European Loft Living

Builder: Henley Brothers Construction Co.

Architect: River Street Architecture


When Clay Henley, builder with Henley Brothers Construction Co., first signed on to help with the expansion of this 81-year-old home, his first order of business was to make it structurally sound. “The homeowner’s main goal with all of this was to get a nice covered back porch where she could be outside and enjoy the view,” explains Henley. “We decided to add on the second story but had to make sure it was going to be structurally sound. When you are on a bluff like this, your wind load doubles. So, to guarantee this home could withstand 75 mile per hour winds, we gave the addition new footing and anchored it to the bedrock, and then we have a steel frame that goes all the way up to the roof line.”


By Christina Cannon

Photography by Philip Slowiak

Scenic Stairway

The steel frame Henley had planned for the home came in handy when it was time to build this staircase to a second-story apartment space. “This staircase was originally supposed to be wood, but then we pivoted and decided to make it a marble staircase,” says Henley. “We were fortunate that we had framed it strong enough that the bones were able to hold the marble.”  To see more from Henley Brothers Construction Co., visit

Once at the top of the marble staircase, the homeowner’s sleek euro style is apparent. Tongue and groove yellow pine ceilings warm up the space, and the same yellow pine is used in the room’s trim. A hydronic floor heating system is hidden by ceramic tile and works to provide a nice even heat in the winter months. Walnut slab cabinetry runs throughout the kitchen and reinforces the color palette, while a Labradorite Blue granite waterfall countertop provides additional prep space and accommodates two barstools. The same material, which features beautiful flakes of blue, can be found on the island. Along the perimeter, lustrous stainless-steel appliances and countertops tie into the exposed duct work of the room and the finishes of various plumbing and lighting fixtures. “This kitchen presented a unique challenge in that this loft was really designed to offer everything someone would need to live solely in this space, so while we were working with abbreviated space, we still wanted to offer all the functionality of a full size kitchen,” explains Jackie Howard of Scarlett’s Cabinetry. “Also, with the view being the main attraction, we didn’t want to obstruct it with any wall cabinets. Every single base cabinet was designed to not waste one inch of space, and in order to do that, we incorporated everything from roll-outs and spice racks to cutlery and tray dividers.”


“This kitchen presented a unique challenge in that this loft was really designed to offer everything someone would need to live solely in this space, so while we were working with abbreviated space, we still wanted to offer all the functionality of a full size kitchen.” –Jackie Howard, Scarlett’s Cabinetry


Appliances and plumbing fixtures: Ferguson

Cabinetry and interior doors: Scarlett’s Cabinetry

Cabinetry design: Jackie Howard, Scarlett’s Cabinetry

Flooring and countertop installation:
The Tile Store

Trim: East Chattanooga Lumber & Supply Co.

modern european style bathroom with yellow pine window frames and ceiling and open shower

Around the corner from the kitchen is the loft’s bathroom. With no thresholds, this room takes advantage of every square inch while simultaneously improving accessibility. The same yellow pine, ceramic tile, and stainless-steel and glass accents are repeated in this room, allowing for a clean aesthetic that upholds the modern European style of the home’s interior.

Back downstairs, steel frame doors are able to accommodate large panels of glass to maximize the view and draw visitors outside. The home’s back porch serves as an extension of the living area and is built upon metal joists and decking that is topped with a concrete floorboard and then flagstone. The end result is a home that is as structurally sound as it is beautiful and functional. “This project was an awesome addition to the homeowner’s house,” says Henley. “She took what was a nearly century-old craftsman cottage and turned it into something really unique, which has taken on a whole new style and encompasses exactly what is important to her.”


Ironwork: Beaty Fabricating & Ornamental Iron


Other Suppliers:

Brick: David Debter

Countertops: AGM Imports Granite & Marble

Electrical work: Rayco Electric, Inc.

Lighting: The Lighting Gallery

Plumbing contractor: Stolpmann Plumbing

Stainless-steel countertops: Silvey Metal Works

Stone: Steve Ellis

Structural engineer: Eddie Long, Long & Arnold Engineering

Windows: Window & Door Gallery

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