published Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Downtown apartment: Comfort trumps formality

Three large windows let light into the living room of the home of Pam Schultz. Schultz's apartment in the Loveman's building was recently renovated.
Three large windows let light into the living room of the home of Pam Schultz. Schultz's apartment in the Loveman's building was recently renovated.
Photo by Jake Daniels.

Pam Schultz knew what she wanted in a home.

“I was looking for something warm and comfortable,” she said of her open-floor-plan condominium in downtown Chattanooga. “[I wanted] something that doesn’t go out of style. I try to stay with the basics.”

Working with contractor Vance Griffith of VG Construction and Remodeling, Schultz’s home became exactly what she was looking for.

Hardwood floors and dark leather furnishings complement the exposed brick walls. Schultz said she has been tempted to acquire art to hang, but is loathe to tamper with what works.

“Brick is so pretty,” she said. “I hate to cover it up.”

The walls that are not brick are painted in a rich eggplant color. Three arched windows, nearly floor-to-ceiling, let in the light. The space above the fireplace, once white, is now covered in slate to reflect the rich, earthy tones of the room. White crown molding creates a contrast.

The condo originally had only one bedroom with a large closet. But Schultz wanted a second bedroom, where her daughter could stay. So Griffith converted the space into a two-bedroom unit with a shared bathroom. In the master bedroom, he erected a partial wall to create a closet. A particular point of interest in the room is a ceiling fan that runs on pulleys.

The bathroom is a small oasis. A stall shower was converted into a spacious spa shower with multiple heads and a built-in bench.

“Now I have somewhere to sit,” Schultz said.

In the corner is a cast-iron claw-foot soaking tub, ideal for relaxation. The bathroom has exposed brick walls like the rest of the space, and they are set off by a dark faux hardwood floor. Schultz and Griffith revealed that the floor is actually constructed from a ceramic tile made to look like hardwood, for the same aesthetic with more durability.

With a warm, rich color scheme and clean lines, Schultz has created a welcoming space that combines both class and simplicity. And it lacks a certain element of decor she’s seen in other homes.

“My neighbors have a grand piano,” she said, “and everything just looks frou-frou.”

Contact Holly Leber at or 423-757-6391. Follow her on Twitter at

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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