Robert and Allison Phalen’s home in Decatur’s Oakhurst neighborhood. (Christopher Oquendo Photography/
Photo: Christopher Oquendo Photography/
Photo: Christopher Oquendo Photography/

Kitchen is heart of chef’s home

Decatur’s sought-after Oakhurst neighborhood was just beginning its rejuvenation when chef Robert Phalen and his wife, Allison, discovered a bungalow under construction.

“We saw it and picked it up right away,” he said.

The former drug-infested property became a home for the couple and their first child, and then their second child and later a third. The couple has filled the home with antiques and interesting finds, such as a kitchen island made of wood salvaged from an old church.

“It’s the soul of the house,” he said of the kitchen.

Phalen, who owns Inman Park restaurant One Eared Stag, sees a similarity between the decor styles at work and home.

“The restaurant is farmhouse minimalist, but clean lines and very inviting and homey,” he said. “That’s kind of how our home is.”


Residents: Robert and Allison Phalen, their kids Oliver, Ella and Amelia, and dog Payton. Robert is chef/owner of One Eared Stag in Atlanta; Allison is a teacher.

Location: Decatur’s Oakhurst neighborhood

Size: 2,100 square feet, three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths

Year built/bought: 2004

Builder: Arlene Dean

Architectural style: Renovated bungalow. The main original item left in the home was the fireplace. “They left the shell of the old home and just built around it,” Robert said.

Favorite architectural elements: Tall ceilings, at least 14 feet high, in the main living area and master bedroom.

Interior design style: Country shabby chic

Favorite interior design elements: Pieces from Scott Antique Market, including a hallway bench from Germany with storage for kids’ toys, a cabinet from Holland they use as a bar, an American flag from 1890, a old Spanish ship sail with a painting of pigs, and a sideboard that holds linens.

Favorite outdoor feature: The front porch, which has two rocking chairs that belonged to Allison’s family in Louisiana, a porch swing and often their kids’ bikes. The porch also has a window box they found while antique hunting as college students.

Resources: Furniture from Scott Antique Market, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, RH (formerly Restoration Hardware) and Ethan Allen.

Decor tip: When looking for antiques, have an idea of what you’re looking for, but don’t feel pressured to buy. “Sometimes you don’t find it that day,” Robert said. But when you find what you want, get it then, before it’s too late. “We’ve done that before and came back and (it was) gone.”

See more photos of the Decatur home here.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.