Over a year ago, Vicki and Don Phillips of Louisville were looking to move from their traditional home in the Highlands neighborhood to one that was more suitable to their taste: contemporary, modern, with a leaning towards the unique and unusual. They found a house on a hill — a modern cottage — that spoke to their up-to-date, yet cozy, inclinations, and it was a perfect fit.
Their new home had reinvented itself, as well. Formerly a two-story brick home with traditional layout and dormers, this residence got an accidental and somewhat tragic facelift when the infamous 1974 Louisville tornado blew the roof and the second story completely off the house. The homeowner at the time decided to rebuild, but not according to the original floor plan. Instead, he changed the look of the house completely, adding a second story with a large living space and three bedrooms. He eliminated the attic, raised the ceilings all the way to the roof and created a large loft space, as well. He also layered the outside of the new addition with wooden shingles to distinguish it from the brick façade of the original home.
Today, this home is nothing like its pre-tornado appearance. In fact, there is not much traditional about this house at all, especially the floor plan. The entrance was moved from the front and facing the street, to the side at the end of a long, uphill driveway. Now the front of the house features a large deck, and with the house being set so high on the hill, the view from above is fantastic. The house is actually built into the hill, as you will see, and the backyard is only accessible from the second floor. Unusual indeed.
When the Phillips moved in, they loved the new addition and open floor plan. They enlisted the help of Jim George at Scout on Market to help decorate their contemporary space with modern furniture, decor, lamps, fixtures and artwork. The home is intimate and warm, while still maintaining clean, contemporary lines.
As we tour this modern cottage, notice the lamps in each room, as well as the orchids. Vicki loves lamps and sees them as artwork, so they are all distinctive in their own right. She also loves flowers, notably orchids, and they are present throughout the entire house.
Let’s take a look inside this newly decorated home …
The dining room is part of the original house. Previously, there was a half-wall that created a semi-hallway space within the dining room. That wall was removed, and lighter paint was applied. The room is a mix of old and new furniture. There’s an antique armoire that has been in Vicki’s family for years, as well as a new dining room set.
The kitchen had been renovated recently, so the Phillips only did a few improvements in this room. They changed out the backsplash, adjusted the open shelving and bought a couple of new appliances. The kitchen, which is actually the front of the house, is full of light. Off the kitchen (not pictured) is a large front deck.
Adjacent to the kitchen is the den, which was an addition in 1974, as well, in what was believed to be a former porch area. Now it is a bright, airy space, with raised ceilings and beams, skylights and a wall of windows.
SECOND FLOOR LIVING SPACE
The second floor is all an addition from 1974. It is an eclectic use of space, with one long narrow room and three bedrooms flanking it on two sides. The ceiling was raised all the way to the roof, and a loft was built on one side of the space. That loft is a substantial, but currently unused, area, accessible by the circular staircase shown in the picture. The Phillips have recently learned that the homeowner who designed the space in 1974 had a grand piano in the loft. There is a space covered by a barn door that is currently used as a closet, but formerly housed an organ. There is a lowered ceiling across from the loft where a bench was located for guests to take a seat. They believe that the homeowner would play music for his guests up in the loft while they enjoyed the entertainment from down below.
Off the second floor living space are three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Leaving this modern cottage, stop and admire all the wooden shingles, which seem like an art installment to themselves.
Photography by Christine Mueller Photography
Check out more amazing local homes in our Home & Decor section. Click here to get started!