A dream home didn’t come at the dream time for Kelly Jackson. She just had their second child when her husband, Drew, drove her to a Victorian home in Grant Park that was on the market.

“Moving was not on the map for us at all,” she said.

But she changed her mind when she saw the staircase and a possible studio for rental income. Jackson envisioned new moldings and restoring the original door hardware and hinges, then adding vintage and modern furniture to the home, which she learned had hosted weddings and funerals.

Drew and Kelly Jackson, with their children Dylan and Lucy, moved into their Grant Park home in 2017. The Victorian home, which has 4,500 square feet, was built in 1890. Text by Lori Johnston/Fast Copy News Service. (Christopher Oquendo www.ophotography.com)
Photo: Christopher Oquendo Atlanta Phot/Christopher Oquendo Atlanta Phot

“We had always talked about wanting to live in a Victorian,” she said. “We love the architecture. We love the staircases. It’s something that we deeply love in terms of house architecture.”


Residents: Drew and Kelly Jackson, children Dylan and Lucy, and dog, Walter. Drew is co-owner of Park Realty and Kelly works in marketing.

Location: Grant Park, Atlanta

Size: 4,500 square feet, five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths, plus one-bedroom, one-bath studio

Year built/bought: 1890/2017

Renovations: During the four-month process, they renovated the kitchen (with Ikea cabinet bases and covers, cabinet hardware and floating shelves from Semihandmade, Thor range, KitchenAid refrigerator and Delta faucet), half bath, formal living room and the “music room.” They created a mother-in-law suite downstairs and turned an upstairs laundry room into a fourth mini-bedroom and separated two conjoined rooms. They renovated the master bathroom by expanding the ceiling and a skylight, removing the shower/tub combo for a larger shower with rhombus tile and adding shiplap. They re-landscaped, replaced the slate front walkways with brick and replaced a pebblestone retaining wall with a brick one. They uncovered wood floors and original fireplace surround, some of which had been hidden by slate. “It’s a loving process because you keep thinking, ‘I’m preserving this house for the next people that find it and for the next people that find it,’” Kelly said.

Architectural style: Queen Anne Victorian

Favorite architectural element: Original Eastlake-style doors that are over 10 feet tall, original door hardware and hinges, and faceplates that they restored. “The detail is breathtaking and you really get a feel for how ornate and beautiful these homes were in their time,” Kelly said.

Consultants: Paul Simo (renovation), Kate Hayes Design

Interior design style: Historic meets modern

Favorite interior design elements: Older pieces, such as mid-century sideboards and antique wash basins, are converted into vanities and juxtaposed with modern lighting. “Trying to marry those two styles together is something that I love,” she said.

Favorite piece of furniture: The Eastlake-style mirror, which they found at Kudzu Antiques + Modern in Decatur, and placed in the entryway. “It’s such a perfect match for the original entry doors that you wonder if they were made by the same woodworker,” Kelly said. “It’s gorgeous and heavy and really gives you a feeling of the style when you walk into the home.”

Resources: Furniture from Highland Row Antiques, Kudzu Antiques + Modern, Jonathan Adler and CB2. Lighting from RH, Rejuvenation, West Elm, CB2 and Shades of Light.

Decor tip: When renting out a space on Airbnb, make it feel clean and uncluttered, Kelly said. She added white shiplap to lighten the micro studio’s walls and selected a mixed media piece from Highland Row Antiques.

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