After 18 years, Southern Living home still hasn’t lost its charm
April 06, 2013 11:27 PM | 5707 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Carolyn and Doug Chaffins stand in front of their home in Kennesaw. The couple got the plans for the house from a 1994 issue of Southern Living. <br> Staff/Emily Barnes
Carolyn and Doug Chaffins stand in front of their home in Kennesaw. The couple got the plans for the house from a 1994 issue of Southern Living.
Staff/Emily Barnes
The Chaffins created the den of their home in Kennesaw.
The Chaffins created the den of their home in Kennesaw.
The bedroom
The bedroom
The Chaffins pose in the den.
The Chaffins pose in the den.
The Kennesaw home of Carolyn and Doug Chaffins is nestled in the foothills of Kennesaw Mountain. It is a beautiful example of Southern charm and understated elegance.

When the Chaffins decided to build their home in 1994, they intended on building a different house.

“We had bought plans to build a different house designed by William E. Poole for Southern Living. I actually called Mr. Poole to talk about the prior plan, and he told me about the Kilgore Plantation development in Greenville, S.C.,” Doug said.

“I do not have the ability to look at a drawing and get a feel for how a final house would look so Carolyn and I drove to Greenville to look at the house we had bought plans for,” he said.

The Shields Town House, also a Southern Living Plan designed by Poole, was built beside the home the Chaffins had gone to see at Kilgore Plantation.

“As soon as we walked into the Shields Town House, we knew this was the plan for us,” Carolyn said.

The Shields Town House is an adaption of a home built in 1860, located in Natchez, Miss. In spring 1994, the plan was featured in Southern Living House Plans in the Historical House Collection.

“It is a fairly large home that is unassuming from the street. Most people are surprised at how large the house is when they come inside. We have lived there 18 years, and it is still the perfect house for us,” said Doug, a Partner in Chaffins, Batdorf and Austell, a local CPA firm.

Their style

The home reflects the Chaffins’ style.

“(The home) is very inviting,” he said.

The Chaffins were attracted to the Shields Town House plan for numerous reasons.

“The plan has a lot of charm, great flow for a party and the kitchen is a cook’s kitchen. People have told us the kitchen is every woman’s dream. The plan has a lot of closet space,” Carolyn said. The couple has two grown children.

One benefit of seeing the built house before starting construction was the opportunity to increase the size of the den that opened the flow of the home.

“This is a wonderful home for entertaining as there is a good flow from room to room,” said Carolyn, a nurse practitioner at Kenmar Pediatrics.


Like most homes, the Chaffins’ home is a work in progress. After 18 years in the home they decided to make changes to meet their lifestyle as a 30th wedding anniversary present to themselves.

Originally, a mudroom led to the garage where the washer/dryer were exposed. They removed the wall going into the mudroom and moved the washer/ dryer to the opposite side behind folding doors; built a bar where the washer/dryer originally sat; and built a roof over an entire porch and deck area to the rear of the home making a large outdoor room.

“(The outdoor room) is where we eat breakfast when the weather cooperates,” Doug said.

The couple also redecorated their large den that was separated into two distinct sitting areas. “The room had been decorated the same for 18 years and we needed a change. We donated all the furniture in the room and started with a clean slate,” Carolyn said.

Through the renovation the chopped up space in the den was changed into one that is balanced. “Now the room (den) has a more cohesive feel,” Doug said.

The den is the Chaffins’ favorite room. “The room is somewhat formal, but is not stuffy. You are not afraid to put your feet up to relax at the end of the day,” he said.

The Chaffins achieved casual elegance in an understated sophisticated way throughout the home.

“It is a very comfortable home. We use every inch of this home. None of the rooms are off limits,” Doug said.

The home is the Chaffins’ dream home.

“We have owned five homes during our marriage. The interesting thing about this home is the longer we live there, the more we enjoy it,” Carolyn said.

“We can’t imagine living anywhere else,” Doug said.
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