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Publication Date: 2014-10-23

House Tours

Charming, Classic Home in Atlanta

A sweet 1920s Dutch Colonial in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood sang with possibilities, but was dated and in need of an update. Betting on the strengths of the original structure—spacious rooms with large windows and French doors, solid wood floors, and charming decorative plaster details like dentil molding and ceiling medallions—the homeowners decided to purchase and renovate the charming home.

Photography: Emily Followill

Homeowner and designer Debbie Cummins and her husband, Beau, have renovated several homes and went headlong into this project. “The original parts of the house had beautiful woodwork, and I wanted to bring more of that into areas like the family room, where it was lacking,” explains Debbie.

The family room’s existing French doors and floor-to-ceiling windows on two walls make the room a sun-warmed space to relax in, and Debbie maximized comfort by reupholstering a sofa in a chenille-style velvet trimmed with brown velvet cording. She kept the room casual with a custom sisal area rug over the red tile floor. “I have too many dogs to have a fancy rug,” she says. Witness the wicker end table by the family room sofa, which is also a kennel for their two Cavalier King Charles spaniels.

An antique-looking Rose Tarlow fabric was used for draperies and on an armchair. A pair of Nancy Corzine chairs are covered in linen velvet. The iron chandelierwith handblown glass was custom made, replicating an antique French piece Debbie had admired in a magazine.

Photography: Emily Followill

The ’80s kitchen hit the recycle bin, and new custom-built cabinets in creamy white now complement the architectural details of the house and provide generous storage—a must-have for this couple who love to cook and entertain. A peninsula was removed to open the kitchen to the family room, and a large island painted a soft gray now anchors the space. To bring in more natural light, two small kitchen windows were replaced with taller ones that rise from the countertops and symmetrically flank the range. “I cook a lot, and as I work, I love having that bright natural light and spacious counters to work on—it’s like being outside,” Debbie says.

The new traditional-style kitchen is more open. The island is painted in Farrow & Ball’s “French Gray” and has a Rohl sink paired with a Perrin & Rowe faucet. The chandelier is from Dennis & Leen.

Photography: Emily Followill

The living and dining rooms are somewhat dressier. Trim added to the existing living room mantel makes it taller and more substantial. Crisp white walls provide the perfect backdrop for the relaxing neutral palette of the cozy space.

Photography: Emily Followill

Debbie brought blue into the mix in the dining room, with a floral drapery fabric and satin hems on the slipcovered dining chairs. “The floral is more pattern than I typically use, but I loved that fabric, and it pulled everything together in such a pretty way,” she says. “There was something about this Dutch Colonial house that seemed to call for a floral fabric.”

An original plaster medallion adds a flourish to an antique Italian chandelier the Cumminses moved from a previous home. The “Tree of Life” drapery fabric is by Michael S Smith for Jasper. Slipcovered chairs circle an antique oak table that seats eight.

Photography: Emily Followill

The fresh-looking library features blue cabinetry and an elegant gold chandelier.

To see more of this home and read the full story, visit

Written by Amy Elbert

Photography: Emily Followill

Produced by Lisa Mowry

Interior Design: Debbie Cummins, D Cummins Design, 404/825-0749.

Builder: Mike Hammersmith, Mike Hammersmith General Contracting, 404/351-5227,


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