East Lake tour home remade for modern living with pool, pool house

Dragonflies on the ceiling — actually a wallpaper — and a spot for a pool helped Ashley Derrick view one of the oldest residences in Atlanta’s historic East Lake neighborhood in a new light.

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“The main room that took my breath away was the dining room, and just the light that was coming through the windows, and also the wallpaper,” she said.

The foundation and roof needed repairs, though, and one bedroom only could be accessed through another bedroom. Derrick and Alison Grounds refurbished the bungalow and transformed it for today with larger rooms and a poolside retreat. Their house is on the Sept. 9-10 East Lake Tour of Homes.

“It’s a different home to be on the tour because you have, yes, a 1915 Craftsman that has modern amenities. Then you walk out on the back and you see this incredible modern pool house, but it still matches quite well,” Derrick said.


Residents: Ashley Derrick and Alison Grounds, and their dogs, Moby, Little Girl and Roux, and cat, Pinkman. Derrick is a real estate agent with Keller Knapp and Grounds is managing partner for Troutman Sanders eMerge.

Location: Atlanta’s East Lake neighborhood

Size: About 2,500 square feet, two bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, plus a pool house

Year built/bought: 1915/2009

Architectural style: Craftsman

Favorite architectural elements: Coffered ceilings, original inlaid oak floors, original windows, granite fireplaces, as well as the original blue tile surround in the guest bedroom, original clawfoot tub and front porch.

Renovations: A whole house renovation, which included repairing the foundation and roof, was completed in 2010. The home had a small kitchen and no true master bedroom, so they converted one of the original three bedrooms into a master bath and closet. A kitchen, mudroom with dog shower, den and screened porch were added on. In 2016, they added a pool and pool house with landscaping. The renovations and additions cost more than $400,000.

Project consultants: Architect Eric Rawlings, GreeneHead Construction, Bennett Custom Pools, Core Landscape, Plants Creative Landscapes and Wallace Bryan of Trinity Mercantile and Design

Interior design style: Eclectic

Favorite interior design elements: Dragonfly wallpaper and original chandelier in the dining room, mid-century furniture, reclaimed barn wood island and bar.

Favorite outdoor elements: The pool and pool house. “One of the things that I wanted to have, along with, of course, the pool and the pool house, is great landscaping, because I am a bird watcher and love birds,” Derrick said. “It makes you feel like you’re almost at a lake house.”

Resources: Furniture from Scott Antique Market, Kudzu Antiques + Modern, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, AllModern.com, Intaglia Home Collection, Frontgate and Ikea, and Rejuvenation Lighting and Schoolhouse Electric fixtures.

Decor tip: Purchase original art from neighborhood festivals. “One of the things we love about Atlanta is going to festivals. Bringing some of that into our home was important,” Grounds said. “Hopefully that contributes to the unique feel of coming to our home.”

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