How This Dark Tudor Home Became a Light, Bright, Grandmillennial Dream

Hadley Keller
·7-min read
Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris
Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris

From House Beautiful

For many designers, the first step of a new project is an extensive getting-to-know-you phase with the client. In the case of this Atlanta renovation by Next Wave designer Clary Bosbyshell, that was largely unnecessary: The client in question, Emily Hertz, was already a close friend of the designer and, perhaps more importantly, the founder of lifestyle blog Born on Fifth and newly-launched e-commerce shop, Bows & Blue. Both endeavors proffer a trademark pretty, unapologetically feminine style in keeping with Hertz's identification as a proud Grandmillennial.

So when it came to her own home, it should come as little surprise that Hertz had a strong sense of what she wanted style-wise. "Emily had been saving inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram for almost two years," recalls Bosbyshell, who was brought on to design before Hertz and her husband had even closed on a home.

"Clary has a traditional style, but it's fresh," says Hertz. "I gear towards pastels and she was very nicely able to complement what I like, but also push me to do some more fun pops, to use the palette I like but in a way that wasn't so expected."

The one problem? The dream home Hertz ended up purchasing in Atlanta's Hanes Manor neighborhood was a Tudor-style house—not exactly what comes to mind when you think of a light, bright, floral aesthetic. "A Tudor can be kind of dark and castle-y, almost," says Bosbyshell. "And her aesthetic is very light and bright and kind of English garden. So the challenge was, how do we take this and really lighten it up?" Read on to find out.


Architecture

Before they got to the interiors, though, there was quite a bit to be done with the bones of the house. Hertz enlisted Stan Dixon to help lay the foundation for the home she envisioned. "His style is actually typically pretty symmetrical, but that was, I think, a challenge in a good way," recalls Hertz. "We were good partners because we have similar tastes and we were able to, sort of, apply some of the more classical principles that he values to this house—which is very asymmetrical—and really rethink the layout and room shapes." The result is spaces that not only feel more classic, but align with the way Hertz and her young family (and nearby extended family and friends) use the home.

Kitchen

Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris
Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris

While the design palette was lots of chintz and bows, the kitchen might be the most streamlined space in the home. "I think a kitchen needs to be very clean, and Emily agreed," says Bosbyshell. She opted for timeless materials, like Calacatta marble, a plaster hood, and brass fittings, a stylistic choice that struck a chord with Hertz: "I wear gold jewelry a lot because it brings a warmth that really resonates with me," she says.

"I'd say the kitchen is kind of rooted in tradition, but there are some modern elements," Bosbyshell summarizes. "In the breakfast area, you have that contemporary breakfast table, but then the traditional side of the kitchen has the display of her antique blue-and-white China."

Breakfast Nook


Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris
Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris

That breakfast area has become one of the most popular spaces in the home, and it also embodies the preppy-meets-clean aesthetic, with its juxtaposition of sleek table and ruffled, upholstered banquette.

A door behind the table leads out to the garden. "The landscaping is really beautiful and very kind of English garden, so it's such a pretty view," says Bosbyshell. "And that was also a thought for the interiors—kind of bringing the garden inside."

Living Room

Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris
Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris

For the living room, with its quiet palette and classic touches, Hertz was inspired by Cathy Graham's home in Nantucket, which employs a similar palette of mint green and off whites with French antiques. The space is grounded by two arched doorways, which Dixon added. Preppy touches come by way of the sofa's Lee Jofa Hollyhock upholstery and gathered skirts on the armchairs, while a custom abstract painting by Casey Hughes adds a contemporary pop.

Lattice Room

Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris
Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris

One of Hertz's longtime decor dreams was a room with lattice walls. "When we walked through the home before they bought it, I remember walking into that space and being like, ‘Emily, this is your lattice room,'" recalls Bosbyshell. The subsequent room sees lots of use: it's a go-to gathering place when Hertz has friends over, a favorite place for her daughter to play, and, since the launch of Bows on Blue, an at-home studio.

Laundry Room

Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris
Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris

No grimy washer-dryer and beige walls here: Bosbyshell amped up the laundry room with Scalamandré wallpaper and gingham skirting on the lower cabinets. "I wanted to make it feel more like a room that she can also arrange flowers in—just not so dedicated to laundry," says the designer.

Powder Room

Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris
Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris

"This might be my favorite powder room I've ever designed," says Bosbyshell of this jewel box of a space, clad in Brunchwig & Fils's beloved Bird and Thistle print. "I think it's very just over the top —a powder bathroom is a place where you can do that."

Bedroom

Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris
Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris

"Emily loves blues and blushes so that was the starting point," says Bosbyshell. The centerpiece of the room is the tester over the upholstered headboard, which provides dimension and coziness. "The room is actually really big and has probably 16-foot ceilings, so that creates this cozy and warm feel when you're in the room versus it being so open," the designer explains.

Bathroom

Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris
Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris
Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris
Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris

The inspiration for the bathroom was the de Gournay-swathed bath of Poppy Delevigne's London apartment, featured in AD. For Hertz's, Bosbyshell used Miles Redd's Madame Pompadour wallpaper for Schumacher, whose muted palette was more in keeping with the rest of the home. "This was a nice place to add that sweetness that I love," says Hertz.

A garden stool next to the claw-foot tub is a useful rest for a towel, candle, or glass of wine. "I just think those are so useful," says Bosbyshell. "And such a fun way to incorporate a little bit of a subtle nod to that garden look."

Daughter's Room

Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris
Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris

"The goal was to create something that would grow with her," says Bosbyshell of the daughter's room, which includes a portrait of its young resident by Natalie Irwin. Hertz wasn't afraid of using finer fabrics both here and throughout the home. "My philosophy is that if children grow up with nice things, they learn to be around nice things," she says. And if it does stain? "It reminds you of that time in your child's development, you know, something happened and it's a memory."

Nursery

Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris
Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris

With blue gingham as the jumping-off point, Bosbyshell decided to think outside the wallpaper or fabric box, instead enlisting decorative painter Brian Carter to handpaint the pattern on the walls of the nursery.

Mudroom

Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris
Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser Harris

The world's prettiest mudroom? Maybe. "I think your spaces like laundry rooms and mudrooms need to be beautiful, because in themselves, they're very utilitarian," says Bosbyshell. "And the chore of having to put stuff away or do laundry isn't always pleasurable. But I think if you create a space that is beautiful, it makes you feel happy to be in there, even to do these kind of mundane, everyday activities."

To be continued...

While Hertz adores her home, it's far from "done": She and her husband made the decision to finish the rooms they most use, but hold back on additional spaces (like a formal dining room, for which they don't have much use as a young family right now) for a bit.

"The house is growing with us," says Hertz. "Clary is young and she gets it, so it's a design relationship that will continue for years. We're able to place things as they are found."

"I think that's also part of the Grandmillennial idea, is doing things over time," adds Bosbyshell. "You know, collecting antiques and really waiting for those right and special pieces."

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