Home Tour: A totally transformed 1926 Dilworth home with a stylishly restored carriage garage

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A family with an eye for antique treasures and a love of the outdoors offered the Agenda a look inside their 2,500-square-foot Dilworth home. Here are their favorite spaces, most creative ideas, and coolest finds—including one from their own attic.

The Owners

Who: BJ Smith (40) and Laura Smith (35), and their daughter Harper Smith (7) and Labradoodle, Harley Belle.

Jobs: The Smiths both work for Bank of America.

Their Story: Laura is from Botetourt County, VA and BJ is from Charleston, SC. The couple met 13 years ago in Charlotte and were married a year later. In 2015, the now family of three moved from their Sedgefield neighborhood house into this 1926 Dilworth home.

Home Breakdown

The Home: Before the Smiths moved into the five-bedroom, three-bathroom home, it had been renovated by its previous owners. But the couple could see even more potential. They added a second level, creating a cozy playroom, bedroom, and bathroom for Harper. They also restored the home’s historic carriage garage and added a back porch, offering even more living spaces.

Kitchen Confidential: “I have three rules in the kitchen,” says Laura. “Say the blessing, no phone calls, and try new things.” The Smith’s airy kitchen features white subway tiles, an oversized porcelain sink, and a large antique zinc dining table from Nadeau. “We cherish our meals as a family.”

Backyard Beauty: “Jeff Hull at Hull House Design is creative and enthusiastic about his work, he enabled us to create a family-friendly yard where we spend most of our time,” says Laura, who notes that they’re often cutting flowers from their gardens, swinging in one of the home’s hammocks, or playing basketball in the backyard.

Homage to Home: Throughout the house are pieces that nod to BJ’s hometown of Charleston and Laura’s rural mountain upbringing including sweetgrass baskets, hand-drawn maps of Charleston’s rivers, and local pottery. In the family’s kitchen are English tea pots and bone china—some of which have been in Laura’s family for five generations.

Hidden Treasure: When the Smiths were renovating their attic, the contractor discovered an old trunk hidden behind beams in the space. “My daughter really believed there was going to be money in there,” Laura says with a laugh. As it turned out, there were only bundles of old yarn and knitting needles. But Laura now has the vintage trunk, which reads Simpsonville, SC on its side, in her home office.

Shops and Inspiration

Big Ideas: Laura says that she likes to find out-of-the-box inspiration from places like Pinterest or HGTV. You’ll see this in whimsical touches like a porch swing from Pier 1 hanging from the ceiling in her daughter’s room, but also in stylish additions like the cement tile in the upstairs bathroom. “I got that idea off of Pinterest,” she says of the tile she purchased at The Tile Shop. “And Joanna Gaines always uses tile like that.”

Mix It Up: “I love to mix luxury fabrics or tiles with things that are more reasonable,” says Laura, who also has an eye for mixing contemporary and antique furnishings. Items like the vanity in her bedroom are from West Elm, and the chairs and rug in the living room came from Details on Park Road. But many of the home’s accessories are from antique shops and estate sales.

Family Fun: Laura and her daughter, Harper, love finding treasures for their home together. In fact, they like it so much that they’re planning on launching their own booth soon at Sleepy Poet—one of their favorite places to shop—that will be called Gypsy Pickers.

Want to see the home for yourself? It’s one of seven homes on tour at Dilworth’s annual Home Tour happening next week.

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Sarah Crosland
Writer and author obsessed with food, travel, design, history, and all things Charlotte.