When interior designer Bethany Adams moved with her family from Chicago to Louisville three years ago, she fell in love with Old Louisville almost immediately. Filled with historic Victorian homes, and in close proximity to the University of Louisville where her husband teaches, Bethany knew she wanted to settle in this gorgeous historic neighborhood filled with architectural gems. So when she found this 1870s Italianate home on South Sixth Street, Bethany and her family made the leap.
And what a leap it was. The home had been a rental property for many years, and a series of renovations and additions made by previous owners had stripped it of much of its original interior details. The bones were still there, however, and this interior designer was ready to take on overseeing the complete renovation of this historic property. At 2,000 square feet, Bethany’s home isn’t as grand as some of the surrounding properties — the homes along Sixth Street tend to be a bit more modest than ones found on neighboring streets — but the gutting and renewed layout required to make the house livable made the square footage appealing for Bethany and her young family.
Completed in April 2016, Bethany explains her style approach for this project as ” … a fresh, modern take on traditional. I wanted to remain true to the original architecture of the home, but use pieces from different eras and cultures to bring it to life. Interior design is always a matter of balancing what works with the architecture and what works for the occupants — there are usually concessions on each side, but after so many years of neglect, I like to think that this house is as happy with the changes as we are.”
When asked about her favorite spot in the house, Bethany explains, “It’s funny, because it’s not glamorous, but I love to pause under the stairs in what used to be a closet, and look all the way through the new opening between the living room and kitchen and out the new French doors in the dining room to our terrace. I love that I was able to open up all of this incredible light and space and, frankly, I could look at a Saarinen table all day long, they’re so beautiful!”
When asked to name her favorite thing about living in Old Louisville, Bethany explains, “Hands down, the architecture. It is such a privilege to be living in such a beautiful, historic neighborhood. Having lived in neighborhoods like Georgetown in Washington, D.C., and the Marais in Paris and paid the rents that these pieces of history usually command, I am constantly pinching myself that we can actually afford to live in this beautiful, walkable, livable neighborhood. In the two-and-a-half years that we’ve lived here, we’ve seen more and more families — some out-of-towners like ourselves and some Louisville boomerangs — start to buy up and renovate these gorgeous homes. There’s a really vibrant community here, and we all have a love of architecture and preservation in common, which is wonderful.”
And her thoughtfully renovated home — a mix of clean spaces, natural textures and a neutral palette with the occasional pop of color — makes the neighborhood that much more beautiful.
Thanks to Tim Furlong, Jr. for the beautiful photography included in this article.
Interior Design is by Bethany Adams. You can find out more about Bethany by visiting her website at shopchichome.com.
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