Hollywood Classic


Sometimes home buyers have the good fortune of finding a place where they actually like the renovations that the prior owners completed. Then all that’s needed is to layer in some personal touches and make tweaks here and there to suit their lifestyle. Rachel and Bart Lary needed more space and needed it fast once their first baby was on the way, so they were delighted to find a bigger home that didn’t need tons of work in their beloved Homewood. “What we did was basically cosmetic, ” says Rachel, who grew up on the same street where she now lives. “We added a built-in banquette in the kitchen eating space, painted just about everything, and put in a grilling area off the screened-in porch.” Rachel also brought in family friend and designer Celia McGarity Cox of CBM Design to assist her with the décor. “We were able to use a lot of pieces from Rachel’s former home and updated them when needed with fresh fabrics, ” says Celia. The designer convinced Rachel that the damask drapery panels from the former owners could be reimagined as café curtains in the kitchen, and she had the clever idea of adding a coordinating fabric border to the Larys’ living room curtains to make them work in the new house. 

Rachel opted for neutrals throughout the home with touches of cinnamon in the kitchen and robin’s egg blue in the living room’s art and accessories. Kitchen chairs from her mother were refreshed with a dark reddish-orange shade suggested by designer Marianne Strong. Rich brown paint transformed the living room’s bookcase and mantel into dramatic focal points. 

“My style is fairly traditional, and I have antiques and other furniture from my family, ” says Rachel. “They add to the sense of history in my home.” And history is important to the 1927 Hollywood Tudor cottage where all the changes, both major and minor, respect its past yet fit the present. 

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ABOVE A previous owner remodeled the kitchen, but the Larys added a practical built-in banquette to make the most of the small space and better serve the family of four.


ABOVE LEFT The living room’s bookcase received an update by adding panels to the bottom and painting the back a rich dark brown shade that was also used on the mantel. For more distinction, owner Rachel Lary recovered her books in white paper and spray-painted old law school textbooks.

ABOVE RIGHT Light paint transformed the master bath and gave it spa-like ambiance.

ABOVE Rachel’s preference for neutrals extends to the master bedroom with texture and subtle color in the bedding and slipcovered side tables. 

The Lary house was featured on the 2015 Historic Hollywood Home Tour. The Hollywood neighborhood in Homewood shows off its style in a biennial tour of homes put together by the Hollywood Garden Club with proceeds going towards neighborhood green spaces and Shades Cahaba Elementary School. Hollywood was a planned community envisioned by 26-year-old developer Clyde Nelson who paid $109, 800 for the land in 1924. Originally, Hollywood was to consist entirely of Spanish Revival homes that were popular at the time, but eventually buyers could choose Tudor styles as well. Strict design codes applied regardless of the style. In 2002,  the neighborhood was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The next home tour will be in 2017. Look for announcements early next year.

Interior Design
Celia McGarity Cox, CBM Design, Inc.  205.835-5980; Marianne Strong Interiors  205.222.8876 marianneestronginteriors.com Bookcase and mantel paint color: Stone Brown by Benjamin Moore benjaminmoore.com Art over fireplace: Allison Wickey allisonwickey.com Kitchen banquette fabrics: Sunbrella sunbrella.com Living room ottoman and chair fabrics: Pindler & Pindler pindler.com Outdoor furniture: Restoration Hardware restorationhardware.com

Text by alice welsh doyle • Photography by jean allsopp

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Alice Welsh Doyle

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