Playfully Elegant


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Inspired by the perfect lot and a hint of whimsy, a dream home is built.

Written by Jane Reynolds

Photography by Graham Yelton

When Mitch Bradford of Saunders Bradford Building Company saw this property on Ridge Road come up for sale, he seized on it. Given the depth of the lot, he saw potential for a tear-down/rebuild to construct a custom spec house with much greater square footage but a front profile that wouldn’t overpower the neighboring homes. When he brought in Joe Ellis of Dwelling Architecture to draw the plans, Ellis picked up on another aspect of the location that opened up new design possibilities. Because Ridge Road serves as an unofficial demarcation between Homewood’s Edgewood and Mayfair neighborhoods, Ellis realized he could borrow styles from each neighborhood to create something subtly unique.

saundersbrad_ridgerd_gyc_115“Edgewood has more of the cottage style,” he explains, “and in Mayfair, the lots tend to be bigger and the style begins to change. So we felt we could integrate some aspects of both, and I think the result is a little more playful than other houses I’ve worked on.”

“Playful” definitely comes to mind with the arched opening on the front porch, a cozy space that emanates a sense of welcome. “It’s almost the strongest visual element of the exterior,” Ellis says.

Meanwhile, Bradford, wanting to keep the original character of the lot, made sure they preserved the two old oak trees that had stood in front of the original house. “We intentionally placed the front entrance to be in the middle between the two trees,” he explains, “and it creates the effect of the old with the new.”

The result is stunning without being showy, a welcome addition to this quiet stretch just blocks from downtown Homewood as well as neighborhood parks.

Construction was barely underway when the Lancaster family saw the property and jumped on it. “We knew it was a fit,” Lindsay Lancaster says. “We loved the design as soon as we saw the blueprints…(and) the location of the house was the deal sealer. Ridge Road is such a happy road and so convenient as well.”

The home was early enough in the construction process that the Lancasters were able make almost all of the interior design choices, including colors, cabinet and countertop selections, and hardware. They knew they wanted clean lines and an open feel, which fit how Ellis had designed the four-bedroom, four-bath home. Starting from there, Lindsay says she found a lot of inspiration on Pinterest but also took advantage of expert opinions from the team at Saunders Bradford; Jessica Conner of Jessica Conner Design & Interiors; and Debra McCurry along with Britney Bradford, who is Mitch Bradford’s wife and co-owner of Set to Sell.

saundersbrad_ridgerd_gyc_053Britney and Debra helped source a lot of the furniture and served as sounding boards. “They stretched me to make some really eclectic choices with some of my pieces throughout the house,” Lindsay says, describing the finished product as modern-transitional with a touch of global. “A lot of our design is focused around our lifestyle and functionality rather than following trends.” As dog lovers, the Lancasters also took extra care to combine elegance with practicality, choosing performance-grade fabrics for all the upholstered pieces.

“Then we customized each room with our own little touches and with the guidance of Mitch and help from Jessica,” Lindsay says, noting that some of their go-to furniture lines and vendors included Gabby, Selamat, Bernhardt, Worlds Away, Restoration Hardware and West Elm. “But I personally do not overthink, and when I like something or the way something looks, that’s it. It is chosen.”

“The most consistent design feature I knew I loved and had to have was for all of my faucets and fixtures to be gold in the kitchen and champagne gold throughout all the bathrooms,” Lindsay continues. “Other must-haves we just loved were the specialized light fixtures throughout, the wide plank hardwood floors, the Alba Vera marble countertops and tile that reach to the ceiling, vaulted and barrel ceilings, mud room pavers, and the customized bookshelves. The kitchen island is a favorite—it’s large and allows for great entertaining space.”

The color scheme throughout is defined by white and neutrals, “but the pop color is hot pink, which is totally going out on a limb,” Lindsay says. “It was a bold move, and I loved the finished look.”

Finally, Lindsay loves how the open layout makes it possible to appreciate all the small details on the furnishings and accents—the metal detailing on the back of the dining chairs, the quilted sides of a velvet settee, and the bone inlay on top of the table in the breakfast nook, for instance. And she enjoyed using a mix of textures from velvet and linen to leather as well as a combination of elements like mango wood, marble and the gold metals to create warmth and depth.

“I love the whole house,” Lindsay says, “from the huge arch on the front porch to the screened-in porch in the back, the wide open kitchen and the vaulted ceilings in the living room. I just recently hosted a party, and the open floor plan made it so enjoyable to entertain. We would not change a thing if we had to do it again.”

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