With its stepped profile and ornamental reliefs, the Evans-Cucich-Hayden house, built in 1934, is believed to be Atlanta’s only Art Deco residence. “Like many admirers, we knew the home was one-of-a-kind,” says Parker Blanchard, who purchased the then-dilapidated structure with his wife, McKenzie, in 2013, and enlisted architect J. Ryan Duffey for its restoration.
Because the existing windows and doors were damaged beyond repair, Ryan chose replacements that were consistent with the home’s age and style. The terrazzo floors are original to the house and were laid only at the front, where guests were traditionally received.
The front-facing rooms, originally designed to be more formal, feature stylized wall reliefs. “Art Deco architecture is about playing with crisp shapes,” says Ryan of the aesthetic.
The living room was painted crisp white to emphasize the original architecture. Striking a 21st-century note are a pair of bentwood upholstered chairs from Bungalow Classic and a metal cocktail table from Holland & Company. A rug from Moattar softens the terrazzo floor.
“The Art Deco architecture acts like a piece of art, so we allowed it to take the place of art,” says designer Nancy Duffey, who treated the entrance hall to clean-lined pieces, such as a round table from B.D. Jeffries, an Eve and Staron rug from and a Holland & Company chair.
Located in the former kitchen, the study was painted gray to give it a cozier, more masculine feel.
A new addition, the family room was designed with a young family in mind. Chairs, Scout for the Home. Basket, pillows, table lamp and Carrie Penley painting, B.D. Jeffries. Armchair throw, Holland & Sherry. Iron-and-glass table, Noah J.
The dining room retained its terrazzo floor and ziggurat-style fireplace but was renovated to open up to the kitchen. Dining table, chairs and Clay McLaurin watercolor, Holland & Company. Stemware and stools, B.D. Jeffries. Rug, Moattar. Easel, Noah J. Fire tools, Parc Monceau. Vases, Max & Co.
“We wanted everything to look like it might have been original,” says designer Nancy Duffey, who selected classic bell-jar lanterns and a brass faucet for the kitchen, both of which are in keeping with the age of the house. Platter, B.D. Jeffries. Chairs, Holland & Company. —
The former study became a new kitchen, where details like the plaster hood reference the original architecture. Chairs, Holland & Company. Platter, B.D. Jeffries. Copper pot, Foxglove Antiques.
Nancy selected Arnitex’s geometric-patterned sheer fabric for the guest bedroom draperies, which allow light to filter into the serene space.
The master bathroom was inspired by a photograph of an all-white, marble-clad bath that McKenzie loved; the Art Deco–style sconces are a nod to the architecture.
Although the ornate stair railing is original to the house, the elaborate crystal chandelier, which is 26 feet tall and weighs over 2,000 pounds, was a later addition. This chandelier, once displayed in a Manhattan hotel, was purchased in the ’80s by previous homeowner A. Stephen Cucich, who installed it in the stair hall. Later removed from the premises, the chandelier was recently procured by the Blanchards, who returned it to its rightful place.
The Greek-key and floral reliefs on the façade speak to the theatrics of Art Deco style.
Carson McElheney was tasked with overhauling the landscaping, which includes this boxwood parterre garden. Other than a 1,500-square-foot addition, the house’s 1934 footprint is intact.
Few houses in Buckhead have been the source of such endless fascination as the Evans-Cucich house, built in 1934 and named for its previous owners. Considered to be Atlanta’s only Art Deco residence, it has captivated neighbors and passersby for decades, while rumors of its mysterious underground tunnel, thought to lead to the opposite side of the street, have been the fodder of neighborhood lore for generations.
But by the time Parker Blanchard and his wife, McKenzie, bought the house in 2013, the structure was in disrepair. Undeterred by the home’s ailments and dazzled by its architecture, the couple embarked on a major restoration of the house, assembling an expert team to help bring the house back to its former glory, all while gently tweaking it for the needs of a 21st-century family.
Serving as architect for the project was Ryan Duffey, whose enthusiasm for the house equaled that of the homeowners. “The house presented an awesome look at the past and an awesome look forward,” says Ryan. “How could I not get obsessed professionally?” After securing the long-leaking roof and addressing the significant water damage it had permitted, Ryan focused on preserving what was still intact. Although rotted doors and windows required replacement, most of the original fixtures and hardware were retained. Even the curious exterior finish—not limestone, as many assume it to be, but rather a painted concrete veneer over brick—was refreshed with a new coat of paint.
Equal to the team’s desire to preserve this architectural gem was the need to adapt the residence to a modern lifestyle. Adamant about maintaining the integrity of the house, Ryan retained the more formal layout of the front of the home while restructuring the rear to create more casual living spaces. And in a move that runs counter to today’s ubiquitous supersize renovations, the homeowners and Ryan decided to increase the square footage only by about 1,500 square feet.
Also bridging old with new are the interiors, for which the couple enlisted Ryan’s wife, designer Nancy Duffey. The crisp Art Deco architecture prompted a mostly white color palette and clean-lined furnishings, which notably lack pattern. But while the decor might be pared down, comfort is not lacking. “The homeowners did not want the house to feel like a museum,” says Nancy. “They wanted it to be livable and a home for a family.”
Although the Blanchards recently sold the historic property, Parker remains proud of what he and his team accomplished—so much so that he renamed the residence Evans-Cucich-Hayden, in memory of his late twin brother, Hayden, who shared his sibling’s passion for this singular home.
INTERIOR DESIGN Nancy Duffey, Scout for the Home. (404) 816-2325; scoutforthehome.com. ARCHITECT Ryan Duffey, J. Ryan Duffey Architect, (404) 808-7884; jryanduffey.com. LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT Carson McElheney, Carson McElheney Landscape Architecture & Design, (404) 467-1690; carsonmcelheney.com BUILDER Tate Builders & Assicoates, Inc., (404) 843-3030; tatebuildersinc.com