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Packed with Personality

A Chamblee home renovation finds beauty and function while reflecting a unique style and personality

Susie Prince, owner of Susie Mae Design in Chamblee, has a knack for designing spaces and finds her joy in helping others create space that reflects their unique style and personality. “I absolutely adore working with my residential clients and creating a home that feels like them,” she says. Her approach is authentic – honoring the architecture of the home, while also honoring the client’s personal style.

Susie was approached by empty nesters living in an older, established neighborhood in the heart of Chamblee looking to remodel their midcentury modern, split-level home. Right away Susie noted that much of the house from the entryway to the kitchen was closed off. The lighting in the kitchen wasn’t good, and the storage was disjointed. The homeowners wanted to open things up so that when someone was in the kitchen, they still felt a part of the group.

In the living space, it was important to create a setting where their dog could see the world outside. And the homeowners are art savvy with an extensive art collection that needed to be displayed.

Susie says it was clear from the beginning the homeowners were open-minded and trusted the design process. “They came to me with a vision,” she says.

As with any home renovation project, there can be challenges, and this project was no exception. The big challenge was finding ways of adding space when you’re not adding square footage – how to create more space within the area you’re working with?

Susie explains she accomplished this by closing off a wall in the kitchen. “It actually ended up making everything feel and function better,” she says. By closing it off, she added cabinet space and added to the size of the kitchen. She was also able to make the kitchen island large enough for the amount of seating needed without encroaching on the entryway or basement stairs.

Susie says the range in the kitchen was important to the project, as it serves as a focal point and makes the wall look different and interesting. And going from two windows to one large window in a slightly different location opens up the space while adding much-needed light and allows the kitchen to function better.

In the living area, Susie added glass cabinets on the back wall to showcase the homeowner’s art collection, ample area for houseplants, and good seating for listening to the homeowner’s album collection.  And the television – Susie was able to lower the mantle and mount it so it’s less noticeable while the television is off, and the mount is moveable to make viewing more comfortable.

The renovation took place around the pandemic, so finding the right blend of materials and furnishings in the colors they wanted and that could be shipped was an added challenge.

In the end, Susie says the homeowners are pleased with the outcome. “It’s not always that you can check every box of the things that you want to do, but we accomplished all the wish list items,” Susie says. “They were able to get a beautiful range, a nice big sink, good natural light, and overall the house feels lighter and brighter, and that was something very important to them.”

While looking at social media and magazines, Susie mentions that it’s tempting to go with the latest trends, and she adds that it can be good for inspiration. But one thing that Susie stresses to her clients is that one person’s house shouldn’t look exactly like someone else’s. “People are different, and our houses should always be a reflection of ourselves,” Susie says. “It’s going to be beautiful for you for many years to come because it’s beautifully personal to you.”

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  • Before the renovation, the kitchen was dark and closed off.
  • The living area before the renovation lacks personality and style.
  • The living area after the renovation is a better refection of the homeowners and their unique style and interests.
  • After the renovation, the kitchen is brighter and functions better.