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Cool, Updated Architectural Classic

A renovation in a 1930s Tudor has a simple European aesthetic

Written by Amy Elbert
  • William Waldron

    After renovating seven houses in 13 years, Kay Douglass was probably an easy mark. One walk through the 1932 Tudor, and the Atlanta interior designer was sold. "It had a slate roof and beautiful crusty old bricks with vines growing over them," Kay recalls. Inside there were thick plaster walls, beamed ceilings, and timber archways. "I said, I love it—and I want it."

    Never mind that she and her husband, Jim, already owned a house in Atlanta. "We love to renovate houses,"she notes, and this home had architectural features she couldn’t resist. "It was old and original, and there wasn’t a lot we needed to undo."

    However, that lack of updating meant the house was in serious need of respectful modernizing and renovating. "I don’t think anything had been done since the ’70s," Kay says. She replaced the formal green marble fireplace surround in the living room with concrete and a salvaged wood mantel.

    Architect: Keith Summerour, Summerour and Associates, 409 Bishop St., Atlanta. GA 30318; 404/603-8585.
    Interior design: Kay Douglass, Kay Douglass Interiors, 345 Peachtree Hills Ave., Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30305; 404/995-0802.
    Kay’s antique and home furnishings shop: South of Market, 345 Peachtree Hills Ave., Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30305; 404/995-9399, and 173 King St., Charleston, SC 29401; 843/723-1114,
    General contractor: Joe Noah, Joe Noah and Assoc. Inc., 404/355-2614.

    Photography: William Waldron
    Produced by Eleanor Roper

    Sofa; sofa fabric (mohair): Lee Industries, 800/892-7150.
    Bolster pillows on sofa; drapery fabric: Donghia Furniture/Textiles Ltd., 800/366-4442,, trade only.
    Planter coffee table: Randall Tysinger Antiques, 877/524-0080, trade only.
    Wing chairs by fireplace; wing-chair fabric; pillows in wing chairs; white wing chair with custom slipcover ("Carter Chair’’); red throw (Morgan Collection); chandelier: South of Market, 404/995-9399.
    Slipcover on white chair: Rogers & Goffigon, 212/888-3242, trade only.
    Carpet (sea grass): Myers Carpet, 404/352-8141.
    Large painting (by Todd Murphy): The Lowe Gallery, 404/352-8114,
    Mirror over mantel: Interiors Market, 404/352-0055. Windows: original to house.

  • William Waldron

    The couple contacted Atlanta architect Keith Summerour to help renovate the 5,000-square-foot house in keeping with its classic character. "The goal was to take a house that was architecturally charming and make it functional for our family," Kay says. "I love things that are not so perfect, a bit rough and beat up. So the house was just exactly what I wanted. Everything was great except it just needed additional square footage."

    Summerour’s reaction to the original house? It had "fantastic architecture," he says.

  • William Waldron

    Eight-foot-high French oak doors with leaded-glass panels connect the family room to the loggia. The goat painting by artist Helen Durant inspired the room’s color scheme.

    Rust-colored chairs and mustard-colored chairs ("Stanford Chair’’); pillows (old burlap made into pillows); white sofa (custom); sofa fabric (white cotton duck); black throw (Morgan Collection); hanging light fixture (antique): South of Market, 404/995-9399.
    Painting behind chair ("The Goat," by Helen Durant): Fay Gold Gallery, 404/233-3843.
    French doors (French oak): Asselin USA, 404/419-6114,

  • William Waldron

    Part of an old wheel from France frames a mirror in the library.

    Leather chairs (antique); throws (Morgan Collection); round table; round mirror over mantel: South of Market, 404/995-9399.
    Wooden mantel: Willis Everett, 706/538-0180.
    Fireplace surround; bookcase (stovepipe): Joe Noah & Associates Inc., 404/355-2614.
    Light over bookcase (by Visual Comfort): Circa Lighting, 404/233-4131.
    Paint ("Linen White’’): Benjamin Moore & Co., 888/236-6667.

  • William Waldron

    A long, narrow, antique table is centered in front of an original bay casement window in the dining room.

    Kay favors clutter-free and simple designs with an emphasis on texture and form. She’s frugal with color, as well, and generally limits it to paintings and upholstered pieces. "I like color, but I like it in objects that can be changed out rather than on walls. I like textures to speak for themselves," Kay says.

    Dining table; dining chairs: owner’s collection.
    Drapery: Donghia Furniture/Textiles Ltd., 800/366-4442, trade only.
    Drapery hardware: Palace Forge, 404/237-3825.
    Hanging lantern: Holly Hunt, 312/661-1900, trade only.
    Rug (sea grass): Myers Carpet, 404/352-8141.
    Trim on archway: original to house. Paint ("Linen White’’): Benjamin Moore & Co., 888/236-6667.

  • William Waldron

    The loggia is part of a 400-square-foot two-level addition on the back of the house that Summerour proposed; the addition also provided a family room, loggia, and an upstairs master bath. With a tongue-in-groove peaked ceiling, rustic beam framing, bluestone floor, and brick walls, the loggia looks original to the old house.

    Stone flooring: bluestone.
    Brown porch chairs: Brown Jordan, 800/743-4252,
    Outdoor pillow fabric on chair seats and backs (Sunbrella): Glen Raven Custom Fabrics LLC,
    Oversized pillows on chairs (old burlap pillows): South of Market, 404/995-9399.
    Table between chairs; coffee table: PierceMartin, 800/334-8701,, trade only.
    Hanging fixture (antique): South of Market, 404/995-9399.
    Wall lantern: Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights, 504/522-9485,
    Mirror: Jerry Pair & Assoc., 800/367-7247,, trade only.
    Fireplace: Joe Noah, Joe Noah & Associates Inc., 404/355-2614.
    Black pots: owner’s collection.

  • William Waldron

    The headboard is made from salvaged French barn doors. "I had no idea what I was going to do with the doors when I bought them," admits Kay.

    Although Kay loved the patina and character of this renovated house, before long she was on to another. The family has already moved to a new and smaller home in an Atlanta neighborhood where they had lived previously. "As much as I loved the house, it was really too big for a family of three," Kay says.

    Bed (antique barn door); chandelier (antique); mirror over mantel; rust-colored coverlet (Morgan Collection): South of Market, 404/995-9399.
    Gray bed skirt (burlap): Hancock Fabrics, 877/322-7427,
    White chairs by fireplace: owner’s collection.
    Rug (sea grass): Myers Carpet, 404/352-8141.
    Table beside bed: Interiors Market, 404/352-0055.
    Table lamp: Ainsworth-Noah, 800/669-3512, trade only.
    Door: original to house.
    Mantel and surround: Willis Everett, Vintage Lumber Sales, 706/538-0180.
    Art behind white chair (by Todd Murphy):  Lowe Gallery, 404/352-8114.

  • William Waldron

    After a shopping expedition to France with a client several years ago, Atlanta interior designer Kay Douglass—shown here with her son, Jack—brought home enough antiques to open a shop. Within two months she was back for more, and she now has two stores in Atlanta and one in Charleston, South Carolina (all called South of Market). She also sells on the Web site

    Kay prefers a simple European aesthetic that emphasizes texture, shape, and original art. "I think you need to design a room with an inspiration, whether it’s a piece of art or an antique object," says Kay. "I look at things at the French flea markets that have interesting, strong shapes. Then I figure out what to do with them when I get home."