After: When Cindy and David Ellsworth bought the century-old home, years of neglect had rendered it uninhabitable. With help from contractor Marc Engelke, the couple embarked on a preservation-minded restoration that, in just eight months, returned the abode to its original beauty. With a love for bright colors, Cindy had the exterior painted in Sherwin-Williams’s “Greek Isle.”
The living area during construction
Opening Up: When an original wall separating the dining and living rooms proved unsalvable, Cindy and David took the opportunity to create a more open floor plan.
The kitchen and living area during construction
In the kitchen, Engelke repurposed an antique porch column to provide necessary structural support. Most evenings, the Ellsworths can be found here, eating dinner or just hanging out at the quartz-topped island.
Cindy and David on their front porch
Oscar, the couple’s Shih Tzu, strikes a pose in front of the powder room.
Though not original to the house, the half-bath adds some much-needed 21st-century convenience; beadboard salvaged from the back porch was repurposed as wall paneling, retaining a sense of the home’s history.
The couple kept the decor minimal in order to highlight the architectural features, but the accessories they do have pack plenty of personality. After admiring the work of local artist Molly B. Right for many years, the Ellsworths commissioned this bottle-cap portrait of John Lennon, which hangs above a custom Landrum table in the living area.
Cindy scored this striking statue, which she dubbed “Carmella,” while antiquing in Savannah.
The former service stairs now function as an interesting focal point in the kitchen, as well as a fun play space for visiting grandchildren.
Shiplap walls in Behr’s “Whipped Mint” set a serene mood in the master bedroom.
When Engelke’s crew had trouble removing all the plaster from the brick column in the master bath, Cindy decided to embrace it. She’s come to love the patina it adds to the space.
A tiled shower with no glass door makes the bath low-maintenance. “The design is a result of me hating to clean glass doors; I never wanted to see another squeegee again!” Cindy laughs.
In this petite guest room, a vintage twin bed with a carved pineapple motif and a Shovels & Rope poster add local flavor.
Before: During the renovation, the rotting back porch that had been closed in at some point was removed from the rear facade.
A single-story screened-in porch was added to the footprint. The Ellsworths love entertaining, and their fire pit—which is topped with a slice of petrified wood when not in use—is the centerpiece of frequent backyard gatherings.
The coral door on the new gardening shed brings a fun dose of color to the scene.