A Polished European-Inspired Home Shines In Atlanta


Contemporary interiors blend with European-inspired architecture to suit an Atlanta family's modern way of life.

In the entry of this Atlanta home, an Arteriors Parrish floor lamp illuminates bronze-and-resin sculptures and an ink-on-muslin artwork, all by Auguste Garufi. The Harvey console is by Bradley and Holly Hunt's Rue de Seine bench was purchased through Jim Thompson.

Seated in front of one of the home's many steel-framed windows by Windsor Windows & Doors are two linen-clad club chairs, a sofa and a leather tub chair--all by A. Rudin, purchased through Paul Plus. The wing chair and Dyad cocktail table are both by Holly Hunt. The sculptural lamp is by Salgado Saucier.

A Frank Hunter photograph from Thomas Deans Fine Art and a custom screen wrapped in Dedar's Tangram silk through Jerry Pair flank the entry to the family room. Donghia Anziano chairs surround custom latching game tables, fabricated by Alpha Design, which can be combined for impromptu meals. The bespoke dining chair at right is by Robert Brown through Townhouse.

An arresting abstract work by Wesley Kimler punctuates the dining room. Bespoke side chairs covered in Glant linen and armchairs in GP & J Baker velvet surround a custom table by Alpha Design; a Jonathan Browning chandelier hangs above. An Eve and Staron Studio flat-weave rug and windows dressed in Schumacher linen soften the dramatic composition.

Antiqued and bleached white-oak cabinetry by Karpaty Cabinets defines the open kitchen. Holly Hunt Shadow counter stools were purchased through Jim Thompson, and the island's Calacatta marble is from Levantina. The Globus pendants above it are by The Urban Electric Co. A sink with Waterworks fixtures sits opposite a Wolf range.

Honed Bianco Bello marble tile by Walker Zanger covers both walls and ceiling in the master bathroom. Next to MTI's New Yorker 3 tub are a hexagonal Baker accent table and an Alexander lounge chair from Robert Brown's signature collection through Townhouse--this one upholstered in a Fox Linton Fabrics twill. The shower hardware by Emtek is from Architectural Accents.

The master bedroom's Noma bed by Dmitriy & Co--dressed in a Peacock Alley coverlet and Schumacher throw pillows--sits atop a Nourison Twilight trellis rug from Designer Carpets and beneath Boyd Lighting's Cosmo pendant. Custom bedside tables are topped with Christopher Spitzmiller's Patricia lamps.

Robert Brown’s client was 25 years old and at the top of his game when the designer met him, but not when it came to decorating. “He wasn’t sure what he wanted,” reveals Brown, who was previously tapped for the build-out and design of his client’s former Buckhead penthouse. “I saw that he was headed in a very elegant direction, and he trusted us to help him develop a style.”

After the homeowner married his college sweetheart and the pair made plans to start a family, conversations naturally gravitated toward the need for something more grown-up to accommodate their lifestyle and appropriate for the little ones they hoped would soon be toddling around. So, they turned, once more, to Brown–who gladly signed on for the interior design but also introduced the couple to the very house and lot they ultimately purchased. “The road it’s on is one of the cut throughs to my own neighborhood,” the designer recounts. “When I drove by the site, I immediately knew it would suit their needs.”

Architect Linda MacArthur authored the original plans for the French Normandy-inspired residence, and general contractor Stan Benecki tackled the construction. Yet the classic European approach to the house, it turns out, is somewhat of a ruse. Just beyond the threshold, visitors encounter starkly different interiors. “Inside, all of the moldings and trim were minimized for a clean, contemporary look,” says MacArthur.

Brown, who came on board during the framing stage, developed the handsome gray wash for the wood floors and vouched for the tones of Venetian plaster that lend an elegant backdrop to his warm-modern selections of fabrics, furnishings and art. “They like to live casually,” Brown says of the homeowners. “So, we added industrial touches, sea grass carpets and stones that were honed, rather than polished, to tone down any sense of formality. It’s sophisticated yet simple.”

The interior scheme is unified by an understated neutral palette with lots of high-contrast black and white: a monochrome most evident in art that brings graphic, gestural tension to simple furniture silhouettes. Namely, in the dining room, a dark cypress ceiling, custom flat-weave rug and oversize painting intentionally “take your attention away from the leggy buffet and chairs, which could otherwise read very busy in the middle of the room,” Brown explains.

Owing to his former life as a menswear designer, Brown tends to approach projects like a tailor, combining streamlined custom furnishings with polished and masculine details. While this was ideal for the couple’s former penthouse bedroom, the wife requested a softer aesthetic for their new master suite. “We changed the color scheme to a dusty blue with an almost nude-colored fabric to make it more feminine,” the designer notes. Watercolors on paper from the Paris Flea Market drive this point home, while a metallic wallcovering in the wife’s closet and a glittery black wallpaper in a powder room enhance the femininity in a way that’s refreshing, not overt.

Bearing in mind the durability required for a growing brood (the couple has since welcomed twins), Brown benched precious silks and fussy patterns in favor of relaxed, tactile textiles like elegantly rumpled indoor-outdoor linens, supple leathers, tightly woven chenille and cotton sateen.

Outside, dense surroundings by landscape architect Alec Michaelides shroud the house from the street, ensuring its owners never feel overexposed. “To reduce the visual impact of the first-floor height, we designed a raised planting area and a mid-level arrival terrace to the front door,” explains Michaelides. “It’s a more graceful approach to the house that doesn’t require scaling an entire flight of steps to reach it.” The plan also allowed room to accommodate a pair of mature crepe myrtles that forms a canopy over the property’s front walkway, visible from Benecki’s expansive windows and doors.

This was intended to be “a very sophisticated, private house,” Benecki affirms. What resulted was well beyond the bounds of the initial plans but feels like the intended destination in the end.