East Atlanta home gets new life with space for chickens

Eileen Ansley could see the deteriorating bungalow from her front door in East Atlanta. Just 20 feet apart, she could tell the home had holes in the walls and vermin living in the roof.

“The shame of it is, the bones of the house were really good. It would have been probably condemned for multiple reasons if something had not happened to it,” she said.

A contractor bought the home and began making repairs, remodeling and extending the kitchen and dining room. When Ansley and her husband, Andrew Burnes, whose son was a toddler at the time, decided to move, they saw more potential in the house next door.

They took over the renovations and added a chicken coop that will be on the 8th annual Atlanta Urban Coop Tour (wyldecenter.org/urban-coop-tour). The tour on March 28-29 features coops in East Atlanta, Grant Park, Old Fourth Ward, Edgewood and Decatur.


Residents: Andrew Burnes, Eileen Ansley, son Eli, 11, along with dog, Fedi and five chickens (Spork, McBoy, Irk, Fry and Leela). Burnes is a teacher; Ansley is a a management consultant.

Location: East Atlanta

Size: 2,100 square feet, three bedrooms, two baths

Year built: 1927

Year bought: 2007

Architectural style: Bungalow

Favorite architectural elements: Open floor plan and working shutters designed by Ansley and made by Burnes.

Renovations: The contractor who sold them the home added hardwood floors and the dining and kitchen extension. Ansley and Burnes have replaced light fixtures, reconfigured and added a metal ceiling to the kitchen, and built an outdoor room, which they call the chicken-watching shed, and chicken coop. Vision Painting freshened up the interior walls.

Interior design style: Swedish farmhouse inspired. The home is a mix of vintage finds, inherited furniture, local art and pieces from international travels, Ansley said.

Favorite interior design elements: They removed upper kitchen cabinets and replaced them with heart pine shelves made by Noah Brendel in Athens (piedmontbureauofreclamation.com). The shelves display dishes, including some pieces from Russia and Morocco and handmade pottery made by Burnes' family. In the dining room, a set of copper pots and pans inherited from Ansley's great grandmother that were in storage for years are on display.

Favorite outdoor features: The chicken coop with a green roof, and chicken-watching shed. They built the coop with lumber from a home improvement store and part of a fence that neighbors had taken down. Ansley throws seeds on the roof and sees what grows, such as sprouts. "It looks like a Chia Pet roof when it grows," she said.

Decor tip: Everyday useful objects, such as dishes and bowls, can be displayed and just as attractive as pieces of art.

Resources: Jenn-Air and Frigidaire, Rejuvenation, Manorism, West Elm, IKEA, World of Rugs, Electrolux