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A Gut Renovation Transformed This Atlanta Celebrity's Home From a Mess to a Marvel

This savvy homebuyer found a distressed property in an Atlanta neighborhood on the verge of gentrifying and turned it into a gorgeous showcase of his midcentury vintage finds and art collection.

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Photo: Tomas Espinoza

A Historic Atlanta Bungalow Makeover

The gentrifying Atlanta neighborhood of Chosewood Park offers tons of promising vintage homes for buyers — if you are willing to put in the work. But talented artist and personality Grant Henry (of the hit Atlanta bar Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room and Ping-Pong Emporium where celebrities from Owen Wilson to Ben Stiller have battled Grant at the ping pong table) was up to the challenge. He found this very much in-need-of-repair home behind his daughter's home and made the homeowners an offer they couldn't refuse (sight unseen) right before they planned to tear the home down and build something new.

"I've always wanted to mix modern and primitive," says Grant of his home filled with midcentury modern treasures and folksy antiques that celebrate his Southern heritage. The result is a unique space filled with collections and design ideas for other lovers of old homes and antiquing.

See how Grant Henry's style has evolved with this tour of his previous home.

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Photo: Tomas Espinoza

A Front Porch Offering a Taste of Things to Come

Grant took on the renovation of his newly purchased home all on his own; no architect was involved. One of his first tasks: a new roof so a ceiling open to the sky wouldn't become a waterfall. The home featured an unfinished dirt backyard and was basically an opportunity, Grant says, "to try my hand at building a house." He laughs, "I think it has to do with my OCD: I have an addictive personality." And transforming distressed properties definitely feeds that need.

Here Grant cuddles his dog Shoog — the perfect friend and accessory since Shoog's black coat matches Grant's wardrobe of black T-shirts — on the wide front porch that sets the tone for the mix of vintage wood furniture and more contemporary pieces inside.

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Photo: Tomas Espinoza

A Hallway, An Exhibit

Testament to the value in creating a home tailored to you and not geared for resale, Grant transformed a four-bedroom, three-bathroom home into a one-bedroom, two-bath house (plus one bedroom with one bath and outdoor shower in the poolhouse) that suits his needs perfectly. The home is graced with a long entryway corridor that leads the eye into the space. The long hallway is the perfect opportunity to show off collections or highlight large pieces of artwork. This home is one of many Grant has revitalized in Atlanta including his very first purchase of a dilapidated house for $10,000. But he admits "this is my favorite house ever."

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Photo: Tomas Espinoza

Small Space, Big Impact

The living space of Grant's home is divided into two sections, the better to show off his collection of midcentury finds and artwork. Grant traveled to Indianapolis to pick up the vintage Barcelona chairs featured in his living room.

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