by Allison Walsh
photography by Luke Cleland
Pat Canup was looking for a fresh start. Following the death of her beloved husband in late 2017, Canup sold the large, traditional home she had shared with him and was in the market for a pick-me-up. “I decided I needed a tiny little cottage just for me,” Canup says.
“Because it was a sad time in my life I wanted to start over with bright, cheerful color.”
Canup had noticed Amanda Louise Campbell on Instagram, especially rooms she had done for clients with color and pattern and thought they would be a good match. “We always work from the idea that we want our clients to love their homes,” Campbell says. “I’m a big believer that our homes should be the happiest place for us, so it was really meaningful to approach this project with this greater mission to give her a place she wanted to be in every day.”
Canup found an ideal lot in the Hartness community and called on Campbell to work with Hartness Construction to put her vibrant stamp on the cottage from the ground up. Hartness is a traditional neighborhood development nestled between Woodruff and Pelham roads on Highway 14; the neighborhood is connected by uninterrupted sidewalks and shared greenspaces and surrounded by 180 acres of protected nature preserve.
Canup and Campbell quickly connected over a love of lively hues. “She wanted a lot of color and texture and she made it clear she wanted to collect a lot of artwork and fun fabric,” Campbell says. “Every time I saw her, she had on some version of pinks and blues, so I based our palette on what she was wearing to our meetings.”
“She just got me, and that was the fun part,” Canup says.
Campbell started with a bright white background to showcase art and textiles she had planned for the space. Canup was taken with the slight swoop of the roofline and with pagoda style lanterns in the alleyway. Campbell gave a nod to these details inside Canup’s cottage with the shape of the range hood, lanterns fixtures over the island in the kitchen and with a chinoiserie toile fabric for pillows in the living area.
Coral chinoiserie wallpaper in the guest bath was almost too much for her client though, who thought the coral tile for the shower wall was already bold enough. “Bathrooms are where you have the leverage to do something crazy because it’s such a small space, so why not?” Campbell says. “Pat was so scared. I don’t think she slept the night before the paper went up.”
In the end, Canup placed her trust in Campbell’s impeccable eye and came away with a guest bath she loves, right down to the pair of bright green botanical prints by artist Jean Wilson Freeman that pop against the paper.
Freeman’s work is well represented throughout the cottage and in good company alongside work by other local artists including Diane Kilgore Condon’s tiny birds paired in the foyer with blue botanical wallpaper, a nod to Canup’s status as a master gardener. “Because of Pat’s passions and hobbies, we tried to take a botanical slant throughout the house and use a lot of florals,” Campbell says.
Campbell sourced much of the art through Art & Light, Teresa Roche’s Gallery in Greenville. “Early in my design career I started going to Art & Light. I didn’t think I could be a collector yet, it felt unattainable,” Campbell says. “The process I went through of feeling like art was for other people has been the same process I’ve been able to walk clients through to see what art can do to make your house feel like a home.”
An artist in her own right, Roche had launched a line of textiles and wallpapers and Campbell incorporated them into Canup’s home. The drapes in the living room are in the “Sully’s Petals” pattern and the back wall of the master bath is awash in the bold blues and pinks of Roche’s “Rose Hill” wallpaper.
New Orleans artist Mary Singleton was commissioned to create a statement piece for the project. It hangs above the bar and anchors the space, pulling all the home’s colors together.
“For such a tiny house I have so much art,” Canup says, “but it makes me happy.”