Traditional Italian Trimmings

Premier Living

By Christina Davenport | Photography by Daniel Neuhoff/Creative Revolver

After spending several years in Salt Lake City, Brenda and Larry Sargent were ready for a homecoming. The duo had spent the better part of three decades in the Scenic City before moving out West, but it wasn’t long before they were back in the Chattanooga area.

the sargents

Brenda & Larry Sargent

“It wasn’t at all like the South,” says Larry. “The people weren’t as friendly, and the weather can really get to you after a while.”

Yearning to be on Southern soil once again, the Sargents began looking for a place that offered up privacy and land, packaged all in a convenient location.

“We also needed a home that was big enough that it could fit all of our furniture,” laughs Brenda.

The end result was a traditional 11,000-square-foot home where ornate details and intricate craftsmanship are around every corner. Starting with the home’s lavish exterior, a multitude of materials are combined to form a one-of-a-kind façade. Brick details are woven in among the home’s stacked stone, while wooden shutters and shake siding offer a more organic feel.

exuberant dining hall with antique furniture

Inside the home, guests will find many of the same materials used on the exterior. For starters, a formal dining room to the left of the foyer is set off by stately columns which feature detailed millwork and stacked stone bases. The remainder of the room boasts white brick and elaborate trim, which provides a stark contrast to the blue gray ceiling and nearby walls.

In the center of the room hangs an antique, candle-style chandelier and under it, a dining table capable of seating eight.

“When we first bought this home, it had a style that was totally different than what we like. It was very country, and our furniture has more of a traditional Italian style,” explains Larry. “The intricate detail and craftsmanship that style has really appeals to me. The more you look at a piece like our dining table, the more you begin to notice all of the inlays and nuances.”

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bright game room with beautiful artwork, antique furniture, and piano

living room with stone chimney, tall ceiling, and antique furniture

With a semi-open concept floorplan, accessing the living room is easy. Guests can cross over a thoroughfare to find themselves in the heart of the living room where they can begin to appreciate the full scale of the home through the room’s towering ceilings. Embellished woodworking and stacked stone once again works it way into this room, and layered on top, is the Sargents’ traditional Italian style.

Pops of rich red and glimmering gold dial up the opulence, while a pair of leather wingback armchairs and a leather topped ottoman add another texture to the mix. Perched on tables and tucked into shelves are plenty of mementos with stories just waiting to be told.

“Most everything in our house has some significance to it,” says Larry. “Either we’ve had it in different areas of the country or we bought it for a special reason or something. A lot of the furniture and décor you see in the house has been with us for a long time and holds a special place in our hearts.”

Another room which holds a lot of memories is the game room located on the top floor of the home. Here, a pool table can be easily converted to a ping pong table, and several seating areas and a wet bar make sure to prioritize fun and connectivity.

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italian-style kitchen with arched stone alcove, granite countertops, and porcelain pottery

Back on the main floor, a threshold in the great room takes visitors past a breakfast nook and into the kitchen. Commanding attention is an arched-stone alcove that houses the range. The tile backsplash features a basket weave picture frame detail, and black, furniture-style cabinetry is distressed, giving the space some old-world charm, while a set of lantern sconces doubles down on the aesthetic.

Steps away from range is the island which inverts the cabinetry and countertop colors. However, continuity is still achieved through the repetition of materials. Granite countertops are a durable selection, and mixed metal hardware contributes to the eclectic nature of the home.

In this room, many of the warmer décor pieces have been traded with items sporting a variety of blue tones. From candles and decanters to porcelain pottery, these objects contribute to the storied nature of the Sargent home.

Rounding out the room is a suite of stainless-steel appliances and perimeter cabinetry that matches the same wood used for the living room mantel and TV frame.

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Also on the main floor is the master suite. Here, a sleigh bed provides another great example of the artistry found in the Italian furniture making that the Sargents so dearly adore. A pair of half-moon nightstands complement the frame while even more elegance is added to the room through a tray ceiling and beaded chandelier.

This entire room is cloaked in a creamy white paint which carries through to the spacious ensuite. His-and-hers vanities line the right of the room while additional storage and a makeup area are mirrored on the left.

A bump out at the far end of the room features a drop-in soaking tub which is the true pièce de résistance. Three large picture windows are topped with radius windows and outfitted with plantation shutters in a setup that allows for both natural light and privacy. Peppered throughout the space are golden accents that, when paired with the heated marble floors, perpetuate a feeling of luxury.

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While the majority of the Sargent home imbues a more traditional and refined style, the bottom floor is much more causal. With easy access to the home’s sparkling pool, this space has been designed to mimic a beachfront oasis and make out-of-towners comfortable.

In addition to several guest rooms, a movie theater, and a home gym, this space also features a full kitchen, dining area with bar, and a large living area. Powder blue paint wraps the walls, and nautical touches are scattered throughout. The dining room can easily accommodate seven, as can the leather sectional in the living space. A nearby hanging day bed is a family favorite and is perfect for a quick nap after a day spent basking in the sun.

“The bottom floor was really designed for entertaining during the summer,” says Brenda. “Both of our kids live in Florida so when they come visit with their families we want it to feel like home.

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