Labor of Love

While some homeowners crave a new build, others see the beauty in resurrecting a structure from the past. “These houses have personality, so when you walk in, you feel that history immediately. We honor that as much as we can,” says architect Linda MacArthur, who is working with builder Michael Ladisic on the oldest home in Ansley Park. 

Renovating such a property means walking the line between preserving the past and making it livable. MacArthur often finds that historic home owners want to keep the “architecture, scale feeling and patina of history and age” that make it special. “We try to be very respectful of the architecture, but not to the detriment of our clients’ lifestyles,” says designer Heather Dewberry of Huff-Dewberry, who often works on older homes. “Most of the historic houses we’ve updated work beautifully for today.” Dewberry has been instrumental in updating a 1922 Georgian house by architect Neel Reid, and she’s now helping to revamp the kitchen to 2020 standards. The key ingredient for a successful historic home update? “Patience,” says Dewberry.