When deciding how to decorate their home, Leon Kouters and Marty Simpson had one guiding principle: Keep it simple. Shelving like this presents the perfect pitfall for overcrowding, so the couple focused on using items they had collected through the years.
Photo: Text by Anna Logan and Lori Johnston/Photos by Christopher Oquendo
Photo: Text by Anna Logan and Lori Johnston/Photos by Christopher Oquendo

Victorian with eclectic style ready to shine on Grant Park tour

The wraparound front porch captivated Leon Kouters and Marty Simpson when they were searching for their next home in Atlanta’s historic Grant Park neighborhood. And it still does when they relax there and gaze at the park.

Leon Kouters (left), works for Fokker Services, an aerospace company, and Marty Simpson (right), who works for Enterprise Holdings, bought their five-bedroom Grant Park home in 2017. They live in the 3,200-square-foot, Victorian home with their son, Colin, a college student, and their chocolate lab, Tanner. The home is on the 2017 Grant Park Candlelight Tour of Homes, set for Dec. 9-10. Text by Anna Logan and Lori Johnston/Fast Copy News Service. (Christopher Oquendo/www.ophotography.com)
Photo: Fast Copy News Service

“The view from the front is absolutely gorgeous. That’s probably our most favorite room and almost sold us immediately on the home,” Kouters said. “We immediately saw ourselves living there.”

The neighborhood’s collection of Victorian residences includes their century-old, park-side property, which will be on the 2017 Grant Park Candlelight Tour of Homes, set for Dec. 9-10.


Residents: Leon Kouters and Marty Simpson, son Colin, and dog, Tanner, a chocolate lab. Kouters works for Fokker Services, an aerospace company, and Simpson works for Enterprise Holdings

Location: Atlanta’s Grant Park neighborhood

Size: About 3,200 square feet, five bedrooms, three baths

Year built/bought: Built between 1905-1910/Bought in 2017

Architectural style: Victorian

Favorite architectural elements: Front porch, 13-foot ceilings, bay windows, original pine floors, front door with original wavy glass, original fireplace and built-ins in front room study, French doors in the master bedroom

Renovations: The previous owner conducted a major renovation in 2005 with a kitchen, bedroom and bathroom update, as well as adding a second story. Once they bought the home, they just needed to paint the kitchen and revamp the front porch. Their next project is to update the yard.

Interior design style: Eclectic, clean and comfortable. “We have not overstuffed the house,” Kouters said.

Favorite piece of furniture: Church pew in the dining room, which Simpson found on the side of the road. The middle was cracked, but they were able to add supports, refurbish and paint it. “It’s always a piece that we always can talk about,” Kouters said.

Favorite artwork: Original paintings from artists in Paris, Amsterdam, South Africa, Key West, Florida, and Savannah. “Everywhere we go, we look at something that speaks to us. Then we’ll pick it up and take it with us,” Kouters said.

Favorite outdoor feature: Front porch

Decor tip: Keep it simple. To keep the room from seeming cluttered, they try to keep the focus on one or two items in a room. They said they tend to display art and special items from the countries they have visited over the years to create a homey feeling.

Resources: Furniture from Crate and Barrel, Scott Antique Market, Z Gallerie, West Elm, Pottery Barn and Martha Stewart’s line of furniture with Bernhardt.

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