The arrival of twins marks a joyous occasion, and for one Atlanta couple, it also made the case for a move. So, they set about assembling a design team who could deliver the open, family-friendly floor plan they craved without compromising on sophistication. “Both of the clients are very fashionable,” reveals their interior designer, Kelly Wolf Anthony. “They wanted their future home to feel cool and hip, but at the same time, handsome.”
Since general contractor Bobby Johnson had worked on the family’s previous Buckhead residence, he already understood their preferences intimately—a fact that helped his team seamlessly apply many of those same elements to their new abode. “There’s so much value when your owner trusts your builder,” says residential designer William T. Baker, whose arrival to the project guaranteed architecture that would balance the couple’s refined taste with their growing family. Renowned for his graceful but restrained gestures, Baker’s approach to the house exemplifies understated glamour. His curved central staircase, for example, lends a dramatic focal point visible from the home’s entryway as well as one of its most-used spaces: its library-like dining room. “As I’m designing houses, I’m always very conscious of the vistas, the enfilade of the rooms,” Baker explains. “I try to make sure things are on an axis—furniture, art walls or something architectural—so that you have a visual to draw your eye farther down the home.”
Anthony, meanwhile, was interested in answering the couple’s request for a monochromatic palette while bringing in textured layers, such as tartan and bouclé. “It’s very much like a well-tailored suit,” Anthony says of the scheme. “The clients both enjoy plaids in their wardrobe and in their accessories, so we infused that into the home using flannels and wools; having those very tactile fabrics was important.” To dial up detailing in other areas, she brought in a frequent collaborator, designer Matthew Quinn.
While executing the abode’s well-appointed scullery, pantry and kitchen, Quinn teamed up with Anthony to refine Baker’s plan for a steel-and-glass partition dividing the latter space from the living room. The result? A clever feature that converts to a walk-up bar for entertaining or quickly closes to keep cooking aromas and meal-prep clutter sealed away. The owners wanted an accommodating layout where they could still entertain frequently, so they also loved Anthony’s idea for keeping their aforementioned dining room informal. “We didn’t want it to be the kind of room you only use a couple times each year,” says the interior designer, who worked with Baker on the space’s chevron-patterned bleached-oak floors and ceiling paired with coordinating paneled walls. Instead, “We wanted it to be used daily—whether for a meeting or curling up with a book in the oversize wing chair. It needed more of a swanky library feel than a traditional dining room.”
A similar duality emerged for the primary suite, which the clients specifically requested be on the main level. To keep the retreat feeling private, their design team devised a fluted wooden wall panel to keep its entry hidden. “We wanted that wall to read as solid, but when you open the doors, you have that big reveal,” explains Anthony, adding: “It keeps the house feeling entertaining friendly, because no one would know the bedroom is right beyond the living room.”
While Anthony kept the decor of the couple’s cozy sleeping space simple, Quinn had liberty to amplify the drama in their bathroom, where he clad walls and floors in contrasting white and black marbles, also adding an open shower that remains quite private thanks to the secluded lot. “It’s an elegant space, and I think it speaks exactly the same language as the rest of the home,” Quinn notes.
Outdoors, all elements were equally in harmony, apparent in the sight line that culminates in Baker and Anthony’s collaborative concept for the pool house: a classically inspired structure featuring a matte-gray stucco exterior. With landscape architect John Howard enhancing the areas surrounding it, Anthony was decidedly impressed. “John brought so much attention to detail with his planning, marrying the clean, modern look the clients wanted with classic details,” she says. “The result is spectacular in its minimalism.”
That parting thought is, by all accounts, a fitting way to sum up the project as a whole. The design team successfully straddled the line of subtlety and impact for their clients while adding features that accommodate their growing family. All told, Anthony notes, it’s a truly bespoke home that fits all their wants and needs in a timeless way, yet still allows room to grow.