Field Notes: Ten Take-Aways from the Jr. League’s Missionary Ridge Showhouse
CHATTANOOGA. The Junior League of Chattanooga is hosting a Designer Showhouse series of tours and special events to raise funds for its vital community projects. ‘A Gatsby Affair’ is set for Friday, June 3, and a wine tasting will be a hit on Tuesday, June 14. If you live in Atlanta or Nashville the tour is worth the short drive. The Missionary Ridge neighborhood of historic homes is marked with many Civil War monuments managed by the National Park Service and the entire area is a scenic route of stunning architectural gems and views of downtown Chattanooga. The Showhouse at 526 South Crest Road in Chattanooga was built in 1925 and sits on a six-acre estate with a cabana and pool. The home’s original owners were Carl and Minette Dixon, founders of Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park near Chattanooga.
Click here for tickets and comp lete details. Nashville Interiors was offered a media preview this week, and we came away with a bit of missionary zeal for some of the designer’s finishes, furnishings, and flair. Come prepared to shop.
There’s so much to see at this large estate, but here’s our list of top 10 design details we had to share.
1. Dark lacquer contrast on newel post and stairs grounds the busy foyer. Upstairs, the striking contrast continues as the original architecture frames the expansive landing and stunning coffered ceiling.
2. Color sets off this trayed ceiling’s millwork. Sherman Williams ‘Calico’ is on the walls and ‘Sunbeam’ is on the ceiling. Note the third color, the ‘Gambol Gold’ accent stripe. This is just one element we loved about this ‘Hollywood Regency’ style master bedroom designed by Kevin Vaughn. This is one of many rooms with a view.
3. The Mediterranean-style arch windows repeat not only along the grand porch, but are an architectural signature for this house, framing stunning views from the ridge elevation. The blue bedroom evokes that same Mediterranean feel and blue palate. The room is both cozy and rich. The sitting room overlooks the city and can easily be converted to a guest room with the clever use of a cabinet bed. The room’s designer, Marsha Yessick, added a sapphire leather lounge chair by the fireplace. Thibaut Fabrics and Wallcoverings are featured.
4. The living room by designer Michelle Workman features an inviting tranquil color palette where the wall art installations are allowed a more saturated drama, such as with this Japanese-inspired acrylic painting on glass tile that is as sculptural as it is painterly. The large-scale Christy Kinard painting provides the symmetry on the other side of the grand entrance off the foyer. In this long sprawling room where the entrance and fireplace dictate a symmetry, the designer offers up wonderful surprises that play on color and balance. Michelle works across the country and her celebrity client roster is impressive. This is a room that works from every angle.
5. The Mid-Century modern Library by Tiffany Anich with Southerly Abode offers a fun flashback with the use of a classic butterfly chair and vinyl record player. Vinyl is the new home theater, of course, for many rediscovering the album cover as an art collection, and the distinct sound. We recommend Sarah Vaughan’s 1957 vinyl release ‘Swingin’ Easy’; and look, there is Sarah adding to the butterfly chair mystic. We also appreciated the eclectic artifacts throughout the room that add to its accessibility and warm welcome right off the foyer.
6. We loved everything about ‘the white room’ as everyone calls it, or bedroom 4 as it’s called in the guidebook. Eda Walldorf with Green & Lofty goes sparse with elements of wood as focal points, from a cello’s gleam to organic shapes of driftwood forming a wall installation over the bed with floating elements. You must go peruse for yourself. Ada’s hand-painted wall that allows the formal geometric pattern to improvise, drew our eye immediately. We were engaged by the shimmering gold paint and delicate lines. The chair? Yes, it’s for sale. We asked.
7. Silver ceiling-to-floor top-pleated curtains make this rather large dining room with many entry-ways quite intimate. The word ‘elegant’ comes to mind. Designer Laurel Powell layers the flowing wall treatment with vintage portraits and architectural panels that contrast nicely with the rooms impressive architectural elements. She brought in Becky Glover with Fischer Evans to help set the entire room like an inviting formal table, with a stunning display in the scallop shell niche.
8. The curly maple embellished bar cabinet in the living room is simply exquisite, including the vintage bar accessories. A wonderful pick by designer Michelle Workman. Keep in mind that many of the items you see throughout the house are available for purchase.
9. We were taken by the color ‘Edamame’ by Sherwin Williams that designer Robin Praino chose for the upstairs Ladies Study. Like Virginia Woolf said, every woman needs a room of her own. The room is tucked into the upstairs where a canopy of trees can be seen outside the window, so Robin brings that leafy green inside. Like each of the upstairs room, this one has its own personality and this one is fully realized with furnishings by Stray Dog Designs, Chattanooga artist Addie Chapin , and Huck & Peck.
10. Breakfast room blues include an indigo ceiling contrasted with white trim, curtains featuring the distinct blue of porcelain chinoiserie jars, and a revival of grasscloth on the walls. Designer Jodi Brewer with J Brewer Designs created a window seat for the feature arched window, brought in blue bamboo chairs, and added bright cherry pillow fabrics and accents to make this sunny room a casual gathering place. The ceiling treatment has a wow factor, so be sure and look up. The breakfast room is just off the kitchen and features charcoal gray cabinets that make the original kitchen footprint functional. The kitchen was designed by Jackie Howard and Daniel Waddell with Scarlett’s Cabinetry in collaboration with Elaine Sanders and Jessica Hurst with The Tile Store We were pleased to see one of our favorite Chattanooga artist’s work included as an element in the kitchen: delicate ceramic hanging planters in the sunny sink window by Jessie Bean with Bean & Bailey Ceramics.