Libby Barge wanted her family to use their backyard and basement, but needed a new vision for the 1920s home, which had a tiny deck with stairs to the yard.
Atlanta architect Norman D. Askins redesigned the back exterior, which changed how the family lives. Now, a circular staircase connects the terrace, which replaced the deck off the main floor, to a covered patio adjacent to the basement.
“To me, the most important thing we’ve done to the house is add that terrace on the top floor,” Askins said. “It just makes the house work.”
The renovated residence is on the April 22 Brookwood Hills Home Tour, a fundraiser for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
“The renovation we did on the back makes the house so functional, but still in keeping with its old charm,” Barge said.
Residents: Brooks and Libby Barge, and their children, Patrick, 4; Hunter, 3; and Whit, 10 months. They also have a dog, Avery. Brooks works in the finance industry.
Location: Atlanta’s Brookwood Hills neighborhood
Size: 5,000 square feet, four bedrooms, 4 1/2 baths
Year built/bought: Early 1920s/2013
Architectural style: American federal
Favorite architectural elements: Curved interior staircase, arched doorways, spiral outdoor staircase, and secret door that opens to what they believe was a speakeasy in the basement.
Design consultants: Norman D. Askins (architect), Lou Winship of WinSmith Designs (interior designer), Richard Anderson (landscape architect), Neal Gasaway Homes (contractor)
Renovations: In 2015, they renovated the basement, which has a playroom, TV and wet bar. Askins designed the spiral staircase from a new terrace level off the main floor to the covered patio below. In 2013, they updated the kitchen, working with contractor George Gerakitis. Other projects included a wet bar, laundry room, and master bath and closet redo. A barrel vault ceiling and windows enhanced the master bathroom. In the dining room, they replaced a bay window with iron doors.
Interior design style: Updated classic
Favorite interior design elements: The mix of traditional antiques and updated furniture. “We wanted to incorporate antiques that they had inherited in their family,” Winship said. “They didn’t want to let go of the dressier things.”
Favorite outdoor features: The deck and terrace, which lead to the newly designed backyard.
Resources: Furniture from Huff Harrington, Mrs. Howard, Ainsworth-Noah, 14th Street Antiques & Modern Home, Foxglove Antiques & Galleries, WebbMarsteller, Peridot, Ballard Designs, Hickory Chair, Lee Industries, Brown Jordan, Logan Gardens and RH. Artwork from Huff Harrington, Pryor Fine Art, Lagerquist Gallery, WebbMarsteller, Max and Co., Anne Irwin Fine Art. Rugs from Myers Carpet, Keivan Woven Arts and Designer Carpets. Most of the pillows are from Home Accent by Sudi.
Decor tip: “As much as I thought I wanted everything white and gray, I am so happy we didn’t shy away from using color throughout the house,” Libby said. “I think you can still achieve that fresh, clean look without giving up color.”