interior designInteriorssneak peeks

A Mid-Century Ranch House Gets a Major Renovation in Mississippi

by Erin Austen Abbott

When Emily Blount, restaurateur of Saint Leo, and her family decided to move to her husband Dan’s home state of Mississippi, it was both exciting and terrifying. Emily was looking forward to the idea of having more space for their two young boys to grow up in, but leaving behind NYC was also pretty scary, since she had called it home for the last 13 years.

After a few moves and a lot of crashing with family, they finally settled into their new home two years later, in Oxford, MS. What began as a simple house hunt quickly turned disappointing when a deal fell through on the house they had their hearts set on. The hunt continued.

Unsure if their new find was the right house for them (due to its size and look), Emily turned to Howorth & Associates Architects to give her the push and vision that she needed to see this house for what it could be. The grey brick mid-century ranch house got a fresh coat of white paint, and new windows and french doors replaced the two windows that once made up the front of the house. After all was said and done, 1,700 additional square feet were added to the home, giving the family the open floor plan they were looking for, space for their two young boys to move about, and a home to entertain their large extended family and friends for gatherings.

Making sure to blend the original floor plan with the new addition, Emily became really good at editing furnishings and making sure the flow throughout the home was exactly what they wanted. When it came to the decor, she turned to her husband’s uncle, interior designer, Sam Blount, to help her narrow down what she was looking for. By the end of the process, she was able to mix old family pieces with ones that she and Dan picked up over the 13 years they lived in NYC and collected from Emily’s home state of California, giving the family’s house a polished, yet inviting look.

A few of Emily’s go-to spots when looking for a new piece of furniture or decor are ABC Home, 1st Dibs, and Matter Matter. Whether you are taking on a full remodel or just hiring someone for a small project, Emily has this piece of advice, “Interview people and make sure you can really talk to them, trust them, etc. Try to get as specific as possible about your needs and wants to get the most accurate price, be very specific about who is responsible for what.” Because in the end, after plenty of collaboration and communication with experts on a home they initially weren’t sold on, the Blount Family found exactly what they needed. —Erin Austen Abbott

Photography by Erin Austen Abbott


Living/ Dining Room:

Couch – Crate and Barrel

Side Chairs – Gift from Grandparents 

Coffee Table – Made by Emily’s dad

Rug – Vintage, (that the family dyed)

Side Table – Provisions Oxford

Lamp – Arteriors

Mirror – Vintage

Dining Room Table – ABC Home

Dining Room Chairs – ABC Home

Chandelier – Lindsey Adelman


Breakfast Table and Chairs – DWR

Bar Stools – Vintage

Oven Range – Vintage

Morters: vintage eBay and Tahir Mahmood

Rolling Pins: Amelia

Green Glassware and white dishes – Heath Ceramics

Bowls – Tina Frey

Master Bedroom:

Bed Frame – Charles Hollis Jones

Side Table – ABC Home

Hall Bathroom:

Art – Family gifts

Wallpaper – Elites

Mud Room:

Bench – Amelia

Baskets – Amelia


Chairs – Vintage

Wind Chimes – McCarty Pottery


Architects – Howorth & Associates Architects

Interior Design- Sam Blount, Inc

Home Tour with Emily Blount on Design*Sponge
Seeing the vision for this mid-century ranch house was in the Blount Family’s favor. They painted the grey brick white, opened up the front with french doors, and added a tin roof.
Home Tour with Emily Blount on Design*Sponge
A family photo of Emily and her two sons, Bo and Rye, (husband Dan not pictured) by Sara Beth Turner.
Home Tour with Emily Blount on Design*Sponge
Wooden French vintage chairs line the front porch, giving it an inviting, welcoming feel.
Home Tour with Emily Blount on Design*Sponge
A combination of vintage pieces and family gifts make up most of the living room. The open floor plan of the home makes it easy to keep tidy, yet nothing is too precious for their two boys, Bo and Rye.
Home Tour with Emily Blount on Design*Sponge
Emily has been collecting vintage hands for many, many years, with her collection being one of the first things you see when you enter the home.
Home Tour with Emily Blount on Design*Sponge
A close-up of a few of Emily's favorites in her hand collection.
Home Tour with Emily Blount on Design*Sponge
With the dining room connected to the kitchen, meals are a breeze, especially when hosting large family gatherings. The dining room often doubles as Emily’s at-home office. The natural lighting -- along with the lot the home sits on -- was one of the initial draws to this home for Emily and her husband, Dan.
Home Tour with Emily Blount on Design*Sponge
A custom-made chandelier by Lindsey Adelman hangs above the dining table.
Home Tour with Emily Blount on Design*Sponge
The hand-stitched seating, from ABC Home, makes for a little pop of unexpected art.
Home Tour with Emily Blount on Design*Sponge
You can find little bits of inspiration throughout Emily's home, whether it be books or a simple little plant.
Home Tour with Emily Blount on Design*Sponge
The vintage range was sitting in Emily's mom’s cabin in Montana, not getting used. When her mom offered it to her, Emily drove from Mississippi to pick it up and make it the centerpiece in her new kitchen.
Home Tour with Emily Blount on Design*Sponge
Bringing a piece of her hometown to her family's kitchen was important, so Emily lined her open shelving with Heath Ceramics dishes, bowls and glassware.
Home Tour with Emily Blount on Design*Sponge
This area functions as an in-home office, meal-planning station, or a simple artwork area for one of the boys while Emily or Dan is working in the kitchen. Emily collects cookbooks from her favorite restaurants from around the world. This stack is always at her fingertips for one of her weekly family meals.
Home Tour with Emily Blount on Design*Sponge
A wide kitchen was a must with two young boys, large family gatherings and lots of entertaining.
Home Tour with Emily Blount on Design*Sponge
Tina Frey, maker of the black bowl next to the cutting boards, did a lot of the charcuterie and tableware (cream and sugar, salt dishes, condiment bowls, champagne buckets) for Saint Leo, the Blount’s family restaurant.
Home Tour with Emily Blount on Design*Sponge
A mud room was crucial for the Blount Family. Now, the boys can leave all of their shoes, pool gear, school backpacks and more in the built-in cubbies on the adjacent wall, without having to bring it into the rest of the house. Emily loves these baskets for hiding little things that she needs regularly, but wants out of sight. Bench and baskets from Amelia.
Home Tour with Emily Blount on Design*Sponge
The hallway powder room is bright and cheery, with wallpaper from Elitis, named for the city in Sri Lanka, Kandy. Seems fitting.
Home Tour with Emily Blount on Design*Sponge
The master bedroom goes for drama with a four-post, lucite and brass frame, first spotted on 1st Dibs. When Emily inquired about the frame, it was already sold, so 1st Dibs contacted the designer, Charles Hollis Jones, to see if he might be interested in making one for her. And he said yes! The rug, from ABC Home, is a patchwork cowhide rug that she picked up when she lived in NYC.
Home Tour with Emily Blount on Design*Sponge
"Our favorite thing about our house is the natural light. It's so calming. The song my house makes me feel when I walk in is 'Puffer' by Bibio" --Emily Blount

Suggested For You


  • That bed is insane!!! It is so gorgeous and looks more like a piece of art than a bed. The whole house is perfection. I love that there are so many unique pieces throughout. It’s elegant and unique and has a natural, comfortable feel with all of the warm wood tones. Love it!

  • Thanks for the excellent article, Erin. We at Howorth & Associates Architects loved working with Emily and Dan and collaborating with Sam Blount, Inc!

  • I have a mid-century home here in NJ and it has similar exterior brick which we would like to paint. i’d like to know how it holds up paint in the long run. do you repaint it every year ?

  • Any way to get more exterior pics? I’d like to see more views of the white brick with the tin roof. This is so similar to a remodel we are working on and we need exterior ideas. Thanks.