Decorator Heidi Lue created an organic feel in the sitting room of the Fulton County home using botanical patterns in the artwork and rug, and a floor lamp made of salvaged driftwood, which came from RH. 
Photo: Christopher Oquendo
Photo: Christopher Oquendo

City cottage in College Park showcases school spirit

Before renovating a Craftsman home in College Park, Dr. Clara Truesdell decided she might as well make changes to the layout so she could see her kids walk to Woodward Academy.

>> Click here to view a gallery of their home <<

The family purchased the cottage as a second home to cut down their 40-mile commute from Atlanta’s northern suburbs, where they also have a home, to the private school. The house originally had only a side door facing the campus, but architect Greg Mix reworked the floor plan so that the front entrance and key rooms faced the school.

Their city cottage features a mix of Victorian, shaker and classic designs, with the view that Truesdell desired and spaces for her kids to hang out with their teammates and friends.

“All of this was about my kids,” she said. “It has a great view of the school and allows us to view the activity of the campus in the mornings and in the evenings as students and families come and go.”


Residents: Chuvalo and Clara Truesdell and their children, Tori and Errington, and Trixie, their Siberian husky rescue. Chuvalo is a federal agent, and Clara is a physician and president of Hypertension & Kidney Consultants of Georgia.

Location: College Park’s historic district

Year built/bought: 1935/2012

Size: 4,070 square feet, four bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths

Architectural style: Arts and Crafts

Favorite architectural elements: Cedar shake and fiber cement siding, dormers, and side porch with tapered columns on a river stone base and detailed roof brackets and rafter tails.

Renovations: In 2015, the cottage was transformed from a single-story, shotgun-style home that originally faced west into a two-story residence that now faces south. The extra space allowed them to create functional areas, such as the kitchen, which they doubled in size, and a new family room. The original wraparound porch was removed and replaced by a more spacious front porch, accented by river stone column supports. A second-level addition created a master suite and closet, and they also added a two-car garage with a fully equipped workout room above it.

Interior design style: Eclectic

Resources: Lighting from RH and The Home Depot. Accessories from Kirkland’s, HomeGoods, Pier 1 Imports, At Home and Hobby Lobby.

Decor tip: Repurposed pieces can serve as transitional furnishings in the design. A camelback couch that was an anniversary present 13 years ago spent a few years in storage, but was recovered for use in the sitting room. “I was happy when we purchased this house because one of the rules was that the couch had to be used,” Clara said. “When I see it, it reminds me of how our family has evolved. It has so much sentimental value to me.”

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