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Michelle and Cooper Sanchez, Clarkston

This house's sprawling outdoor space seems, mercifully, miles away from the city

by and


Photos of Michelle and Cooper's outdoor space

Job: Self-employed. Michelle, creative consultant; Cooper, artist and gardener.
Age: Mid-30s
Rent or own? Own
Price: Around $180K

How many people/creatures live here?
Two people, one dog and thousands of creatures. Some of our favorites are the honey bees, a family of bluebirds, a beautiful and mysterious orange fox, and two amazing barred owls.

Where did you find the furniture/pieces for this room?
Some of these pieces are from a farm in North Georgia. The patio materials were found discarded on the side of the road, and after a year of inquiry, we repurposed them. The Mad Mat rug is made from recycled materials, and we found it online. The turtle table was the late Rena Jane Cooper's. Some of the terra-cotta pots are from Hewell's Pottery — running for 150 years in Gillsville.

What's your favorite piece/design element in the space?
The view. We love the ever-changing view of the garden and meadow through the seasons. We also love the tucked-away feeling of being inside while being outside.

What's your decorating philosophy?
Make the best of what you have. We both like old charm, and we have incorporated a lot of antique family heirlooms to reflect that design aesthetic — surrounding ourselves with authentic items that have stories and sentimental value. We especially love intriguing books and have incorporated our quirky collection into nearly every room of our home — including our outdoor rooms. Functionality is important, but we also like to keep the design process organic and playful. With accents like wildly colored wallpaper and repurposed materials like retired telephone poles and an old syrup container that is now a rain barrel, we keep it interesting. And, of course, Cooper's art makes both our indoor and outdoor spaces continually fun and personal for us.

If your house had a theme song, what would it be?
"Give Me Your Love, and I'll Give You Mine" by the Carter Family. It took a lot of love to rid our yard of 20 years worth of kudzu, but the meadow that followed has given us so much beauty in return.

What's your favorite thing about Atlanta?
Its scrappy, stalwart tenacity in spite of all things, and its amazing diversity. It's also a great place to live if you are a gardener because the growing conditions are absolutely ideal for a wide spectrum of plant life.

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