A Small Space With Big Style

This Georgia bungalow may be modest in scale, but HGTV Magazine found it has style and spunk to spare.
By: A.J. Hanley

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

A Permanent Place

Long-time Dallas apartment renters Tressa and Steve Kelly found themselves repeatedly vacationing in Savannah, GA. “Eventually it just made sense to buy something in the area,” says Tressa, an insurance company coordinator. When she and her husband, a sales director for an aviation company, happened upon a 1919 two-bedroom bungalow in the Isle of Hope community, they took the plunge.

Cute and Quaint

At 1,300 square feet, the house isn’t much larger than their Dallas digs, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in charm. Working with local designer Stephanie Tallevast, the Kellys maximized every inch by mining websites and local thrift stores for decor that adds character without crowding the space. They plan to be full-time residents in the next five years, but for now, they visit as often as they can.


The front door, painted Positive Red by Sherwin-Williams, inspired an equally colorful seating area. “It may be one of the smaller homes in the neighborhood,” says Tressa, “but from the minute we walked in, we knew it was the perfect fit for us.”

Living Room

The pullout sofa from American Leather accommodates an overflow of guests. Stephanie teamed it with a vintage side chair upholstered in Duralee fabric, and neutral walls (Natural Twine by Martha Stewart Living Paint). The yellow pillows are from HomeGoods; a local upholsterer made the others. The chevron rug was an eBay find. Window valances hung just a few inches from the ceiling make the room look taller.


The designer and homeowners made only one change to the already renovated kitchen: They replaced the stainless steel appliances with white ones to blend in with the cabinets. “Together with the green walls and striped throw rug from Target, it’s a bright, upbeat space,” says Stephanie.

Dining Area

“I wanted this to be more than a place to eat,” says Tressa, who envisioned the area off the kitchen as a space to also play cards or read. For everyday dinners, they had an L-shaped banquette built in the corner, then added a cushion and pillows. The detailed antique draw-leaf table with a trestle base has a lot of character—the knobs under each corner of the are called teardrops.

Guest Bedroom

Depending on who’s visiting, the two twin iron beds can offer more flexibility than one queen. The white bedding from Zara Home looks even more crisp against the blue walls. The printed pillows are made with Duralee linen, and the bolsters are a linen blend by Romo.

Master Bedroom

Tressa and Steve went with neutral walls to keep the focus on the tufted headboard covered in Calvin Klein Home for Kravet velvet. “It had to be soft and tall enough for us to sit up against and read or drink coffee,” says Tressa. Savvy space-savers include the wall-mounted swing-arm lamps from Circa Lighting and a Restoration Hardware table that serves as a nightstand with a storage basket underneath.

Guest Bath

Periwinkle is Steve’s favorite color, so Tressa knew she had to get it in the house somewhere. For this bathroom, she and Stephanie chose Ticking Stripe by Glidden for all four walls. The 81-inch-by-100-inch shower curtain was made using Robert Allen’s Elizas Garden linen fabric. “You can see the shower from the hall when the door is open, so it had to be pretty,” says Tressa.

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