Federal Simplicity

Feature Home

By Christina Davenport
Photography by Philip Slowiak

Timeless touches meet elevated functionality in this stunning renovation by Dwell Designed Construction. A quaint cottage originally built in 1920, this home has been expanded at various times over the years, making its seamless flow and curated continuity an exemplary show of skill.

“One of the most challenging aspects of this renovation was just working with the existing layout. There were several elements we had to keep for support, so we really had to work within the existing structure of the house,” explains Julie Bledsoe, lead designer with Dwell Designed Construction.

What was once four separate rooms has been transformed into an open-concept living space where the design and architecture not only cater to the way the homeowners live, but also celebrate the rich storied history of the home.

Builder/Remodeler: Bryan Bledsoe, Dwell Designed Construction
Interior design: Julie Bledsoe, Dwell Designed Construction

Everything In Its Place

With the need for an oversized island came the challenge of how to fit it – and the necessary cabinet space – into one room. Bledsoe’s solution? Situate a cabinetry-style refrigerator just beyond a drop beam that defines the kitchen and mirror it with additional cabinetry that offers up much-needed pantry space. This functional decision does more than just create necessary space in an aesthetically pleasing way, however. It also works to give definition to the freeform dining space that houses a large wooden table and seating for eight.

The wood of the dining table, when paired with the botanicals in the room, gives an organic feel that is further encouraged by the choice of materials. Baby Fawn cabinetry is combined with creamy marble countertops, while handmade off-white subway tiles run around the room. These selections are layered with rattan shades hanging above an apron-front sink and brushed brass hardware and lighting details for a classic and warm approach.

See more from Dwell Designed Construction at dwelldesignedconstruction.com.

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The adjacent living room carries many common themes from the kitchen and dining area, chief among them a love for a simple and neutral design. An array of wooden tables can be found alongside a leather sofa and a pair of cream-colored swivel armchairs for a relaxed vignette.

“It was difficult to imagine this space before we removed all the walls,” says Bledsoe. “Most of this light was divided between multiple rooms, so it was amazing to see how much brighter this space was after the remodel even though we didn’t alter any of the windows.”

Not only are the window casings original, but the plantation shutters also pay homage to the home’s earlier design, and their linear nature provides a striking duality with the wide planks used on the ceiling.

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Back toward the home’s entryway, a short hallway provides access to the master suite. Here, what was once a side porch has been transformed into an airy and bright bathroom with space to boot. Marble cloaks the wall-to-wall vanity, which features his-and-hers sinks resting under two hanging mirrors. The vanity’s chrome hardware is repeated in the bases of several wall sconces, as well as a faucet that is side-mounted to a soaking tub.

Nearby, a glass-front shower adds even more marble to the room and features a built-in bench and set of niches for extra functionality. Custom millwork runs around the periphery of the space and works to add a dose of character and charm while maintaining clean and simple lines.

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On the opposite side of the main floor is another space that was once a porch. The neutral tones and vivacious atmosphere seen in the rest of the home turn more moody in nature. This room is outfitted with personal touches including framed album covers and music posters, as well as an eclectic lineup of acoustic and electric guitars. Green River paint cloaks the walls, and one of the home’s original lighting fixtures hangs overhead.

Stone along the far wall is flanked by narrow shelving that houses records and books and accommodates a small fireplace and space for wood. The warm colors in the stone also complement that of the various textiles in the room such as the leather ottoman, fabric sofa, or checked armchair. The millwork in this room matches that of the master bath and is yet another elevated touch.

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“There’s always such a huge risk when you renovate an older home, especially one of this size where the family hasn’t lived in it yet. You never know what you are going to uncover, and there’s no precedent for how the family moves about the space,” explains Bledsoe. “That being said, there’s something incredibly rewarding about it because you get to see a space entirely transformed, and it really tests your creativity to make something beautiful and functional with parameters that have already been set by the home’s structure. Pulling off those challenges is always the most rewarding part of the build.”

Other suppliers: Cabinetry: Hitson Cabinets, Inc.│Counters: Granite and Marble Creations│Flooring: Millwood Specialty Flooring│Hardscaping and landscaping: Southern Roots Landscaping | Interior doors and trim: JB Millworks │Tile: daltile

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