The driveway ends at a wall of ivy, adding more interest to the area that includes the garden shed and containers with hostas.
Photo: Christopher Oquendo Photography
Photo: Christopher Oquendo Photography

Renovated Sandy Springs ’70s-style home with outdoor living

A ceramic pink flamingo at Elaine Lehman’s front door welcomes visitors with the casual vibe she wants people to feel throughout her Sandy Springs home.

It’s been there since the late 1970s, when she said she and her husband, Ralph, became enamored with the 1.5-acre property. Over the years, the couple has renovated rooms, such as the kitchen, master suite and den, with updated materials such as granite and stone, custom cabinets and high-end appliances, including a wine cooler. Even with the changes, Elaine has sought to keep an informal feel in the home and backyard, which includes a pool and garden.

“It was really an unpretentious house, and it still is,” she said.


Residents: Ralph and Elaine Lehman

Location: Sandy Springs

Size: 3,850 square feet, four bedrooms, four baths

Year built: 1978

Architectural style: “Soft” contemporary

Renovations: In the past 15 years, the homeowners have renovated the kitchen, sunroom, den, guest room and bath, and added a pool. The deck was renovated about four years ago.

Previously, the master bathroom had a big dressing area with two sinks in it, then a closet on one side with a tub and toilet, and a smaller closet on another side with a shower and toilet. It wasn’t functional, and the tiny, dark blue tile was outdated. About three years ago, the master bedroom and bath was redesigned and renovated, with custom cabinetry by R and R Woodmasters, based in Jasper, and vaulted ceilings.

Two years ago, the exterior was updated with stacked stone and hardiplank siding.

Interior design style: Contemporary/eclectic

Design consultants: Sarah Fisher (master bedroom and bath), CSI Kitchen & Bath Studio (kitchen), King Landscaping

Favorite room: Sunroom, because of the backyard and garden views, Elaine said.

Favorite furniture: An antique Chinese display chest with intricate carvings, in the living room, and original Heywood Wakefield furniture from the 1940s and 1950s, which is in their guest room. For entertaining, key pieces are the baby grand Steinway piano and a jukebox (Seeburg Model HF100R) from the 1950s.

Favorite artwork: A signed Clifford Bailey painting of a lady drinking a glass of wine, which they purchased at a gallery at Buckhead’s Miami Circle.

Favorite outdoor elements: A garden next to the sunroom is one of Elaine’s favorite spots, because of the Corylus avellana “Contorta” tree with its spiraling branches and stone features.

Resources: Dining room set from Encore Fine Furnishings and art deco lamps from The Board of Trade, both in Roswell.

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