The house, which is situated on a corner lot, had an awkward sliver of a side yard that was not easily accessible from the front or back of the house. To reclaim that space, Andrew and his wife, Elizabeth Sears, repositioned the fence and built a new porch off the side of the living room. One of Andrew’s more unique innovations is a sandbox built into a niche on the deck; when not in use, it’s shielded by a lift-up door. He also devised a valve system to re-direct water from the children’s baths to a garden hose, so the family can water the grass and trees without waste.
Artist Andrew Crawford designed a forged iron gate for his home’s front entrance, its intricate design complementing the picket fence without overpowering it.
When the couple purchased the home in 1997, the front porch was screened in and cumbersome to access. Elizabeth took out the screen a decade ago, but the couple finally finished the look last year by adding stylish brick steps.
The family’s bright new kitchen is the work of Charles T. Orr and Krogh-Built Cabinetry, who together delivered the pared-down design the couple was after. At the threshold, a salvaged pine door, retro-fitted to a sliding frame, separates the mudroom from the kitchen. When open, it expands the view of the sleek Calcutta Gold marble countertops that span the perimeter, appearing once again in the laundry room just beyond. Custom fabricated marble countertops, Stone Professionals. Vintage utilitarian stools.
A primitive farm table is one of the family’s favorite gathering spots. Elizabeth acquired it from her parents, who purchased it in Athens when her father was studying law at the University of Georgia. The nearby shutters, also culled from her father’s house, let in much more light than draperies would have.
The kitchen was formerly the first room you entered at the back of the house, but now a mudroom, partitioned off by a sliding door, provides the perfect landing for children and pets as well as Andrew, who uses it as a pit stop for removing his work boots.
The living room is spare but verdant, thanks to soothing shades of blue and green. A pair of settees, which once belonged to Elizabeth’s grandmother, now finds peaceful repose in aquamarine. The doors on either side of a pair of caramel-colored armchairs were once windows, but the couple had them converted to soften the boundaries between indoors and out. In the spring, it’s wonderful to open up the screen doors and let in fresh air,” says Andrew. Even closed, a door just feels different from a window. Custom steel table with limestone top.
Contributing to the unfussy country style are early American pieces, like an antique wooden dough bowl and a Shaker-style ladderback chair. The curved iron sconces are Crawford originals.
In the family room, built-in storage keeps clutter to an absolute minimum. Bookshelves were built where an awkward wall of doors had once been, and a triangular cabinet under the stairwell allows the children’s toys to be stowed away easily. Leather club chairs, Scott Antique Market. The cricket table belonged to Andrew’s parents.
In Tuesday“s room, time-weathered heirlooms“like the antique upholstered Italian bed and 18th-century painted Italian table“are as much at home as anywhere else in the house. Any scattered toys can quickly be scooped into natural-weave baskets.
Small farmhouse-style closets in the master quarters speak to the lack of materialism that the family finds so fundamental. All of the bedrooms are situated on the top floor of the house, so the children are always within earshot at night. “I like that it“s not too big,” says Elizabeth. “We“re aware of each other all the time, which is good.” Window treatments, Willard Pitt Curtain Makers.
In the master bedroom, the couple“s custom veneered bed was a gift to each other for their wedding in 1998.
Edward“s bed is fondly referred to as Uncle Fontaine“s bed; it once belonged to Elizabeth“s relative Fontaine Weyman, namesake to Fontaine“s Oyster House in Virginia-Highland.
The dogs are as much a part of life around the house as the family itself. Andrew has had Bentley, the Jack Russell, since he was in college at the Rhode Island School of Design. The younger one, Cletus, is an English pointer.
For acclaimed local metalsmith Andrew Crawford, striking a good balance is essential. He puts a lot of stock in the rewards of separating work and home life—a tenet that’s evident in the circa-1920 mill house he shares with his wife, Elizabeth Sears, and their young children, Edward and Tuesday, in a quiet neighborhood on the bustling Westside. Located less than a quarter mile from his metalworking studio, Andrew T. Crawford Ironworks, it’s an ideal place for the artist to shed the daily demands of his work, tossing off the gritty and cluttered character of his shop for the purity and quietude of its idyllic opposite. But the process of making this home such a refuge was no easy task; it was a labor of love that took 12 years—and two renovations—to complete.
Working first with John Duncan of Moon Brothers Inc., and later with architect Charles T. Orr and Pal Duke of Pal Duke Construction Inc., the couple restored the floors, transformed the layout and took the entire footprint of the house up, adding a second floor and doubling the overall square footage to make room for their growing family. While once a mass of walls and doors, the house is now an open, airy abode with a commanding staircase at its center.
Still, it’s the pristine palette enveloping this space that leaves you with the strongest impression. “I don’t love color,” says Elizabeth, turning her gaze to the walls and ceilings. “I’m drawn to white because it’s clean, simple and easy to live with.” She went through almost a dozen shades before selecting Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White. “I picked it because it was the absolute plainest white I could find,” she explains. “I couldn’t handle all of the pink-whites, blue-whites and dowdy grays.”
That’s not to say the house is without hints of color. A few carefully chosen heirlooms, locally sourced antiques and works on canvas by Elizabeth’s mother, Atlanta artist Helen Durant, act as beautiful grace notes to the otherwise austere scheme. Andrew’s artistry can be found in subtle touches as well: a signature stair rail, curvy iron sconces, fireplace andirons, a copper fountain and a decorative front gate. The steel-and-limestone coffee table in the living room is one of his principal furniture designs—and might have been Elizabeth’s favorite element in the home, if it weren’t for the vintage six-panel doors.
“The one in my office was original but I wanted them all over the house, so I salvaged the rest,” she says. Duke and Duncan took the diverse collection and made it work, stripping, finishing and retro-fitting the doors to their new frames, in turn creating the standout architectural feature of the house.
In all, it’s a pared-down approach to living that exists in stark contrast to the lush details of many Atlanta homes—which is exactly what this couple loves about it. Its unspoiled, authentic vibe is also right in step with the work of Andrew, who is known for his love of basic materials. “What I like about this house is that the floors are wood, the fireplace is brick, and the furniture is wood,” he says with a chuckle. “I like to let the materials be what they are.”
Moon Brothers Inc. Architects
1662 McLendon Ave.
Charles T. Orr Jr., AIA, LEED AP
Pal Duke Construction Inc.
Krogh-Built Cabinetry & Millwork
164 Milton Ave.