When interior designer Bethany Adams moved with her family from the Midwest to the South — Louisville, to be specific — three years ago, she fell in love with the Old Louisville area 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 in the area, 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, but the gutting and renewed layout required to make the house livable made the square footage appealing for Bethany and her young family.

Renovated 1870s era Italianate home in Old Louisville is an example of restored Victorian houses with fresh interior design.

Louisville-based interior designer Bethany Adams gutted, renovated and designed the interior of this 1870s Italianate home located on South Sixth Street in Old Louisville.

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.”

The view from the living room inviting visitors to the kitchen – a perfect combination of traditional combined with modern. Chairs are vintage finds recovered in a Duralee fabric

The view from the living room invites visitors to the kitchen — a perfect combination of traditional combined with modern. Chairs are vintage finds recovered in a Duralee fabric.

A beautiful detail of this cozy, sophisticated living room.

A beautiful detail of this cozy, sophisticated living room

Bethany brought created a bar and ingenious storage with this floating cabinet. Lucite lamps with vintage seating and mirror make an elegant statement with a light touch.

Bethany created a bar and ingenious storage with this floating cabinet. Lucite lamps with a vintage mirror and seating make an elegant statement with a light touch.

This light-filled kitchen, with its dove gray cabinets, white subway tile and butcher block counter tops, easily opens both an the intimate dining room and living room making this kitchen a natural gathering space in the heart of this home.

This light-filled kitchen, with its dove gray cabinets, white subway tile and butcher block countertops, easily opens to both the intimate dining room and living room, making this kitchen a natural gathering space in the heart of this home.

Traditional with a hint of modern combine in this kitchen to include a deep farmhouse sink, warm butcherblock countertops and simple, painted gray cabinets. The gold handles, drawer pulls and faucet add a sophisticated touch.

Traditional with a hint of modern combine in this kitchen to include a deep farmhouse sink, warm butcherblock countertops and simple, painted gray cabinets. The gold handles, drawer pulls and faucet add a sophisticated touch.

Stainless appliances work well with the honed Absolute black granite island countertop. Pink barstools peek out for an added touch of fun. The intelligent use of space in this home really shines in the layout of the working areas of this kitchen.

Stainless appliances work well with the honed Absolute black granite island countertop. Pink barstools peek out for an added touch of fun. The intelligent use of space in this home really shines in the layout of the working areas of this kitchen.

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!”

Marble-topped Saarinen Tulip Table with vintage brass-hued metal dining chairs recovered in pale pink faux leather create an intimate, sophisticated dining room. The branching, bubble glass chandelier and cow-skin rug completes the look. French doors added as part of the renovation allow light to stream through the entire first floor.

Marble-topped Saarinen Tulip Table with vintage brass-hued metal dining chairs recovered in pale pink faux leather create an intimate, sophisticated dining room. The branching, bubble glass chandelier and cow-skin rug complete the look. French doors added as part of the renovation allow light to stream through the entire first floor.

This happy bathroom keeps things simple with bright white beadboard but adds a dose of whimsical with Birds and Butterflies wallpaper by Schumacher and a saffron painted metal light fixture.

This happy bathroom keeps things simple with bright white beadboard but adds a dose of whimsy with Birds and Butterflies wallpaper by Schumacher and a saffron painted metal light fixture.

This gray child's bedroom includes just the right amount of sweetness, with pink and pale green accents.

This gray child’s bedroom includes just the right amount of sweetness, with pink and pale green accents.

This second-floor home office is light-filled and serene. Natural elements like seagrass wallpaper, natural wood desk and cowhide rug work together for this simple, elegant look. A branching light fixture adds an architectural element.

This second-floor home office is light-filled and serene. Natural elements like seagrass wallpaper, a natural wood desk and cowhide rug work together for this simple, elegant look. A branching light fixture adds an architectural element.

1870s era fireplace mantel and tile original to this Old Louisville Italianate home.

A series of renovations and additions by previous owners removed most of the original wood windows and moldings, but the floors were left and the fireplaces upstairs have their original tile and mantels.

Family room of restored 1870s Italianate home painted in Benjamin Moore Gentleman's Gray with vintage and mid-century modern touches.

Bethany was initially disappointed that much of the historic detail was lost before she purchased the home but admits that it allowed her to be more creative than she may have otherwise been. This almost indigo family room filled with modern touches and vintage finds is a clear example of that creative freedom realized.

The walls are Gentleman's Gray by Benjamin Moore, one of their 2017 colors of the year.

We love the elephant mask hung over Bethany’s mantel and had to learn its story. “The elephant mask is of Southeast Asian origin, but I found it at an antiques shop in my hometown of Littleton, New Hampshire!” The walls are Gentleman’s Gray by Benjamin Moore, one of their 2017 colors of the year.

Bethany created a serene master bedroom in soft, neutral tones with natural texture choices.

Bethany created a serene master bedroom in soft, neutral tones with natural texture choices.

Bethany's headboard is from Crate and Barrel. Both nightstands are vintage finds and the wallpaper is by Serena and Lily.

Bethany’s bed is from Crate and Barrel. Both nightstands are vintage finds, and the wallpaper is by Serena and Lily.

The master bath soothes in simple, neutral tones and the crystal globe pendant light and flokati rug add glamor and texture.

The master bath soothes in simple, neutral tones, and the crystal globe pendant light and a sheepskin rug add glamor and texture.

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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