Pint-sized Ardsley Park carriage house packs in some serious pattern

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Big personality can be found in this little 800-square-foot living space

Photography by SHANNON MEYER ROBERTS

IT’S BEEN SAID bad things come in threes. But, as Knoxville, Tennessee, natives Joe Meyer and Shannon Meyer Roberts learned, sometimes even a streak of bad luck can yield blessings in time.

Two weeks after settling on their dream vacation home, a 1920s European Revival in Ardsley Park, the world went into lockdown as COVID-19 spread like wildfire.

Brass fittings, breezy striped cafe curtains and a cheery jute rug keep things classically preppy.

“The main house came with long-term renters, so we had just [begun] planning the renovation of the carriage house,” Roberts says. “Then, in March, lockdowns happened, and a few weeks later, I got a call from my doctor saying what I thought was just a simple thyroid issue turned out to be cancer.”

With a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis, chemotherapy on the calendar and the doctor’s strict orders to stay at home, Roberts turned to his vocation for consolation. An interior designer at Knoxville-based design studio, G&G Interiors, Roberts devoted his days to breathing new life into the  800-square-foot carriage house that, after a flurry of renters, lacked originality and visual interest. 

Schumacher’s Pyne Hollyhock paper adorns the kitchen walls — the perfect backdrop to custom, robin’s egg blue cabinets and marble countertops.

“It had zero architecture to speak of, so I made up for this deficit with color and pattern,” Roberts says of the now joyful jewel box. “I put everything into a blender, and this is what popped out!”

Punchy, floral wallpapers and upholstered pieces infuse the space with history and a welcome dose of happiness. No matter how nice or how thrifty, if an object didn’t “spark joy” — as Marie Kondo famously put it — then it didn’t make the cut.


“ About half of my business is working with out-of-town clients. “[Roberts and Meyer] were great to work with because they were very prepared. They had their ducks in a row.” —  Chris Koncul, contractor


“I love to mix a little bit of high and a little bit of low — that’s where the magic lies,” Roberts says. 

Local finds fill the pink foyer, painted in Farrow & Ball’s uplifting Nancy’s Blushes. A vintage mirror (Tapley’s Mercantile & Antiques) and Asian-inspired console (Clutter Furnishings & Interiors) are accentuated by a variety of seasonal blooms contained in vases and atop lacquered trays from One Fish Two Fish and The Lacquer Company. 

Schumacher’s Pyne Hollyhock paper adorns the kitchen walls — the perfect backdrop to custom, robin’s egg blue cabinets and marble countertops. Brass fittings, breezy striped cafe curtains and a cheery jute rug keep things classically preppy.

In the primary bedroom, measuring a modest 10 feet by 12 feet, a chalky blue armoire (thrifted on Facebook Marketplace and refurbished by Roberts) feels at home against a luxurious chinoiserie paper from Lee Jofa. While in the secondary bedroom, Schumacher’s Hydrangea Drape wallpaper provides a Southern accent to a pair of heirloom French nightstands.

Roberts’ partner, Meyer, was beside him throughout the design process. In addition to picking up Craigslist finds and offering wise health council (Meyer is an oncologist), he supported Roberts with his rationale and encouragement. 

“We think differently. I’m logical and systematic, and he is creative and imaginative,” Meyer says. “We complement each other in that way.”


“ I love to mix a little bit of high and a little bit of low — that’s where the magic lies.” — Shannon Meyer Roberts, interior designer


But how did the couple manage a gut renovation from over 400 miles away — during a pandemic, no less? The couple found local contractor Chris Koncul (Koncul Construction) like many people find shoes — online. 

“About half of my business is working with out-of-town clients,” says Koncul. “[Roberts and Meyer] were great to work with because they were very prepared. They had their ducks in a row.”

Regular FaceTime and Zoom calls ensured everything was in tip-top shape. And, after just three and a half months of ideation and construction, their “tiny house” was ready to receive Meyer and Roberts, who thanks to early detection, swiftly beat his cancer diagnosis. “Thank goodness for this carriage house,” Roberts says. “It gave me something to dream about at such a depressing time.” 

With their home finished, pandemic lockdowns behind them and Roberts’ health restored, things are looking cheery — both inside the house and out.


DETAILS

Homeowners: Shannon Meyer Roberts and Joe Meyer
Neighborhood: Ardsley Park
Year built: 1920
Year purchased: 2020
Square footage: 800
Number of bedrooms and bathrooms: 2 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms
Timeframe of renovation/remodel: 6 months
Interior designer: Shannon Meyer Roberts, G&G Interiors
Contractor/builder: Chris Koncul
Tile/flooring: Garden State Tile 

Paint: Farrow & Ball
Wallpaper: Schumacher, Lee Jofa
Windows/doors: original
Furniture: Sotheby’s, Ballard Designs, Tapley’s Mercantile & Antiques, Clutter Furnishings & Interiors, Lee Industries, Worlds Away
Appliances: Livingood’s Appliances & Bedding
Home accessories: One Fish Two Fish, CB2, G&G Interiors, Ralph Lauren Home, D. Porthault, Visual Comfort, Wedgwood
Art: Paul Lange Photography, Everything But The House


All resources provided by the homeowners.