Historic Mid Mod Revival

The Walker Home

By Christina Davenport

Photography by Beacon Imagery

 

Every time the weekend rolled around, it wasn’t uncommon for the Walker family to spend their days rushing to and from downtown Chattanooga. So when a home came on the market in the energetic neighborhood of Fort Wood, it provided the perfect opportunity for the family to be closer to where they lived their lives.

“We really liked the idea of living downtown and the convenience it offered. We had also heard a lot about how great this neighborhood was, and it sounded really intriguing,” says Karen Walker. 

In 2019, Karen and her husband Dan pulled the trigger on the purchase of a quaint 1910 craftsman home that afforded their family of four both the convenience and community they were looking for.

“We’ve really enjoyed living in this area, and everyone has been so inviting. We were invited to our first neighborhood party before we even moved in,” recalls Karen. “We also do something called Friday Two where on the second Friday of each month, a different house hosts the entire neighborhood. We have about 40 regulars, and it’s really neat to see all the different styles and the various projects people are working on.”

Entryway and stairs with fun pattern.

 

The lively spirit of the Fort Wood neighborhood is everywhere you turn in the Walker home. A set of French doors to the right of the foyer provides access to the Walkers’ living room. Here, a deep L-shaped sectional rests on a colorful, albeit muted, rug. Several antique pieces, such as a rocking chair and nearby piano, offer a more traditional touch, but when paired with bold textiles and artwork, the entire scene begins to take on a more transitional nature. 

“When it comes to my aesthetic, I try to not overcomplicate it. I just choose things I like and hope they’ll work together,” explains Karen. “I really just want a space that is cozy and warm. I want a kind of house that you want to wake up in on Christmas morning, and I think we’ve achieved that.”

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On the other side of the foyer is the family’s dining room. A sleek, round dining table rests in the middle of the room and is surrounded by six white chairs. A Sputnik light fixture hangs just overhead, and several buffets and sideboards in the room double down on the clean lines. These elements complement each other and lend themselves to the mid-century modern style. Steps away, a suite of house plants soaking up light in a bay window adds another layer to the overall design, and the entire space playfully utilizes color. The room’s white trim pops against the Naval walls, and accents of yellow and green round out the palette.

 

Dining room at Mid Mod Historic Home in Chattanooga

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“I enjoy working on projects, and I gravitate toward buying a house that needs a bit of love and just making it my own.” –Karen Walker

After passing through a charming arch-top door, guests find themselves in the kitchen, which again artfully combines color and texture. The kitchen island is cloaked in Tempe Star paint and is topped with countertops comprised of concrete and black enamel. White upper cabinetry keeps the room light, while several live-edge floating shelves boast a more laid-back personality. Sleek hardware and a linear pendant light pay homage to the mid-century modern style, and the simplicity of the shaker-style cabinetry reinforces the motif. 

“We are really grateful that the previous owners did a complete renovation. It meant that we could come in and just update surface elements to reflect our style,” says Karen. “It’s been really fun to play around in that way. I enjoy working on projects, and I gravitate toward buying a house that needs a bit of love and just making it my own.”

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On the top floor of the home, the master suite is a spacious respite from the world. Sporting an eloquent lineup of cool colors, this room exemplifies a sense of peace and tranquility. A queen-size, tufted bedframe rests in between a set of curtains, and just beyond the foot of the bed are two blue velvet armchairs. 

“We’ve really started to utilize this area,” says Karen. “Having fireplaces is new for us, and I love how cozy it makes the house feel. As our kids get older, we anticipate using this space even more. We can come up here and have some time to ourselves while letting the kids take over the living room.”

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Regardless of what room you find yourself in within the Walker home, it’s sure to radiate joy and love. With a distinct sense of style, this historic home puts quality time with loved ones at the forefront and welcomes visitors with open arms.

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