish complements the table lamp, hardware pulls, and light fixture. Pops of pink are a feminine touch and go one step further in adding personality to yet another area of the Aaron home.

all white bathroom master
“I love the idea of a clean, neutral palette, but at the end of the day, it wouldn’t tell me who I am, where I’ve been, or what I like. And I think that’s part of a home’s job – to reflect us and remind us of who we are,” says Aaron. “It’s been an empowering experience to let go of what was my family home and transition into this next stage of life, but it has allowed for space where new ideas can flourish and dreams can percolate.”

 

andrea aaron with daughter peyton and granddaughter catherine

Andrea Aaron with daughter Peyton and granddaughter Catherine

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