When planning her dream home in St. Simons’ Frederica community, Elizabeth Brunson enlisted the help of one of her oldest friends—Atlanta interior designer Liz Williams. “Elizabeth and I met in fourth grade and were fast friends,” says Williams. “I’m familiar with her style, and we like a lot of the same things, so working together was a breeze.” Elizabeth’s husband, Trey, also enlisted the help of a close friend—Chip Evans of Evans & Varnadoe Construction—to build the home.
The Brunsons had owned the lot for eight years, waiting for the development to mature before beginning to build. The goal of the team, which also included architect Thad Truett, was to create a home that worked for the present and beyond.
“Our sons are almost grown, but we built with an expectation that one day they would marry and bring their families home, so we even included a guesthouse,” says Elizabeth.
For the exteriors, Truett looked to classic Southern vernaculars. “There is some Lowcountry and Creole influence, with references to the Louisiana architect A. Hays Town. It’s a hybrid,” he says. “I wanted the house to look like it had been here forever, and think it conveys that,” adds Elizabeth.
The home’s layout included spaces tailored to meet the Brunsons’ needs—a designated closet for sporting and fishing equipment; a room for watching Georgia football; a screened porch with a fireplace and custom cooking area; and even a dog shower in the laundry room. The home’s overall style skews classic, says Williams, with discrete nods to the location such as the tabby fireplace on the porch and the pecky cypress in the study. “I grew up in Atlanta and love a more traditional look, nothing trendy or too modern,” says Elizabeth. “I also spent many happy times at my grandparents’ Lake Rabun home, and I wanted the house to reflect that lifestyle as well as the coast.”
The result of this team work is rooms that feel casual yet sophisticated, with a pretty palette woven throughout. “Elizabeth loves blues and greens and those colors appear in every space and work perfectly with the setting,” says Williams. To achieve a sense of comfort, the designer also incorporated a mix of antiques and newer pieces in each room, along with botanical fabrics, unique wallpapers and beautiful rugs. “Liz understood me in every regard,” says Elizabeth. “Everything is executed beautifully. The flow between the rooms is seamless.”