Music, heirlooms inspire Decatur Craftsman’s decor

A rocking chair and album covers make folk singer Caroline Herring’s kitchen a welcoming space for meal prep and conversation.

Her husband’s parents had the same rocking chair in the kitchen of their home in Mississippi, where the couple grew up.

“When we moved here, that seemed like a great space for it. It is a good place to sit and talk,” she said.

PHOTOS: See more of this Decatur home here

Herring and her husband were living only six blocks away when they bought their new Decatur home. They were attracted to its sloped roof, porches, and open kitchen and den that makes it easy to entertain.

“Craftsman homes are lovely without being overly stately,” Herring said.


Residents: Joseph Crespino and Caroline Herring, their children, Carrie and Sam, and dog, Teddy. Crespino is a history professor at Emory and author; Herring is a musician and folk singer with seven albums who also serves as an ESL teacher.

Location: Decatur

Size: 2,900 square feet, four bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths

Year built/bought: 2015

Builder: Patrick Lockman of Lockman Homebuilding Co.

Architectural style: Craftsman

Favorite architectural elements: Front porch and bookshelves in the library/music room. “Joe and I both grew up with wall-to-wall bookshelves in our homes. I showed his builders a picture from a magazine, and they did it precisely to the photograph,” said Herring, who has filled the shelves with Southern history and literature, collections of folk songs and hymn books, and even Elvis biographies.

Design consultant: Caroline Cooley

Interior design style: Traditional

Favorite interior design elements: Elements from the arts and crafts movement, such as Morris & Co. wallpaper designed by William Morris. “To have a Craftsman home, it is really wonderful to have a bit of him represented,” Herring said.

Favorite furniture: Family antiques are featured throughout the home. They include a secretary that belonged to Crespino’s parents and a guitar that belonged to Herring’s grandfather in the library/music room. Herring also loves the gold mirror that belonged to her mother, which hangs in their dining room, and a Grundig console radio/reel-to-reel and record player that her aunt bought in Germany in the 1950s.

Favorite artwork: Pieces by Mississippi painter Walter Anderson, a collection of McCartys Pottery, also made in Mississippi, and album covers by Alice Pattullo and Carlyle Wolfe.

Favorite outdoor elements: Front and back porches. The back porch is screened in, which protects against insects, while the “front porch is absolutely quintessential Southern, and it’s big enough to hang out there with friends and enjoy,” she said.

Resources: Lighting from Circa and Trinity Mercantile and Design. Furniture from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Authenteak and Finders Keepers Antiques. Appliances by Wolf and Sub-Zero.

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