Style Shift

An unassuming ranch receives an artful transformation.

Ironically, the homeowners of this late-1940s ranch had merely a small modification in mind for their Atlanta home—the addition of a laundry and powder room. But once they began to brainstorm with architect Laura Howard DePree, the ideas began to snowball.
Though DePree still considers the project a simple renovation, the changes that were made transformed everything about the house, while only moving a few walls and doorways. “It’s all about how you enter and move through the space,” says DePree. “The house has a graciousness and casualness.”

Ten-foot ceilings, unusual in a ranch home, made the process easier. Classical elements marry with modern touches to give the house verve and to suit the homeowners’ personalities. A new cedar shake roof, striking metal-and-glass doors and simple, smooth-finish stucco elevate the style. “It is now in the spirit of Palladian architecture. I was inspired by the fact that the original Palladian Italian villas were working farmhouses,” explains DePree, “very much like American ranch houses were built for post-war working families.”
Art collectors at heart, the couple wanted a neutral interior design fueled by comfort and function. They turned to Randy and Courtney Tilinski at Bungalow Classic. Consulting with the Tilinskis, the wife would often bring pages from magazines as inspiration. Randy noticed one designer’s work in most of the pictures—Beth Webb of Beth Webb Interiors.

So after two years of living in the renovated house, the homeowners asked Webb to refresh, rearrange and renew the interiors. She started by removing what wasn’t needed—a coffee table here, a china cabinet there. Then she layered the interiors with accessories, pillows, lamps and throws. “I took this great canvas and filled in the blanks,” says Webb.

Since the owners’ collection is never complete, Webb focused on fashioning understated rooms to complement the art. The living room is a perfect example. All the pieces were perfectly lovely, but they were a hodgepodge from the owners’ other homes and various rooms. Webb wanted to give them air and space, visually, and create different seating areas to inspire the couple and their guests to linger.

Some tweaks were simple enough, like pulling in a drinks table from another room and adding new lamps. Others took Webb’s designer eye and expertise: rearranging shelves, reconfiguring art placement, and weaving in objects with different heights and dimension. The end result is a home full of character, warmth and personality.

“I used to be a big symmetrical person,” Webb admits. “But perfectly perfect is so boring. It’s much more interesting to mix things up.”

Architecture Laura Howard DePree, AIA, (404) 685-0202. Interior Design Beth Webb, Beth Webb Interiors, (404) 869.6367; Landscape Architecture John Howard, Howard Design Studio, (404) 876-7051;