This Historic Home Was Just Given New Life as a Sorority House—You Have To See the Transformation
Welcome to the Dearing-Wilkins Alpha Phi House. The historic home at 378 North Milledge Avenue in Athens, Georgia, known as the Dearing-Wilkins House, was purchased by Alpha Phi International Women’s Fraternity in 2017 to become the home for their new Kappa Epsilon chapter at The University of Georgia. After a thoughtful renovation, restoration, and addition, the house will now be home to 54 women each year at The University of Georgia.
Located in the Milledge Avenue Historic District in Athens, Georgia, and listed on the National Historic Register, the Dearing-Wilkins House was originally built in the 1800s.
Meet the Designer: Metal + Petal’s Lead Designer Jade Joyner
“Since the house is historic and rather stately, yet the girls who inhabit it are young and vibrant, I wanted to ensure the interior worked for its occupants and with the home. The girls needed a well thought out design. A place to study with their laptops, to lounge with friends, to hang out as sisters, and to work. I used a lot of pattern play in the design to keep it fun, incorporating some of my favorite Schumacher fabrics and wallpapers. I chose Noir and Arteriors for almost all of the fixtures, and I turned to Anthropologie for some fabulous statement pieces. I mixed styles and eras while balancing the new and the old. I kept the interior sophisticated, but not stuffy.” - Jade Joyner
The historic columns, expansive wraparound porch (complete with a haint blue ceiling), and existing front door were preserved to create an elegant, eye-catching exterior.
From the moment you walk through the front door you can see the mix of both classic and contemporary styles. In the foyer, the crown molding, ginger jars, and hardwood floors are combined with a metal chandelier and acrylic bench to create a welcoming atmosphere.
Just off the foyer is Jade's favorite room in the home, the library. Having modern black bookcases and a mixed metal chandelier in the same room with the wainscoting and original fireplace emphasizes the mix of traditional and contemporary styles.
The Study Rooms
A space this beautiful makes studying a little easier. A mix of chairs, couches, and a window seat provide plenty of space for sisters to gather and work on their studies.
The Chapter Room
This room is used the most by the sorority and has a little bit of a simpler design than the rest of the home to remain functional and versatile. Drapery made with navy dotted fabric adds a touch of playfulness to the space.
A three-story, enclosed breezeway connects the old house to the new house, which resulted in about 10,000 square feet of additional living space.