It was kismet when Ryan and Erin Watstein put an offer down on their home. They had often walked by the Virginia-Highland house on the way to dinner and imagined living there one day.

The stone exterior, pitched gabled roof, enclosed entryway with embellished detailing, and rustic and wild nature of the front garden captured their attention.

“You just don’t find many houses like that in Atlanta,” Ryan said.

The Watsteins bought the home last year, and on Dec. 2-3, it will be on the 23rd annual Virginia-Highland Tour of Homes. The interiors are a harmonious blend of traditional and contemporary.


Residents: Attorneys Erin and Ryan Watstein and their cats, Slater and Jules. Erin is an associate at Troutman Sanders and Ryan is a partner at Kabat, Chapman and Ozmer.

Location: Virginia-Highland

Size: 5,000 square feet, five bedrooms, five bathrooms

Year built/bought: 1920s/2016

Architectural Style: English country

Favorite architectural elements: Front and rear entryways, original brick chimney, wood floors on the third floor, two “secret” doors

Renovations: The home underwent a “to-the-studs” renovation under previous owners in 2008. The Watsteins have spent about $75,000 on updates. The kitchen has a new backsplash and Calacatta Belgia quartz countertops (from Stone Connections), cabinetry, and Viking and SubZero appliances. They also retiled the master bathroom, refinished the floors and repainted and wallpapered some rooms.

Design consultants: Mary Margarett Nevin, Nevin Interiors; contractor Leo Dominguez; Hector Gonzalez Landscaping; KC’s Reliable Services (wallpaper); Petitt Stones

Interior design style: Transitional

Favorite interior design elements: Vintage sinks and their custom tête-à-tête. “I don’t know if it’s the most practical piece of furniture in the world. In fact, I know it’s not the most practical piece of furniture, but it’s really cool,” Ryan said.

Favorite artwork: A commissioned painting by Aiden Kringen and pieces from the Atlanta Dogwood Festival.

Favorite collections: The couple has amassed a collection of handpainted Turkish and Spanish plates. Avid antique hunters, the couple also began collecting golden mirrors five years ago. “I don’t know if we’re magpies, drawn to gold,” Erin said, “but we just love them.”

Favorite outdoor feature: The two gardens, which vary in their styles (British in the front and French in the back), are enclosed by a Chippendale-inspired petrified locust wood fence.

Resources: Furniture from Westside Market, Nadeau Atlanta, Intaglia Home Collection, Paris on Ponce, RH, Crate & Barrel, West Elm and 14th Street Antiques & Modern Home. Lighting from Peachtree Battle Antiques & Interiors, Antiques & Beyond and Westside Market.

Decor tip: The couple stressed that they’re learning to buy only furniture that they love. “I have a philosophy on furniture that it’s better to leave the room empty until you can afford what it is that you really want,” Ryan said.

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