“Behind the Curtin” provides an inside look at local homeowners’ beautifully-crafted houses, giving insight into what it takes to renovate, upgrade, and style the most coveted parts of their dream homes. In this video series, industry expert and business owner Joanne Curtin explores local homes while interviewing their owners along the way to better understand their thought processes when making important decisions. Join Joanne to get a look into the world of thoughtful real estate one wonderful home at a time.
“Behind the Curtin” Episode 3 – A Courtyard in Milton, Georgia
Cathleen Klibanoff lives in Milton, Georgia with her son and two dogs. Cathleen is a published artist and writer. Her works have been on display at the FemArt Gallery in Jacksonville, Florida, Indianapolis Art Center, and the Bohemian Grand Gallery in Asheville.
Joanne: Where did you live before moving to Milton?
Cathleen: I lived in Asheville, North Carolina, near downtown and River Arts District.
Joanne: So, what brought you to Milton and why did you choose this particular home?
Cathleen: I lost my both parents over the last two years and something inside me just said, “The time is now to really enjoy family.” I have both a brother in Milton and a sister in Woodstock. When I saw this place, it was an answer to an indescribable thirst, which was for a place that had a real heart. And it needed work, but it had a courtyard. I love the concept behind the courtyard and it has a very sacred and spiritual feel. And I fell in love.
Joanne: I love that you said you wanted a home with heart because when I was at your house the courtyard was like the heart in the middle. So, what specifically makes this just a favorite place for you?
Cathleen: Well, and not that I’m doing this literally, but you could be completely naked and absolutely 100% safe. And I mean naked emotionally, not just physically. This is the inner sanctum, by invitation only. I am a very social person, but there are times that I am in a creative process or just an introspective space, and still want to be outside.
Joanne: I am hearing the word “cozy” a lot lately. People want to create comfort and coziness. The courtyard is really the ultimate outdoor cozy space.
Cathleen: This is something that is exceptional because it gives you that expansiveness and yet maintains the coziness.
Joanne: What was a splurge in designing this space? Something non-negotiable that you just had to have?
Cathleen: The fireplace was plain gray masonry so I had to tile it because it was so dominant in the space and I wanted it to have a voice of its own.
Joanne: What did you learn from the process?
Cathleen: When something is meant to be, the universe rallies and makes it possible. I was able to meet the right people that knew how to bring the renovation into being. So, hold true to your vision. And don’t be deterred or discouraged.
Joanne: How did you handle getting the materials in and out of the courtyard?
Cathleen: It was a labor of love because everything had to be hand carted in and out, including all the white rock that replaced the mulch.
Joanne: You’re an amazing artist. What can you teach us about this [renovation] experience?
Cathleen: Some people have an eye for interior decorating. But if that’s not the case, then I think it’s a good investment to hire someone. It’s a different way of seeing a space. And a lot of people don’t have the confidence, but still have the desire to bring in more color. You need to make really good choices depending on what your goal is, for that part of the house. Because color does have a story and everything has energy. You want to be mindful. And sometimes if that’s not your strong suit, then to delegate it is a good move for the investment.