Creating a Contemporary Craftsman

Feature Home


When Michael Bridges of Surface Architecture & Design first began working on this project, the original plan was to do a remodel of this quaint 1920s home. Once the need for more space arose during the planning process, his team had to pivot the remodel into a fresh ground-up build that presented a new set of challenges – but also rewards. “This home is essentially a new construction built from the plans of a remodel,” says Bridges. “Even though the old house had some structural problems, we had a little heartburn about losing it. We tried to keep as much of the character as possible and take elements from the old house and repurpose them where we could.” For Bridges, not overbuilding for the size of the lot and giving the original house – and the neighborhood – the respect it deserved were top priorities. The end result is a charming craftsman that has certainly been a labor of love.


By Christina Cannon / Photography by Philip Slowiak


Architect: Michael Bridges, Surface Architecture & Design

Interior design: Brittney Blanton, Surface Architecture & Design

Builder: Paul Wilkinson, Reflective

Curating Character

Approaching the white Hardie board exterior and entering through the rich wood-stained front door takes visitors directly into the home’s living room. Here, several elements provide a nod to the original home. “We took the existing fireplace surround and reused it in the brick wall of the main living space, and we also used some of the trim that was originally around the windows and doors,” explains Bridges. “We really wanted to keep the same look and character.” 

To see more from Surface Architecture & Design, visit

A Perry Homes Ad

The white tongue-and-groove ceiling is angled against the joists to add a bit of visual interest, and the exposed supports give the illusion that the 10-foot ceilings are a foot higher than they really are. Although the main living spaces are arranged in an open-concept floor plan, a charcoal gray metal support beam at the far end of the living room works to give the spaces their own distinction while also tying in the subtle industrial elements found throughout the home. A wooden dining room table surrounded by slat-back chairs rests in front of a window that provides ample light, and four leathered barstools just feet away are tucked under the overhang of an elongated kitchen island.

5090 South Web Ad

“I really liked that we utilized a local craftsman for the thick butcher block-style island counter,” adds Bridges. “This space is truly a catch-all. It’s used as both a seating and storage area and still has a generous work surface.” Clean-lined medium-gray shaker cabinets tie in with the patterned backsplash tile and are outfitted with silver hardware that matches the room’s stainless-steel appliances. A few fresh flowers and potted plants energize the space and provide an additional layer to the mixed materials found in the space and throughout the rest of the home. 


Tile: Stone Source, Inc.

Real Estate Partners Ad

Progressing deeper into the home takes visitors to the master suite. Here, a king-sized platform bed is topped with a heavenly tufted comforter, and a large window features a casement pane for a breath of fresh air. Two pendant lights match a trio in the living room and work with the open-web metal truss ceiling to carry the industrial flair into this room. “On the second story of the home, we included a dropped deck that sits just above this room,” explains Bridges. “Like the living room, we were able to gain a foot by exposing the structure. It’s great because these feel like 9-foot ceilings when they’re really only 8.”


lighting and dropped-deck ceiling in master bedroom in contemporary craftsman Chattanooga home


“On the second story of the home, we included a dropped deck that sits just above this room. Like the living room, we were able to gain a foot by exposing the structure. It’s great because these feel like 9-foot ceilings when they’re really only 8.”
– Michael Bridges, Surface Architecture & Design

Linda Brock Web Ad

Stepping into the spacious master bathroom provides a sense of tranquility. The rich woods and deep grays that are seen around much of the home are traded for materials that are several shades lighter. Vanities donning quartz countertops are on perpendicular walls, and large-format tiles with a suite of neutral streaks flow across the floor. Those same tiles can be found in the oversized, zero-threshold shower that is complete with a rain head. Similar tiles, much smaller in size, are arranged in a herringbone pattern along one wall, which features a ledge just underneath an elongated window that provides both ample light and privacy. 


walk in master bath shower with large-format tiles with neutral streaks and rain shower head in contemporary craftsman chattanooga home

Kim Varner ad

Outdoor porch furniture: Fowler Brothers Co.


Traveling back toward the living spaces and up a set of stairs provides access to the home’s screened-in porch and soon-to-be rooftop garden. “It wasn’t until we were getting ready to start demolition that we realized we had views,” says Bridges. “That was a nice surprise, and we wanted to make sure we capitalized on that. It was the main reason we ended up designing this place the way we did.” Now, the home has the perfect space for entertaining or relaxing during the warmer months. A tongue-and-groove ceiling plays off of the area’s natural surroundings, and a metal table once again brings in mixed materials and boasts comfortable seating for six. “We had a lot of unforeseen circumstances around this project,” explains Bridges. “But with each change, we were able to pivot and adapt, and the final result was amazing.”


staircase with decorative tile in contemporary craftsman home in Chattanooga


Other Suppliers:

Additional brick: Acme Block & Brick, Inc.

Appliances and lighting and
plumbing fixtures: Ferguson

Coffee and dining room tables and island countertop: Carter Ellis, Ellis Table Company

Countertops: Granite Warehouse

Flooring: Heavenly Floors

Interior doors, trim, and windows: JB Millworks

Mountain Girls ad

You Also Might Like

[related_post post_id=""]
CityScope Celebrating 30 Years Logo

Get access to the next issue before it hits the stands!