With an exterior inspired by traditional Southern colonial architecture, this North Chattanooga estate marries timeless elements with a livable design.
A grand foyer with black and white marble and a sweeping, curved staircase sets an elegant tone for this Southern estate owned by Randy and Pam Massingill. Outfitted with black and gold stair railings and a glitzy chandelier overhead, the entrance mixes gleaming accents with high ceilings and tall windows for a luxurious feel. And yet moving forward into the Massingill home, guests will find it to also be very approachable. After this impressive entrance, a sunny keeping room offers a relaxing retreat.
“I wanted a traditional, Southern home, but also a very livable one,” says Pam. “Since we often have friends over, we designed it to be comfortable, but still with a sophisticated look.”
Light cream-paneled walls make the keeping room feel bright and airy. Matching panels in the coffered ceiling lend continuity to the space. “This is my favorite room,” Pam explains. “I love how it’s open so the family can all be together while cooking, talking, or watching TV.”
The room’s focal point is a gas fireplace flanked by two built-in bookshelves. Drawers and enclosed cabinets underneath add extra storage. A sumptuous leather couch and chair offer inviting places to put your feet up. “We didn’t want people to think ‘I can’t sit there’ or ‘I can’t use that,’” Pam says. “Our goal was a feeling of accessibility.” Overhead, a ceiling fan circulates, providing a cool breeze and a low-country vibe.
Extending from the keeping room is a breakfast nook nestled alongside a bright bay window. Natural light filters in through white plantation shutters, while dark printed curtains add definition. “I wanted to incorporate this traditional feature of many older homes,” says Pam, of the window treatment. “I had them done over all the home’s doorways.”
A traditional oil painting hangs nearby. “It goes with the Southern traditional look and the old plantation homes I remember from my childhood,” explains Pam. On the opposite wall facing the kitchen is a small gallery with six botanical prints.
Plentiful storage space and a wide-ranging prep area make the kitchen a home cook’s dream. Unobstructed sightlines from the kitchen to the keeping room make guests and family feel close while meals are being prepared. The room continues the home’s creamy color scheme. Its off-white cabinets, backsplash, and walls are accented by crisp white crown molding. Neutral gray granite countertops keep the scheme light and provide a heavy-duty workspace, while the massive island countertop, made of one solid slab of granite, is the perfect place to set up a grand buffet during parties.
While it’s easy on the eyes, the kitchen’s special features – which include a cabinetry-concealed dishwasher, pantry, refrigerator, ice maker, and warming drawer are what make it a showpiece.
Storage includes deep drawers with adjustable pegs to fit items ranging from plates to mixing bowls. Built-in pantry shelving houses cooking essentials, while the bottom cabinetry conceals a retractable trash can. Large pots, pans, and appliances are stored within the hollow kitchen island. Appliances include a double convection oven and a built-in microwave. A gas cook top has a retractable range. Display areas keep the kitchen from being too “all work and no play.” “It’s so neutral and clean and airy looking,” Pam explains. “I love the simple, elegant, timeless look.”The opulent dining room, which features show-stopping drapes and a rich wooden table, was designed with large dinner groups in mind. “I wanted plenty of space for a large table,” explains Pam. With its gold and black draperies and coordinating throw rug, the space feels both comfortable and regal. A shaded chandelier with crystal droplets adds extra sparkle, while an attached cherry wood butler’s pantry with a black marble top streamlines serving for a crowd. With built-in cabinets and display areas filled with fine china, it keeps dinner party essentials within easy reach.
Also on the main floor is the formal living room, which features regal tones and sink-in-your-seat furniture. A gas fireplace shared with the adjacent keeping room helps the space feel connected. “We love the open floor plan,” Pam says. “It allows us to stay connected to guests during parties.”
Red silk curtains with gold tassels add opulence and coordinate with a scarlet damask sofa. Black and gold club chairs strike an established note, while a vintage wooden secretary desk harkens back to an old traditional look.
The room’s real wood mantle provides a backdrop for glowing sconces and an oil painting. During the holidays, all mantles throughout the home are transformed with Christmas cheer. “I love decorating with Christmas lights, so we made sure to have outlets near any mantle or fireplace,” Pam says.
In the master bedroom, a fireplace at the room’s center sanctions off a separate sitting room. Opened to both sides, it fills the room with warmth.
“We’ve mounted a TV over the fireplace on the bedroom side, but on the other side we like to have stockings hung in front of a fire at Christmastime,” says Pam. “I love changing it according to the seasons.” A wall of windows in the master bedroom provides views of the grassy backyard, and doors in the sitting area lead to the back deck. High-end wool and linen carpet adds a luxurious look.
An en suite his-and-her bathroom and walk-in closet provide supreme functionality. Travertine-tiled floors and a deep Jacuzzi set off the space, along with a walk-in shower. Faux-textured walls add a lavish feel. The walk-in closet features drawers and shelves for accessories and offers ample space to hang clothes. A full-length mirror reflects light from the closet’s windows.
Outside, the home’s exterior is a rich red brick coupled with bold white columns. Wooden shutters on hinges provide both form and function, while well-pruned hedges blanket the perimeter. “I wanted the massive colonial columns,” Pam says.
With a traditional Southern interior and a stately colonial façade, this home blends style elements for a cohesive look that harkens back to the past without sacrificing the comforts of today.