Jen Newman recently had a surprise visitor in her driveway. The man told her he grew up in the cottage.

“I said, ‘Would you want to come in? I would love to learn more about the house,’” she said. “It was so cool because he explained how this house used to be.”

The Tudor exterior, which is a signature style in Avondale Estates, remained through the years while the interior had been revamped with larger rooms, an open staircase and French doors to the back deck.

Jen Newman and her children, Lilly, 12, and Jake, 16, live in Avondale Estates with their pets including dogs, Luna, a Weimaraner, and Drew "Breesy," a Boston Terrier, and a cat, Daphanie. .
Photo: Text by Lori Johnston/ Photo by Reynolds Rogers

“It has the perfect blend of new and old,” she said.

Newman, who previously lived one street over, will welcome more guests during the Avondale Estates Christmas Tour of Homes on Dec. 9.


Residents: Jen Newman and her children, Jake, 16, and Lilly, 12, and their dogs, Luna, a Weimaraner, and Drew “Breesy,” a Boston terrier, and a cat, Daphanie. Newman, who previously owned a Decatur folk art shop, Square Roots, is a real estate agent with Keller Williams Metro Atlanta in downtown Decatur.

Location: Avondale Estates, DeKalb County

Size: 3,900 square feet, five bedrooms, five bathrooms

Year built/bought: 1951/2016

Architectural style: Tudor

Favorite architectural elements: Granite archway entrance, stone and pitched roof. The architecture and red front door make it looks like a “little elf’s home,” she said.

Renovations: Prior owners renovated the home in 2014 with changes such as adding bedrooms and baths. When Newman purchased it, she wanted the back of the home to have a greater connection to the backyard, so she added a new deck accessed via French doors. She also re-landscaped and sodded the front yard.

Interior design style: Comfortable and classic with a touch of eclectic

Favorite interior design elements: Her artwork and photos change with the season, she said. For example, salvaged wood, lanterns and reindeer motifs in her holiday decorations evoke a sense of rustic whimsy.

Favorite outdoor elements: Front yard, back deck and grill area

Resources: Furniture from West Elm and HomeGoods. Accessories from Sugarboo & Co., Dryads Dancing, and Decatur shops Sq/Ft, Garage Door Studio, Kudzu Antiques + Modern and Intown Ace Hardware.

Holiday decorating tip: Her holiday decor is steeped in tradition, just like Avondale Estates, which was founded in 1924 and inspired by architecture in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Newman uses classic holiday red and adds rustic elements and sparkle. “I like to push the envelope a little bit, but I love tradition and I think it’s really important, which is what Avondale Estates is all about,” she said.

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