An historic caretaker’s cottage in Georgia rescued from demolition


Historical Concepts was responsible for the restoration of this primitive caretaker’s cottage located on the Ford Plantation in Richmond Hill, Georgia. Built in the 1930s this was the winter retreat of the auto pioneer and magnate, Henry Ford. Nestled just outside of Savannah, this was the former caretaker’s cottage, which had been abandoned for decades! The architects consulted on the project to restore this lovely 800-square-foot cottage to its former glory. This home was slated for demolition, however a couple felt inspired to purchase the cottage and preserve Ford’s legacy.

Originally 800 square feet, the cottage was expanded to 1,150 square feet to meet the lifestyle needs of the homeowner. The addition includes a guest bath and screened porch. The kitchen and master bath were added in the 1940s, to the cottage’s original four rooms. The exterior features new cypress board-and-batten siding (the original was rotten). On the interior you will find original poplar tongue and groove walls, heart pine floors and terra cotta roof tiles — all lovingly restored.

Above: The front door is painted in Wythe Blue HC-143 | Benjamin Moore.


What We Love: This charming cottage restoration offers inspiring design details and proves that one can live quite comfortably in a small home. Antique lighting and architectural salvage finds were added throughout this cottage to add period authenticity. There are unique touches throughout, like the antique bamboo hall tree in the entryway pictured above… Readers, what are your thoughts, could you see yourself living in this cottage? Tell us in the Comments!

Note: Have a look below for the “Related” tags for more inspiring home tours that we have featured here on One Kindesign from the portfolio of the architects of this project, Historical Concepts.


Above: The oyster painting is by artist Bellamy Murphy.

RELATED: Coastal style home in North Carolina showcases inviting living spaces


Above: The chandelier above the dining table was designed using reclaimed and antique lighting parts by designer Eloise Pickard with Sandy Springs Gallery in Adairsville, Georgia. The antique chairs have slipcovers, similar can be found at Ballard Designs. The walls are poplar tongue and groove.


Above: The kitchen cabinetry is painted in Palladian Blue HC-144 | Benjamin Moore. Dated formica countertops were replaced with reclaimed heart pine boards. There was not an island prior to the renovation. Above the island, the reclaimed light fixture was handcrafted by Eloise Pickard, Adairsville, GA. A great resource for reclaimed wood is Vintage Lumber in Gay, Georgia.


Above: The countertop and shelving are Antique Heart Pine. 

Interesting Fact: The original cottage sat in a watery depression on the lot. It was moved to higher ground during the renovation and positioned on brick piers. This home’s new location now features tranquil water vistas.


Above: In this 11′ x 11′-6″ bedroom, paint layers were partially stripped, scraped and sealed to create a charming mottled finish. The bedroom door is antique heart pine, left natural. The doorway leading to the guest bath addition was originally a window.

RELATED: Southern Living Idea House in Georgia: Farmhouse Renovation


Above: In the master bathroom, the room was increased in length by three-feet. Additionally, vaulted ceilings helps to create a light and airy feel. A claw-foot tub is a nod to the home’s past. You can find similar from Waterworks.

RELATED: Rustic barn inspired vacation retreat on Spring Island


Above: A screened-in porch was added to this cottage to complement it’s historic character. The porch adds 264 square-feet of entertaining space and a place to enjoy the coastal setting of The Ford Plantation.

Photos: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

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