New Vintage Style
See how a couple in Athens, Georgia, pulled together a freewheeling mix of modern pieces and antique finds to create an inviting, singular style.
The Story of an Athens Cottage
After a few years in New York City working for the textile company Hable Construction, Lucy returned to her hometown of Athens for its creative community, her family, and her then-fiancé, Jim. Now Lucy and Jim have been happily married Athenians for three years, and their charming cottage is filled with a stylish collection of furnishings, each piece with a sentimental story. Take a tour with us through their one-of-a-kind home.
Lucy’s Style Secret: Layer a variety of patterned rugs over a neutral sisal floor covering.
Lucy travels with her family to Maine every summer, where she and her sister, Rinne Allen, scour thrift stores and estate sales for unique furnishings. In the living room, you can see some of their finds, including the vintage Louis Vuitton trunk by the mantel and the art-school portraits above the settee. The red cocktail table was designed by Lucy’s aunt, interior designer Suzanne Allen.
Lucy’s Style Secret: Use brass tacks to hang unframed art casually.
The light-filled entry was originally two separate nooks. “It made such a dramatic difference to tear down the dividing wall,” Lucy says. “Now it’s more like a sunroom.” The antique console table frames the turquoise toolbox that Lucy found at a local thrift store. Not pictured, a vintage rattan settee—now modern with sleek black paint and simple striped cushions—serves as a catchall.
Lucy’s Style Secret: Group artwork in similar tones or feel. Here, nature pulls it all together.
“I just wanted a basic, clean, white room,” says Lucy of her kitchen, “It’s funny, because it ended up very similar to my parents’ kitchen.” Lucy chose simple cabinets and pendant lights from IKEA and painted the walls a soft white to get an airy look. The antique rug adds a sense of history to the brand-new room.
Lucy’s master bedroom is furnished with many pieces that were passed down to her and Jim, including a six-panel screen that her parents gave them. “I love the colors and Asian influence,” says Lucy of the screen. The quirky owl-shaped lamp (a nod to Lucy’s sorority, Chi Omega) was a jar that her mother found in Mexico and got turned into a lamp to give her for her birthday. The corner shelf, which holds pictures and small knickknacks, was made with old shutters and was a gift from Lucy’s godmother.
Master Bedroom Inspiration
This garage sale painting inspired the bedroom colors.
Lucy stores towels and toiletries in a green vintage dental cabinet.
“The beds in the guest room are some of the most meaningful pieces in the house,” says Lucy. “They belonged to my parents when they first got married, and they’re currently ‘on loan’ to me from my mom.” Lucy dressed the bed with mix-and-match linens and added color to the room with an antique Bolivian rug that she found in New York. The vintage bird prints were a lucky Athens antiques store find.
Lucy’s Style Secret: Hang a collection of inexpensive framed prints as a group for more impact.
A dramatic stairway—lined with sun prints by Lucy’s sister, Rinne, and other photographs the two found together on a shopping trip—leads to an attic bedroom.
Lucy’s Style Secret: Fill a staircase’s large, open wall with a group of prints and photographs for an unexpected and eye-catching gallery.
In this warm wood-paneled room, Lucy skillfully mixed traditional and modern items to create a funky look. Sleek red metal lamps flank an iron bed from Lucy’s childhood bedroom. A graphic suzani-style coverlet combines with classic checked pillowcases and a ticking-striped bed skirt, all in her favorite black, mustard, and red color combination.
Upstairs Bedroom Dressing Area
A bold canvas by Hable Construction (hableconstruction.com) punctuates the space.
Lucy’s Style Secret: Layer upholstered furniture with large textiles for a playful mix of patterns.