This Brand-New Homewood Cottage was Designed with an Old World Feel

Traditional architecture, fine finishes, and an eclectic art collection add plenty of patina to a brand-new house in Homewood.

Living room filled with eclectic decor, a wood paneled feature wall and fire place, and blue velvet couch.
Tricia fell in love with the blue velvet Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams sofa as soon as she saw it at Defining Home. It’s now her favorite spot to relax. “Cohen” chairs by Bernhardt flank the concrete-and-cypress wall surrounding the fireplace. The custom coffee table is by Chris Ryan at Village Woodworks.
Jackson Family posing outside with family dog/
The Jackson Family, from left: William, Mattie (the family’s labradoodle), Evan, Keith, and Tricia.

Living in a charming Homewood cottage comes with a lot of pluses, but an abundance of square footage is not one of them. No one knows that better than Tricia Jackson. She and her husband, Keith, enjoyed the quirks and peculiarities of two Edgewood cottages before ultimately deciding that their family of four, including two growing boys, needed more room. So the couple began searching for a spot in Murray Hill, a neighborhood on a ridge abutting Lakeshore Drive with generously-sized lots. The goal: Find a plot that would accommodate a dream home, plenty of outdoor entertaining, and a pool. The search didn’t exactly yield rapid-fire results. “It took us four years to get over here. We looked all the time—we even had neighbors scouting for us,” Tricia says with a laugh. “We were constantly leaving notes in mailboxes.”

The letter-writing campaign eventually paid off, and then it was time to put together a team that could create a brand-new house that didn’t appear so, well, brand new. The couple hired Nashville-based architect Scott Torode of Pfeffer Torode to design a home that looked like it had a little history. “He came highly recommended and really understood what we were looking for right from the start,” Tricia says. She also recruited friend and interior designer Julie Terrell to help realize her vision for each room. “It was a great partnership,” says Julie. “Scott came up with all the drawings and plans, and then Tricia and I took it from there as far as finishes. We had a really good time creating all the layers. Tricia knows what she likes, but she wanted my help to make sure it was all going to make sense together. ”

Large Homewood cottage with a clean cut lawn and fresh landscaping.
The home’s classic brick exterior perfectly pairs with the dark grays chosen for the trim (Thunder Gray by Sherwin-Williams) and front door (Iron Ore by Sherwin-Williams).

“The homeowner was ready for a fresh, updated look, but she didn’t want to leave tradition behind. We struck a nice balance.”

Julie Terrell
Builtin bathtub with paneling. Flanked buy linen closet and shower.
Tricia says this is the first bathtub she’s actually used. “I was lucky enough to have my best friend Tracie Bresnahan [of Custom Creations] do all my draperies and pillows,” she says. “She also designed the motorized shade [in “Istria” by Kravet] that comes down and flows with the curves of the top of the tub. She ended up winning a WCAA (Window Coverings Association of America) award for it!”
Dining room with round marble table and blue dining chairs onlooking the family room.
Because Tricia didn’t want a formal dining room, she opted for a round Milling Road table and chairs from Kravet. Drapes in Katana fabric from Kelly Wearstler add softness to the space

The completed five-bedroom, seven-bathroom home features all the hallmarks of new construction, such as lots of storage, a right-sized master suite, and a chef’s kitchen large enough for an 11-foot-long island. But there are also timeless details like cedar paneling in the living room, oak floors throughout, and plenty of windows that offer evergreen views of the tall trees planted in the back and front yards. And despite an open floorplan, there’s also a generous amount of wall space, which was a must as Tricia is a fervent art collector. “I think the first thing I bought for this house was an abstract on paper,” she says. “I told Larry Atchison [of Mountain Brook’s Atchison Gallery] that I had to have it but needed two. He was able to get in touch with the artist and commission a companion piece.” 

An eclectically styled study with tall ceilings and art packed walls.
The study is a mix of glamour and comfort featuring tall ceilings, eclectic art, and a mix of antiques. A modern sofa by Kravet, a coffee table from Defining Home, and the brass “Cubist” chandelier by Kelly Wearstler for Visual Comfort complete the space.

Julie notes that the artwork and the views of the great outdoors were equally instrumental as prompts for coming up with the perfect palette for the entire house. “We really channeled what’s going on outside of those windows,” says the designer. “And since Tricia and I both love art, we combined this rich, traditional architecture with artwork and fabrics that really bring everything to life.”

- Sponsors -

BEDROOMS: The homeowners asked for a calming master bedroom that wasn’t overly furnished. Designer Julie Terrell delivered by bringing in one of Tricia’s favorite shades of blue with a stunning custom Crypton velvet headboard and pairing it with a dresser from Defining Home and a nightstand from Serena & Lily. Overnight guests are invited to sleep in cozy quarters featuring an iron bed dressed in linens from Suite Dreams. Drawings on the wall are by Arthur Price.

Open concept kitchen with large 11-foot island.
Friends and family are happy to take in the action happening in the kitchen while seated on “Ines” brass barstools from Massoud. Large pendant lights from Visual Comfort hang above the island, which is topped in a crisp white quartzite.

Coming of Age

Designer Julie Terrell offers tips for making a brand-new space feel lived-in. 

Turn up the texture. Julie advises bringing paneling, wainscoting, and even wallpaper to add a little depth to new construction. But don’t feel like you have to go crazy and cover every surface. “It can be as simple as adding color, a little board-and-batten, or a patterned wallcovering to the back of a bookcase,” she says.

Let there be light. While an abundance of natural light goes a long way, fanciful fixtures can also make a big statement. “They bring so much personality to a space,” Julie says. As for the perfect heavy metal? “Brass will always be in style if it’s a good quality finish.”

Call in the collections. The quickest way to make a space feel collected over time is to bring in actual items you’ve collected over time. “It adds instant soul to new construction,” says Julie. “While my client was trying to pare down and only keep her favorites, we worked together to keep and display her best and most meaningful pieces.”

Related: See other homes Julie Terrell has designed.

Back elevation of home, sporting a hot tub, pool, and screened-in porch.
The Jacksons love having people over, and their screened-in porch, painted Iron Ore by Sherwin-Williams, is a popular gathering spot. Guests can sit and sip awhile on outdoor furniture from Summer Classics. Garden stools from Richard Tubb offer a convenient spot for drinks.

RESOURCES
Interior Design: Julie Terrell, Julie Terrell Interior Design Architect: Scott Torode, Pfeffer Torode, Nashville, Tennessee Builder: Bill Meadows, Meadows Homes Landscape: Bill Parrish and Daniel Walter, PESI Landscaping Kitchen: Countertops: Cottage Supply Hardware: Brandino Brass Co. 

Get the best of Birmingham delivered to your inbox

Stunning local homes, inspiring before & after projects, southern-style recipes, entertaining ideas and more!