History Lessons

By Carol Tisch Photography by Gene Pollux February 1, 2010

asset_upload_file104_31047.jpgWhen a designer and a craftsman pool their talents on a home renovation, you get collaboration. When they happen to be a couple, you get a labor of love and a honey-do list of epic proportions. That was the case when Jan Bullard, allied ASID designer, of Jan Bullard CD, and Scott Williams of SBW Construction took on the challenge of restoring a 1,200-square-foot 1920s cottage on North Riverside Drive, Sarasota’s very first platted neighborhood.

“Scott is a perfectionist; he milled every piece of molding by hand, built our kitchen cabinets and replaced termite-damaged parts of original oak floors so you can’t tell the new wood from the old,” Bullard says. A stickler for historical accuracy, Bullard pushed Williams for lathe and plaster ceilings and walls. “It’s much more work, but I love plaster because it’s cool to the touch,” she says.

The home brims with charm and an eclectic mix of old and new pieces Bullard acquired over years of shopping for clients. “Here, the house was our client,” she laughs. “We built it for the present, but it remains a true vintage cottage.” 


Handcrafted bookcases 1 provide perfect symmetry on either side of the original fireplace, the left bookcase 2 artfully doubling as a “secret” door that leads to the newly enlarged master suite.  Affirming the home’s historical character are a fragment of an iron gate 3 from Sarasota Architectural Salvage used as an art element and classic opaline glass ceiling fixtures 4 from the Rejuvenation catalogue.  A Charleston, S.C., native, Bullard incorporates Southern charm and foibles into the décor: Pineapple lamps 5 represent hospitality, and the traditional Haint Blue ceiling in the adjoining porch is said to keep evil spirits at bay.  

Above a transitional console 6 by interior designer Laura Kirar for Baker is the top half of an antique Chippendale secretary 7 which Scott Williams has retrofitted to conceal a flat screen television. Local treasures include a muslin-covered antique Chippendale sofa 8 that belonged to antiques dealer Bruce Crissy’s grandmother, and a mirror top coffee table 9 from designer Sally Trout’s store, Current. When Eileen Hampshire at Art to Walk On confirmed its authenticity, Bullard decided to keep the show-stopping Turkish flat weave rug 10 she had purchased for a client at a North Carolina antiques shop.  

West Indian corner chairs 11 float in front of the fireplace, allowing guests entering the home to appreciate an antique marble mantel 12, one of five Bullard purchased in Atlanta knowing they would all find homes.

Filed under
Show Comments