Leesa Kellam purchased her home in the Historic West End of Atlanta in 1999. The house was built in 1893, and the six fireplaces, stained glass windows and other architectural quirks show its history.

“The space is endlessly interesting. After 20 years, there’s still something else to discover, something else to admire,” said Kellam.

Kellam took her Victorian-style home and added touches of Southern and African flair, blending her style with the style of the home for a brand-new look. African art, like the bust of an African woman by Woodrow Nash that is in the sitting room and the paintings by Danisile Njoli that hang in the family room, blend with pieces by local artists, like the murals in the downstairs bathrooms, which are both by Metu. Kellam calls her style “Wakandan-American.”

“I think I’m most delighted when people are surprised, and they are most always surprised,” said Kellam. “It’s a very, very tall ceiling so I think they think it’s going to be a really traditional Victorian home.”

Because it’s a historic home, Kellam has to get approval for any structural changes to the outside of the house that the public could see.

“It’s like an old person. You have to be gentle with it and you have to kind of understand it,” said Kellam. “You respect it, it’ll respect you.”

The blend of new and old creates an original aesthetic that fits Kellam’s lifestyle and personality.

“There’s not a day that I don’t appreciate coming home to it,” said Kellam.

Kellam’s home will be on the Historic West End Tour of Homes 2021 on June 26.


Residents: Leesa Kellam and her daughter, Dena Stringer, who lives there part-time.

Location: Historic West End

Size: 3,700 square feet with four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms.

Year built: 1893

Year bought: 1999

Renovations: Full renovation of the kitchen and the conversion of a supply closet into a powder room in 2020.

Project consultants: Magdalena O’Connor of Desireline Studios did welding in the kitchen, Don Flowers was the electrician and plumber, contractor was Jules McConnel, Suzy Schultz did the murals in the kitchen, and John C. Wilson restored the floors.

Architectural style: Victorian

Favorite architectural elements: Abundance of light, height of the ceilings, six fireplaces, stained glass everywhere and variety of architecture.

Interior design style: Leesa describes her style as “Wakandan-American.” It’s a blend of Southern style with African influences.

Favorite outdoor elements: The fountain and the mural, which is the full length of the garage painted by Metu, a local artist.

Resources: Furniture and decor from Rafael Tesfa, Mjita Trading, Ikea, Leather Creations, Tandy Leather Factory, Cost Plus World Market, Anthropologie, Snake Head Vintage, Crate & Barrel, Lamp Arts Inc., Atlanta Auction Gallery, The Legacy Museum, Desireline Studios, One Kings Lane, Houzz, Hillstreet Warehouse, Charles P. Rogers, No Mas! Cantina, Wayfair, HomeGoods, Tuesday Morning and Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market. Art by Marcus Blake, Attiya Melton, Woodrow Nash, Ernani Silva, Ann Tanksley, Joel Gresham, Bayo Iribhogbe, Beverly Trumble, Danisile Njoli, Susan Finsen, Michel Valestin, Sammie Nicely, Georgia Baker, Floydetta McAfee, Paula Cox, Suzy Schultz and Metu.


If you have a beautifully designed home in the Atlanta area, we’d love to feature you! Email Shannon.N.Dominy@gmail.com for more info.

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