A Storied Guest House


When the home next door to them went up for sale, Chris Howard and Carey Pickard sent the bank a lowball offer. They never expected to get it.

“I jokingly tell people that it’s one third family storage/ furniture storage unit, one third guest house for friends and family, and one third Airbnb,” says Carey Pickard.

Chris Howard explained that they wanted their guest house to feel unique.

“I think our friends sort of laugh because our house is not exactly minimalist, and yet there’s still quite a lot of stuff, art and sculpture and things here,” Pickard laughs.


After his father passed, Pickard inherited a lot of family furniture that had been passed down and now fills the guest house. He was also the former director of the Tubman Museum, so he collects art and wants to display it so that the art speaks to each other within a room. They even have a model of the Tubman that they use as a coffee table.

“We’ve put a lot of whimsy in this house and a lot of fun,” he says.

Chris Howard says the renovation of this guest house was much more intensive than the renovation they had to do to their own home.

“Once you took off just one layer, you realize that it wasn’t going to be just a matter of patching and painting,” Howard says.

They had to take the ceiling down because it wasn’t structurally sound so the paneling and plaster had to come down as well in multiple rooms.

“This house was more of a series of continual surprises,” Pickard says of the renovation.

Buying this house next door to their own home has allowed them to extend their garden, or “the rondel” as they fondly call it.

Their garden is inspired by a garden at Sissinghurst, England, and has multiple “garden rooms” that each has a unique feel.

“It’s been really fun for us to have that space, especially during the pandemic to use for entertainment,” Pickard says.
Recently the couple learned that Ellamae Ellis League — one of the first registered female architects in Georgia — was born in the house.

“We just kind of love the fact that she was born here,” Pickard says. “Her biography is lying around here somewhere.”

The couple’s love of living in downtown Macon spread to their family as well. Howard’s parents live next door and Pickard’s mother moved up the street.


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