Estate of Grace

A 1920s Neel Reid classic receives a stylish refresh at the hands of Nancy Izlar, D. Stanley Dixon & John Howard

An English Regency gem on 3 acres in Buckhead was poised for a makeover. While the home’s existing architectural details—moldings, palladian windows and a grand rounded staircase—were noteworthy, they remained rooted in the past. Enter a talented team of collaborators who were ready to bring the house in line with a modern lifestyle: architect D. Stanley Dixon, interior designer Nancy Izlar, landscape architect John Howard and kitchen designer Cynthia Ziegler.

One initial and critical design decision involved a reworking of the approach and parking areas. As was typical of a house built in the 1920s, the home’s parking area was on the rear and occupied space that could be better put to use.  “Addressing the hardscape was critical to both the functionality and the aesthetics of the project,” says Howard. “The approach and circulation were reinvented and designed on an axis with the facade.” A rear addition houses a garage on the lower level, while space for overflow parking was carved out as well. Howard also created an elliptical expanse of green, which softens the back of the home.

The house itself was in need of more cohesive space, so Dixon added two wings that blend seamlessly with the rest of the home. “When we implemented the stucco on the wings, we added colored pigment into the mix, so it would have a weathered patina,” says the architect, who had worked on the house in a small way 10 years ago. “We added this stucco veneer to the entire exterior to blend the old with the new.”

Meanwhile, the house also required family-friendly updates, so Izlar had it completely gutted. The addition of a large opening between the kitchen and breakfast room allows light to flow between the two spaces. “We also enlarged the master suite and master closets by incorporating existing space from the left side of the house into the design,” says Dixon.

Izlar, who had known the clients for years before becoming involved in the renovation, infused the interiors with a lighter touch. In the dining room, the designer replaced a dated, persimmon damask fabric with an Arena Design wallcovering that “has wonderful colors and movement, and the black trim was painted and glazed, instantly brightening the space.” A larger, 1840s English gesso-and-carved pine mantel replaced the original, creating a focal point that complements the wallpaper’s warm tones.

When it came to furniture, the designer essentially had a blank slate. “The family was moving from a bungalow in Brookwood Hills, and their existing furniture did not fit with the scale of this house,” explains Izlar. The result: a home that comes to life with elegance and subtle brushes of color, enhancing the inherent beauty of the original architecture. All thanks to the work of the design team who respected a classic while giving it a second act for decades to come.

ARCHITECT D. Stanley Dixon, D. Stanley Dixon Architect, (404) 574-1430; INTERIOR DESIGN Nancy Izlar, Nancy Izlar Interiors, (404) 317-3195; LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT John Howard, Howard Design Studio, (404) 876-7051; KITCHEN DESIGN Cynthia Ziegler, Cynthia Ziegler, Inc., (404) 313-1823;