Quantcast

Interiorssneak peeks

Reviving A 1965 Traditional Brick Georgian with A History of Hospitality

by Lauren Chorpening

A few months ago I received an exciting email in my inbox. I had written an article about Joseph Marini and Tony Pruitt’s gorgeous home in Atlanta, GA a few years ago and Joseph was writing to let me know they had moved to St. Petersburg, FL and wondered if I’d like to see a few images of their new home. I could not say ‘yes, please!’ fast enough. Joseph is a lifestyle blogger, shop owner and home economics guru. His love for entertaining and creating hospitable spaces translated into a gorgeous house in Atlanta, and I was not surprised to see that same intention present in his new home.

When looking for their new place, the couple knew they needed an office for Tony’s financial advisory firm like they had in their previous house, but they would also need space for the newest member of their household — Joseph’s mother, Nancy, a self-described seasoned and retired homemaker ready to relax. “We knew when we moved to St. Petersburg that we wanted a unique home, one with provenance that had a sizable property for gardens and entertaining space,” Joseph shares. They found a gorgeous brick Georgian-style home with all of the tradition and space they wanted in the city of St. Petersburg. When they discovered the home had been built in 1965 by another entertaining aficionado, Norma Jean Harris — heiress to one of the first Cadillac dealerships in the US — the grandeur and incredibly thoughtful space for hosting made sense. “She was an inveterate homemaker and was known for her gracious entertaining,” Joseph notes.

The house had been left undisturbed by the changing trends of the last 50 years and was ready for the care and respect Joseph and his family would give it. “The home, while dated, felt warm, welcoming and very loving. It literally just felt like home. Upon entering the front door you get an overwhelming sense of the size of the home and the exacting details that were considered when the home was built,” Joseph says. “The pièce de résistance was the door that leads into a walk-in ‘prop closet’ — a room with floor-to-ceiling cabinetry that stores an overwhelmingly [large] amount of dishware for entertaining. The kind of dish pantry you would only find in estate homes in Europe. On top of all of this, the grounds were established with raised brick beds, slate terrace and original fountain.” For a family that enjoys entertaining, gardening and curating beautiful things for their home, this house feels almost custom designed for Joseph, Tony and Nancy.

Joseph’s refined eye for design and deeply rooted belief that home economics has a place in the modern world has refreshed this already impressive home. Instead of seeing this blank slate as something to completely renovate, Joseph considered every piece carefully when determining what would be removed and what would be restored. “Within hours of closing we were in the home taking down all of the dated drapery and ripping up the carpets. Because most of the home was kept original — including the kitchen cabinetry — we had to clean everything before deciding if it could be kept or had to be replaced. You learn a lot about the quality of construction when you have to spend an inordinate amount of time removing things to clean them and reassembling them. Our process was to preserve and then to decide what to replace with new,” Joseph shares. The honor and care Joseph and Tony have taken with this lovely home enliven it with the same purpose it’s always had — to gather with loved ones. After all of their hard work, they get to enjoy the inviting, thoughtful and truly beautiful home they have found.Lauren

Photography by Heidi Geldhauser

Image above: The beautiful and stately exterior of Joseph, Tony and Nancy’s 1965 Georgian home.

Reviving an Untouched 1965 Traditional Brick Georgian with a History of Hospitality | Design*Sponge
1/19
"The neighborhood has a lot of history with an eclectic array of architecturally intriguing homes, some of which are listed on the national register. Our home sits stately on a brick-lined street with gracious, imposing columns has a traditional Southern feel," Joseph explains. "We have 44 original 6-over-9 windows that have suffered 60 years of sun damage and I was adamant that they were to be preserved and restored, in phases. It's laborious and costly, but essential to the architectural integrity of the home. While most people would have replaced the windows, I could not. We have a few more phases to go..."
Reviving an Untouched 1965 Traditional Brick Georgian with a History of Hospitality | Design*Sponge
2/19
The foyer gives the first peek into the rest of the home. Joseph and Tony kept the original iron railing on the stairs and kept the styling minimal and classic. "You feel the grandeur of the home and at once you get a sense of the grand details that embellish the home. Despite being grand, you feel how much it feels like a home and not a show piece," Joseph shares.
Reviving an Untouched 1965 Traditional Brick Georgian with a History of Hospitality | Design*Sponge
3/19
"I tend to have a unique style that can sometimes be very hard to describe," Joseph shares. "I am inspired largely by French and Swedish style, but do not necessarily want my vision to translate 'French' or 'Swedish' and prefer to have it [be] very edited. With so much decorating content on social media, it can be very hard to stay focused on your individual style when you are doing a home. I learned to have confidence in my style, keep myself edited and allow the house to dictate the direction of how I decorated it. Once, I was about to try something 'trendy' and after weeks of feeling discontent, I realized my gut was telling me something and that I should trust that."
Reviving an Untouched 1965 Traditional Brick Georgian with a History of Hospitality | Design*Sponge
4/19
Seating options are almost endless in Joseph, Tony and Nancy's living space. They created several seating areas for easy entertaining.
Reviving an Untouched 1965 Traditional Brick Georgian with a History of Hospitality | Design*Sponge
5/19
"The original blueprints coin this room the 'Leisure room.' This was where the family convened for recreation. Originally it had a seating area, a game area and a dining area," Joseph states. "We honor it by calling it the Leisure Room today. I think it has a good, lighthearted ring to it."
Reviving an Untouched 1965 Traditional Brick Georgian with a History of Hospitality | Design*Sponge
6/19

“I wanted it to be warm and inviting, but to accentuate the stately nature of the architecture,” Joseph shares. “The home provides plenty of space with a great division of [separate] spaces so that we never feel like we are on top of one another or infringing on each others’ space.”

Reviving an Untouched 1965 Traditional Brick Georgian with a History of Hospitality | Design*Sponge
7/19

“I wanted a home that I could entertain in and since I do most of the cooking when I entertain, the separate kitchen, butlers pantry and ‘prop closet’ allow me the industrious space to do so while [keeping] the entertaining spaces separate,” Joseph explains. “We kept the kitchen in a traditional layout which makes it very functional.”

Reviving an Untouched 1965 Traditional Brick Georgian with a History of Hospitality | Design*Sponge
8/19
The copper hood is original to the house. Joseph brought in other copper elements as well.
Reviving an Untouched 1965 Traditional Brick Georgian with a History of Hospitality | Design*Sponge
9/19

“This kitchen has an old fashioned eating area; we decided to keep it original to its footprint and not build in a counter with stools,” Joseph says.

Reviving an Untouched 1965 Traditional Brick Georgian with a History of Hospitality | Design*Sponge
10/19

“The original owner was an avid entertainer and this room was built to house all of her dishware. It currently holds all of my collections of dishes and entertaining needs,” Joseph says.

Reviving an Untouched 1965 Traditional Brick Georgian with a History of Hospitality | Design*Sponge
11/19
One of Joseph's favorite parts about the home is how it is divided into deliberate rooms versus having an open concept. "I love being able to see the detail on the door surrounds when looking through the rooms," he shares.
Reviving an Untouched 1965 Traditional Brick Georgian with a History of Hospitality | Design*Sponge
12/19
Joseph and Tony's room is serene with a mix of traditional furniture styles, Tony's orchids and lovely styling elements.
Reviving an Untouched 1965 Traditional Brick Georgian with a History of Hospitality | Design*Sponge
13/19
Attached to the main bedroom is a dressing room. "The dressing area was originally built with built-in furniture which was all restored using the original hardware," Joseph shares.
Reviving an Untouched 1965 Traditional Brick Georgian with a History of Hospitality | Design*Sponge
14/19
The ensuite bathroom was given a French Country aesthetic with Joseph's personal flair.
Reviving an Untouched 1965 Traditional Brick Georgian with a History of Hospitality | Design*Sponge
15/19
"We turned one of the guest rooms on the second floor into a morning den for relaxing and having coffee," Joseph says.
Reviving an Untouched 1965 Traditional Brick Georgian with a History of Hospitality | Design*Sponge
16/19
Each of the guest bedrooms have seating areas for guests to relax in.
Reviving an Untouched 1965 Traditional Brick Georgian with a History of Hospitality | Design*Sponge
17/19
"St. Petersburg is a small, growing city that has an incredible inclusive community of LGBTQ residents, craftsmen, small business owners, makers, artists and cultural venues. There is a slower way of life here and there is a great desire for preserving the history of St. Petersburg. Our first introduction to our community was a holiday party that we hosted at our home for 60 of our neighbors. I currently am developing a series of events to host at our home, from cocktail parties to farm-to-table dinners in the garden as a way to create community from our immediate neighborhood to local charities looking to raise money," Joseph shares.
Reviving an Untouched 1965 Traditional Brick Georgian with a History of Hospitality | Design*Sponge
18/19
Joseph, Tony and Nancy are avid entertainers so having outdoor space to host people was important to them.
Reviving an Untouched 1965 Traditional Brick Georgian with a History of Hospitality | Design*Sponge
19/19
Top to bottom: Tony, Nancy and Joseph in their home at Christmastime.

Suggested For You

Comments

  • Great tour! I loved seeing how some of the pieces from the first house tour were used in the new house! And to see the evolution of your style to fit the house’s grandeur without being stuffy. Really nicely done. Would have liked a paint/furniture source list–some great finds here.

  • Just gorgeous. Love the classic style, plants, garden antiques, and understated elegance.

    What a lovely home for this family and the friends they will entertain.

  • Love every single aspect of this! From living with mom to preserving the leisure room ! And I totally get the restrained style ! You guys are incredible and you’ll have the only the BEST parties in that beautiful home once again.

  • OMG, your home is just breathtaking!!
    You have such a knack & talent for doing the perfect touches to make a house a home, a gorgous home. May you enjoy many years of happiness & good health there.

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, 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.

x