Private Quarters: Garden haven in Peachtree Corners

Teresa Stoker gardened in the dark when her job as president and CEO of a behavioral health hospital consumed her days.

In retirement, she enjoys one of her favorite hobbies in the daylight. Her nearly 1-acre yard in Peachtree Corners features a timber-frame greenhouse, a pond and walkways around garden beds and more than 100 container plants.

“Gardening to me is such a creative place to be,” she said. “I’m just so fascinated that something like that can evolve.”

Stoker’s house has grown along with the garden, both in size and with antique finds and pieces presenting the Arts and Crafts movement.


Residents: Allen and Teresa Stoker, and their cat, Elroy. Allen, a mechanical engineer, owns Ridgetop Timber Frame Design; Teresa is retired.

Location: Peachtree Corners

Size: About 3,000 square feet, three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms

Year built/bought: 1980

Architectural style: Cape Cod

Favorite architectural elements: Mahogany shutters on the exterior and cedar beams in the great room.

Renovations: Through several remodels and two additions designed by Allen, the home has expanded from 1,900 square feet to more than 3,000 square feet, plus a workshop and greenhouse. They enclosed a screened porch, which became a sitting room/office, and adding a dining room, side entry, half bath, great room, stained glass workroom and 60-foot deck. A kitchen remodel in 2006 added an island, Silestone countertops, hardwood floors, Thomasville cabinets, tile backsplash, GE refrigerator, Samsung WaterWall dishwasher, Samsung microwave, and GE Profile cooktop and oven.

Project consultants: Eason Construction (great room addition); The Home Depot (kitchen layout and Thomasville kitchen and bath cabinets)

Interior design style: Traditional

Favorite interior design elements: Oak furniture, stained glass, Arts and Crafts-style furnishings and Southwestern art.

Favorite piece of furniture: A carved French hunt chest that is believed to be about 150 years old. They bought it at an auction house in Mountain City, Ga., for only $500, Teresa said. “The glass in the stained glass windows rattled. It was so loose, and I was able to restore it to the original condition. I have done stained glass as a hobby for about 25 years,” she said.

Favorite outdoor elements: The greenhouse and garden, which has five raised beds, 100-plus containers and an arbor.

Resources: Stickley furniture from Patterson Furniture

Decor tip: Surprise people with decor in unexpected places. A wooden rocking horse is atop the exposed beams in their great room. “Everybody that walks in the room notices the beams. And they go, ‘Wow, look at the horse,’” Teresa said.

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