A Happy Home

The Mediterranean-style home off Cumming Road has always been a mystery to me and many others in the area. Who lives there? What does it look like? I finally got a chance to go beyond the wall and meet the family that calls this place their home.

When Lee Blanton West first stepped into the house behind the stucco wall on Cumming Road, she knew she was home.

“I just immediately fell in love with this house, but I knew I couldn’t afford it. My Realtor convinced me to just make an offer; it was accepted in less than two hours,” West says. “I guess it was meant to be.”

West purchased the house in 2017 and knew she had her work cut out for her. Built in 1916, the house was originally a stable for a neighboring property. The remnants of those stables are evident upon entering the house with a slew of doorways The peacock blue entry way offers a warm, yet dramatic, feeling while framing the picturesque view of the courtyard and pool.

Immediately to the left is the master bedroom. The light pink walls, white bedding and fireplace create a happy, serene space to unwind after a long day. The French chest, a gift from her father, is filled with family photos including both of her grandmothers.

“Both of my grandmothers had a profound effect on me. My mother’s mother nurtured my eccentric side, while my father’s mother instilled a love of antiques and estate sales,” West says. “I was very blessed to have them both.”

The West home reflects Lee’s love of art and antiques. The furniture and art in her home is a who’s who of notable designers at the height of their respective crafts.

“I love old stuff – what can I say,” she says with a laugh. “Most of the pieces in my home have come from estate sales, antique stores, etc. When I travel, an antique store is often my first stop.”

The 1920s style art deco dining room table designed by her sister-in-law Holly seats up to 14 and serves as the perfect companion to the ornate 1920s Italian Murano glass chandelier. The chandelier was the first purchase West made when she bought the house. The petite gold chairs came from an antique store in Atlanta, after acquiring an estate from a gentleman moving from Miami.

The enclosed sun porch has become the main living space for the family. The spacious room has been divided into two separate seating areas and offers more than ample natural light. The room has been tastefully decorated with a mix of white leather couches, one-of-a-kind art pieces and books, tons of books. The built-in bookcases are actually a showpiece stacked with a variety of volumes – featuring everything from fashion to food and art to gardening.

The focal point of the room however, is a black table with Mother-of-Pearl inlay. West purchased it at an estate auction of the late Millicent Rogers’ son. Rogers was a socialite, fashion icon and art collector.

The French doors of the living room open out to a beautifully landscaped courtyard with a pool and pool house/guest cottage. The enclosed courtyard creates a heavenly oasis and escape from the outside world. The landscape is perfection, which is something to be expected considering she grew up with a mother known for her gardens and love of nature. West gets her green thumb from her mother, Patty.

“I truly do love to garden, but I never felt like I had the time for it. I was always running to my parents’ home in Appling to get fresh vegetables and herbs. This year, I decided to plant my own.”

Back inside a staircase, just off the dining room, leads to the bedrooms of West’s boys, along with a guest room. The light and airy theme of the sun porch carries – with white bedding in all three rooms. Color is used as more of an accent, allowing for more flexibility with art and furniture.

Article appears in the May 2019 issue of Augusta Magazine.

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