A home perfect for parties

Bert and Joy Burns needed a home that was accessible, not only for them, but also when entertaining everyone from large church and school groups to more intimate dinners.

Equipped with an elevator for Bert, a 1992 Summer Paralympics gold medalist in wheelchair racing, and their guests, the home also has special spaces for dining, playing video games, watching movies and more.

Joy was pregnant with their twins when the couple built the Alpharetta house 12 years ago. Since then, the home has been filled with kids and families through their involvement in Browns Bridge Church, the neighborhood and the kids’ school. The Burns have hosted Christmas and summer parties with up to 100 people, and smaller gatherings, such as supper clubs and family visiting from out of town.


Residents: Bert and Joy Burns, children Will and Emma, and their dog, Murphy

Location: Alpharetta

Size: Estimated 5,000 square feet (including the finished basement) four bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths

Year built and bought: 2001

Builder: Hedgewood

Architectural style: Southern traditional

Favorite architectural elements: Wraparound porch, columns, stone accents

Renovations: Two-car garage addition in 2014, kitchen renovation in 2011, basement finished in 2002. In the kitchen, the “bottleneck” layout was changed, along with new stainless steel appliances (including two dishwashers), cabinets, countertops and an island. The basement has a bedroom, bathroom, office, media room, game room and long living area with a stone fireplace and room for couches, tables and a long bar countertop.

Cost of renovations: $50,000 for the kitchen, $30,000 for the basement.

Interior design style: Traditional

Favorite room: The new kitchen

Favorite piece of furniture: A chair found at Savvy Snoot in Alpharetta that Joy had recovered. Paired with a painting by Alabama artist Eddie Powell in the master bedroom, “they just make me happy whenever I see them,” she said.

Favorite outdoor feature: Backyard, with a flagstone patio, fire pit and covered porch

Design consultants: Heidi Straughan of Heidi’s Home Staging & Redesign; Pete Wilkerson of Scapes; Renewed Traditions; Flooring Partners

Resources: AJ Madison (kitchen appliances), The Craft Art Co. (countertops), T&T Cabinets and Millwork, Design Tiles by Zumpano. Furniture from Crate and Barrel, Horizon Home, Henkel Harris, Queen of Hearts Antiques and Interiors, Noir, Sam Moore, Carole’s Southern Charm, Pottery Barn, The Bramble Co., Outrageous Interiors, Ballard’s Backroom. Lighting from Lamps Plus and Worlds Away. Outdoor serving cart and Adirondack chairs from Wood, Wine & Wire. Better Homes and Bargains and Karen’s Fabrics for fabrics, cushions and pillows.

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