When a historian and archivist moved from their New York City base to Louisville, Kentucky, during the pandemic with their new baby, the goal was to settle into a historic home. Their search for a suitable residence led to a Tudor revival in 1924 with great bones. Unfortunately, there were a series of design decisions made between the 1980s and 1990s that obscured historic elements, blocked light, and impeded flow throughout the house. They needed help reviving a beautiful Tudor revival—making it livable for a couple with a newborn—while maintaining the home’s original integrity. An introduction by one of the contractors directed the new homeowners to AD PRO Guide designer, Bethany Adams, who proved to be a perfect fit.

“We were trying to make it a family home, not a museum,” Adams explains. Through the original blueprints included in the purchase of the home, Adams sought to create a match between the home’s distinctive characteristics and the comfortable, contemporary aesthetic the couple was seeking.

The old 1990s-style doors and windows at the rear of the house were replaced with steel-framed Crittall replacements, a style characteristic of many 1920s residences that allowed natural light through glass panels. The Tudor-style timber-framed doors and windows, as well as their stained glass, were left untouched in order to retain their period charm. Elsewhere, the original flooring has been refinished throughout the house, except in the kitchen and breakfast room, where dark cherry wood paneling has been replaced with Belgian terracotta star and criss-cross tiles to create a period-appropriate aesthetic.

In the kitchen, Adams and the homeowners continued to let history dictate their design style while balancing two distinct styles. “The term we use, ironically, is shaker deco,” says one half of the couple. “Thankful that there is a strong legacy of wood craftsmanship in Kentucky that has been greatly enriched by the Shakers and Deco just because this house is a 1920s artifact.” The kitchen’s island, cabinets, and open shelves clearly reflect the clean lines of Shaker-style craftsmanship, and the polished brass handles and fluted brass bars are just two elements combined with Art Deco flair.

Exotic color choices and playful furniture selections also make up a big part of the home’s decorative language. “I’ve always loved interesting color combinations,” Adams says. “There’s no bad colour, it’s just a matter of finding the right color to make (another) color look amazing. I find this (to be) a fun exercise.”

The dwelling’s color story is strong, especially in areas like the dining room, where orange Finn Juhl chairs contrast with green wallpaper. The effect is lively and lively, with Ludovic Clément d’Armont’s fanciful moon pendant set adding to the animation. Not far away, blue chairs liven up the formal living room, while bright yellow energizes the dressing room, and a plum four-poster frames the navy blue master bedroom. “That’s my all-time personal preference,” Adams says of the starring role in decor. “I’m not usually lucky enough to have clients who want to go there with me, but we were completely on board with what we envisioned for this space.”

Customers also couldn’t be happier with their cooperation. “When we lived in New York, we always envisioned a home that felt like a part of history,” the couple says. “That’s what drew us to this particular place, and informed the entire process. The result reflects that dream.”

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