A Chef and Painter’s Art-Filled Cottage in South Carolina

Share It

For me, getting comfortable doesn’t always mean snagging the best spot on the sofa for movie night. It doesn’t mean putting on my robe after a long day. True comfort is hard to come by. It’s effortless. It’s a state of being so at ease and so in tune with your space, you seem to blend into your surroundings. For a house to feel comfortable, it takes a special blend of love and craft.

Eleven years ago, painter Joseph Bradley and his wife Rachel, a pastry chef, moved into their Greenville, SC neighborhood. The area’s charming, old colonials and proximity to nearby friends has served them well. It fit them so perfectly that when it was time to upgrade, they only considered homes that were close by. As luck would have it, just as the Bradleys were on the hunt for a new nest, family friends were trading in their South Carolina house for one in Atlanta. With more room for their expanding family and lots of old-world charm, their friends’ 1940s cottage was a perfect fit for Joseph and Rachel.

The space was move-in ready, so without hesitation the family pounced on it and have since had a blast making the cottage their own. The previous owners had done a fabulous job designing and maintaining the house, but for the Bradley family to truly feel comfortable, one renovation was in order — and it wasn’t a subtle one either. Joseph and Rachel didn’t like how their bedroom was upstairs, far away from each of their three growing boys’ rooms below. To remedy this, they added on bedrooms and bathrooms to their house’s second floor. For five months construction went nonstop, but in the end it was a small price to pay for the chance to live at ease. Nowadays, all of the Bradley boys sleep soundly closer to their artistic parents.

With construction complete, the family focused on further decorating their 2,500-square-foot home. Over the past two years, it’s become an eclectic mix of arresting art, antiques and family heirlooms. Joseph’s ties to the art world have resulted in walls that are bursting with new pieces by colleagues and friends. All of the Bradleys, including their young children, are collectors as well. License plates, platters, and groups of figurines all do wonders for making the home into the comfortable sanctuary they hoped for all along. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Paige French & Chris Isham

  1. julia says:

    Your home is beautiful! I love the bookshelves upstairs and your kitchen cabinet color. (We live nearby in Charlotte!)

    1. Joseph says:

      Thanks so much – we’re really in love with the bookshelves too. I was also scared of painting the cabinets, but they look fantastic!

  2. Jessica says:

    Really beautiful house. Love the colors and everything about that bathroom.


  3. Edel says:

    Love the wall of frames! Getting such inspo – I’m currently renovating!

  4. Meme says:

    House goals here! I would love to live in a cottage that would be my ultimate dream!

    Meme xx

  5. I love this space. The bookshelf is genius, the bathroom is so fresh, and the color of the lower cabinets really grounds the space. I think built in islands can be a real pain and something like that makes more sense for some.

  6. Emily says:

    That bookcase and bathroom! So in loooove.

  7. Amy says:

    Love the kitchen cabinet color! I feel that brass cabinet pulls would’ve make it look even better.
    The wall of art in the living space is fabulous. I love your eye!

    1. Joseph says:

      AMY –

      HA! You’re right. They actually are brass though! The light and processing makes them look more silvery here, but they’re pretty golden brass in person!

  8. Very comfortable indeed! You are inspiring me to paint my lower cabinets a dark color…..

  9. homebodysc says:

    So glad to see this beautiful home just down the road from us (we’re in Travelers Rest). I especially love those upstairs hallway bookshelves!

  10. Kathy says:

    One of my favorites. That bathroom is amazing.

  11. meghan says:

    oh, I love this home. one of my favourites so far. the living room is perfect – I would love to know where the rug came from. thank you!

    1. Joseph says:


      Thanks so much! Our rug in our living room came from a local shop here – Urban digs, in Greenville, SC. It’s a jute rug.

  12. Kate says:

    Beautiful. I’m especially in love with the painting over their bed.

    1. Joseph says:


      Thanks so much! That would be one of my paintings!

  13. Romany says:

    What a beautiful home! It’s vibrant and lively and has so many personal touches that make it a true family home. Fantastic job.

  14. Shelley says:

    This is one of my favorite home tours. The lighting in each of the rooms is just perfect. I especially love the lamp in the master bedroom.

    1. Joseph says:

      Thanks Shelley,

      The lamp in our MB has a cork base – vintage. It came from a great shop nearby that sells mid-century finds: Shindig Furnishings

  15. Erin says:

    Seriously stunning home!!! Love it.

  16. oltyrrell says:

    wow- what a fabulous place to raise children. it’s airy, fun, and charming. you guys have such great style– LOVE the kitchen and bath !

  17. hannah says:

    I would be so happy if I knew where your beautiful rug came from in your living room!

  18. Danielle says:

    So, so stunning and welcoming! Great mix of sophistication and comfort. And that kitchen…dreamy. The cabinet color really grounds it. Would love to know what those countertops are made of!

  19. Behrooz says:

    This is an amazing home. Its very unique, specially the bookshelves.

  20. Jessica says:

    This home is simply lovely. I would love to know the color of your kitchen cabinets!

  21. jess says:

    What stone are you using for the kitchen counter tops?

  22. Chris says:

    What is the color you used on the kitchen cabinets?

  23. J. Thomas says:

    I adore your bathroom tile. Would you let me know which brand, size, and color it is? I’d love to use this for our bathroom reno. Also, are the subway tiles handmade? Honed? Matte? And what color in the grout? I am looking to incorporate the darker grout / white subway tile look, but I don’t want it to look too severe. Yours has a delicate contrast.

  24. Jessa says:

    Where might I buy your gorgeous bathroom tile? I can’t tell if it is a deep navy or charcoal, hexagon, or other shape. Do tell. Whatever it is, I need it!

  25. lindsay says:

    I agree on the bathroom, gorgeous! Please provide info on the tiles and grout choices. I’m about to start my first reno!!


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.