New Traditions 2008

It took a devastating fire to force homeowners Bonneau and Jennifer Ansley from the 7,300-square-foot dream home they built on a private island near Savannah. “Jennifer was seven months pregnant when the house was struck by lightning,” says Bonneau, a developer of luxury homes on the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina. “It burned to the ground and we lost everything.” The fire prompted the couple to return to Atlanta, where Jennifer and Bonneau, a fourth-generation Atlantan, could start fresh and raise their daughter among family. After purchasing a “temporary” home they could move into immediately, the Ansleys built their second dream home—a five-bedroom Dutch Colonial in the Peachtree Battle neighborhood.

Architect Charles Heydt, of Pak Heydt and Associates, designed the home to look like it’s been part of the established neighborhood for years, something that was especially important to the Ansleys. “We wanted a house that would be functional for our family, but also look like it had been here forever,” Bonneau says. And it does. The home’s façade, for instance, features fieldstone from Cashiers, North Carolina, as well as a large front porch fitted with Bevelo gas lanterns.

But it’s the home’s interior that really expresses the personality of this young family. Savannah interior designer Gwyn Duggan, ASID, worked on all aspects of the project, including the gourmet kitchen. “Bonneau and Jennifer live in their kitchen,” Duggan says. “They wanted to use it every day for family meals, but also for entertaining.” To that end, an eating area at the end of the island can accommodate up to 14. “We used Sunbrella fabric on the four wing chairs for durability and easy cleanup,” Duggan points out. The space also features custom cabinetry and limestone countertops.

The kitchen flows directly into the adjoining family room, where the color palette of gray-blue, brown and cream—as well as walnut floors and exposed ceiling beams—are repeated. “It’s really one large room that’s very casual, almost French country,” Jennifer says. “I wanted to be able to be a part of what’s going on in the family room while cooking.”

Because outdoor living space was equally important to the Ansleys, Heydt incorporated a side courtyard into the home’s design. Plus, a large saltwater pool in the back yard provides more outdoor entertaining options. “We wanted a courtyard to remind us of our home in Savannah,” Bonneau says. “We lost everything when the house burned, so this is starting over for us again.”

Charles Heydt, Pak Heydt & Associates
Atlanta, (404) 231-3195;

Gwyn Duggan, Gwyn Duggan Design Associates Inc.
Savannah, (912) 341-0440

Rick Anderson, Richard Anderson Landscape Architect
Atlanta, (404) 892-1788;

Benedict Homes
Atlanta, (770) 431-0231

This house has been renovated and updated for 2019! Check out the transformation here.