Streamlining Style

The Johnson-Koch Home

When Marcy Johnson and David Koch began looking for a property where they could beat the Florida heat, the duo immediately thought of Chattanooga.

By Christina Cannon / Photography by Creative Revolver

“I had some family here, and we really enjoyed the changes of the seasons during the middle part of the year,” explains Johnson. When the couple’s realtor showed them their future home in the fall of 2020, it was as if everything was just falling into place.

“We actually saw the home before it ever went on the market. We knocked on the door and said that we were interested and asked the owner to not sell it to anyone else,” says Koch. “We are into the mid-century modern style, but a lot of the homes in the area would have needed some substantial work to bring them up to where they needed to be, not to mention the maintenance that comes with older homes. This home had just been renovated and was essentially move-in ready, which was a big appeal.”

And just like that, the couple had found a home where they could bring their mid-century modern vision to life without the time commitment of a brand-new build or a renovation.

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Marcy Johnson and David Koch

 

Upon approaching this two-story ranch home, visitors immediately get a sense of the distinguished style that lies just beyond the front door. Linear gray brick is accentuated with pops of black that come from the window frames and the railing of a two-tiered porch. The rich wooden stairs and decking give way to concrete just before the vibrant red door, which plays off of two red Adirondack chairs tucked into one corner.

The entire home is nestled in a thicket of woods with wildlife right around every corner. “It’s nice to sit outside and just read sometimes,” says Johnson. “During the summer months, there are a lot of fireflies, which are really beautiful, and there are also a lot of birds around. It’s amazing how often we will see turkey or deer being this close to downtown.”

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Passing through the threshold, guests are instantly transported to the heart of the home where an open concept unifies the living room, kitchen, and dining room. The same pops of red found in the exterior elements emerge in the kitchen through items thoughtfully placed on the L-shaped island and the open shelving along the perimeter. 

“Part of what we love about the mid-century modern style is that it can be simple but also elegant,” explains Koch. “Having clean lines and an uncluttered feel to spaces allow for the individual items that you have on display to stand out. It keeps design and décor from becoming too busy or complicated.”

Contributing to that very simplicity are white quartz countertops that work with the perimeter cabinetry and white walls to keep the room airy and bright. Chrome hardware repeats the lustrous quality found in the stainless-steel appliances and the base of several backless black leather barstools. 

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“It’s sort of a ritual for us … Every night we’ll sit down without our phones or the TV on and just eat and talk.” – Marcy Johnson

 

Steps away are the home’s dining and living rooms. “We always eat at the dining room table,” remarks Johnson. “It’s sort of a ritual for us, and we like to make it a more formal event. Every night we’ll sit down without our phones or the TV on and just eat and talk.”

Nearby, an energetic vignette is comprised of a cream-colored leather sofa and two tufted Barcelona chairs in the home’s signature red color. The real crowning glory of this space, however, is the multi-colored geometric area rug that served as the inspiration for many of the other patterns and colors found in this part of the home. 

“When we first started decorating, I knew exactly what I wanted – but I couldn’t find it. I actually reached out to a mid-century modern Facebook group and posted a sample photo of a rug that I liked but wasn’t quite right, and I’ll be darned if someone didn’t find the perfect rug and send me a link to where I could buy it,” says Johnson. “It made me realize what a great community it is. We all love this particular style, and everyone is very supportive and nice.”

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Downstairs, the duo created yet another seating area that takes their love for all things mid-century modern and combines it with another style they adore: tiki. Blues, oranges, and pale yellows can be found in a mural along the back wall that depicts an Easter Island head alongside abstract shapes. These same colors are utilized in a rug that rests under another leather sofa, while a fabric-covered Barcelona chair provides a bit of continuity with the main floor of the home. Botanicals both real and illustrated dot the space and add a down-to-earth flair. 

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Back on the main floor, the master suite sports rich primary colors that travel from the textiles cloaking a king-size bed up the wall and onto several additional pieces of art. On the opposite side of a large picture window is a painting of a Japanese maple in Portland Japanese Gardens that serves as a sweet reminder of where the couple got engaged. 

Underneath the painting sits a chair matching the one in the downstairs tiki room, and accents of black – from side tables and window casings to the ceiling fan and picture frames – make the colors in this room appear even brighter. 

Carrying on into the en suite, guests are met with wooden planks painted in a rich blue that comprise a statement wall and serve as the foundation for the room’s artwork and textiles. A floating dual vanity features cabinetry matching that of the kitchen, and the countertops are topped with the same milky white quartz. 

The sleek metal pulls correspond with the hardware in the shower, and this part of the room dons a calming palette of whites and grays. Small mosaic square tiles run along the floor and encompass the back wall of a niche, providing an added dose of fun. 

Regardless of where you turn in this playfully stylish home, a streamlined and simplistic approach lets the objects that fill it shine with purpose and intention. Patterns and colors do a delicate dance, and all who enter feel authentically at ease.

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