Taking a rundown historical home and transforming it into a livable, beautiful space is no easy task, but it's a challenge Paula Wallace, the founder and president of (SCAD) lives for.
So when she and her husband Glenn Wallace came across a dilapidated two-story home, known as East Liberty, in Savannah, Georgia's Historic Landmark District, she jumped at the chance to make it her own.
"I was drawn to the provenance of the 1896 structure – a bay-front residence adjoining a former neighborhood confectionary," Wallace explained to ELLEDecor.com. "I enjoy any good design challenge that allows 'scope for the imagination' as Anne of Green Gables would say."
Wallace, who is also the author of "," set to work saving the historic house from ruin and in turn created the perfect place for her and her family to call home. "We waged war on neglect," she said.
The extensive renovations included "bracing structures, re-plastering walls, replacing windows, installing air ducts beneath wood floors, creating a courtyard, and adding, for good measure, two porches, and a garage." Wallace also added a connection to an adjacent building they now use as a guesthouse.
After all the work was completed, Wallace and her family were left with a stunning home that serves as the perfect backdrop for their treasured belongings, as well as artwork done by SCAD students, past and present.
Since completing the renovation, Wallace has been able to utilize every inch of the home. "The house has a tidy, economical footprint, just two floors, unlike many townhouses in Savannah," she said. "All the space is put to good use, including the second floor landing that serves as my music room. Everyone in the house can hear me playing the piano."
Take a closer look at the historical home in the photos below.
"I designed East Liberty's interiors to showcase our collection of work by SCAD artists including Monica Cook, Marcus Kenney, Ben Morris, and Michael Porten," Wallace said.
"My Ibach baby grand piano, which has moved from house to house with me, reminds me of my first entrepreneurial venture – giving music lessons to children next door – which perhaps set me on the path to founding a university for creative careers," Wallace told us.
"I am constantly discovering treasures both new and old from my travels in Europe, America, and Asia – the sites of SCAD campuses – and I enjoy incorporating these finds into my home. My collection of books and SCAD student art also hold endless inspiration for me," Wallace said.