See The Transformation Of Usher’s Former Georgia Home


Free-flowing living room with a...

Designer Harry Young Parmenter anchored the living room of this Alpharetta, Georgia, home with Kelly Wearstler’s Strada chandelier for Visual Comfort & Co. and a mixed-media work by Cape Town artist Mariette Kotze. An Arhaus sofa and armchairs from Shoppe Amber Interiors compose a comfortable environment for entertaining.

Entry stair hall with white...

RH’s Tulip pedestal table brings a modern verve to the entry hall, where designer Harry Young Parmenter opted to increase interior door heights by 16 inches. Lulu & Georgia’s Palau rug adds texture underfoot while Visual Comfort & Co.’s Vendome sconce lights the stairwell.

Lounge space with sectional, black...

Originally a playroom, the upstairs lounge now functions as a more grown-up hangout space for the owners’ children. A Lee Industries sectional from B.D. Jeffries joins a Sixpenny slipper chair and West Elm ottomans. Suzanne Kasler’s Morris lanterns for Visual Comfort & Co. crown the scene.

Kitchen with green-gray cabinetry, veined...

Setting off custom cabinetry varnished to match Sherwin-Williams’ Thunderous, Ciot-sourced Calacatta Borghini marble graces the kitchen. The Classic Brass hardware is from European Kitchen & BathWorks.

Green-gray pantry with rolling ladder,...

The scullery’s surplus of custom storage keeps clutter tucked away from the main cook space. A rolling ladder by Putnam ensures essentials are within easy reach, while Rejuvenation’s Hood pendant hangs above.

Kitchen dining area with oval...

Parmenter anchored the breakfast room with Lulu & Georgia’s Beth table and McGee & Co.’s Reeves chairs. Vintage decorative plates from Chairish complement the curves of the furnishings.

Dark bedroom with light-colored wood...

The primary bedroom gains a cozy jewel-box feel thanks to Crate & Barrel’s Keane canopy bed and Sherwin-Williams’ Iron Ore on the walls. Visual Comfort & Co.’s Cristol chandelier suspends above Lulu & Georgia’s Valencia rug.

Dark bathroom with metal soaking...

A custom Calacatta Belgia marble vanity fabricated by Blue Sky Granite & Marble stars in one of two primary bathrooms. Here, a harmonious Melange sconce by Visual Comfort & Co. underscores the owners’ love of natural stone.

Ask a design pro their opinion about highly involved clients, and you might get a mixed bag of responses. But in the case of designer Harry Young Parmenter, having hands-on homeowners was a welcome boon for one very special Georgia abode.

Found in Alpharetta, a suburb on Atlanta’s northern outskirts, the house already intrigued thanks to its pedigree with hip-hop royalty: Originally built in 1988, it had belonged to record producer L.A. Reid before selling to Usher a decade later, and other owners thereafter.

Parmenter’s clients, a family of six relocating from Missouri, saw only possibilities. Having substantial experience with renovations in the past, they came to the table with a wealth of ideas—especially for the floor plan of their newly acquired estate—along with an eagerness to serve as partners throughout the design process. “They already knew what they wanted in broad strokes,” the designer notes.

Updating the sprawling residence efficiently meant getting a solid sense of the couple’s tastes from the outset, and Parmenter picked up on their preference for fresh, clean finishes with a traditional touch. “After a few rooms and mood boards, I gathered a strong sense of their style—elegant, not too casual, but still inviting—so the rest of the decisions moved quickly, like a domino effect,” Parmenter recalls.

Goals included reconciling the clients’ stylistic preferences with the existing architecture, where previous renovations had blurred the home’s ornate, French origins with contemporized details. Striving for a more consistent feel, Parmenter spearheaded structural revisions and specified cosmetic updates throughout, collaborating closely with builder Fernando Sanchez to bring these ideas to fruition. “Fernando found imaginative ways to solve problems at every turn,” recalls the wife, adding: “He and his crew were so committed that our quick timeline could not have happened without them.”

Beyond redesigning the façade to look congruous with the more traditional rear of the home, Parmenter installed new front windows while also raising their positions. Next, he achieved a particularly dramatic feat: inserting a 5-foot-wide, pivoting front door.

Once inside, the free-flowing interiors called for “a sleeker, more modern vibe,” Parmenter reveals. The team transformed a bedroom-and-bathroom suite on the first floor into the new formal dining room and pantry—two spaces that perfectly accommodate the owners’ love of entertaining. Nearby, the footprint of the oversize primary suite was reconfigured to accommodate convenient his-and-her bathrooms. And upstairs, a hangout space for the couple’s teenage children emerged from a former playroom. “So much of this project was about paring down,” the designer explains. “It was a lot of simplifying spaces and bringing them to a more modern place.”

Embracing transitional finishes and furnishings helped balance the home’s traditional exterior with its forward-thinking interior envelope. “I created a style that felt like the homeowners—but with a slightly refined edge to fit the residence itself,” Parmenter explains. “I also noted how much they love to travel, so many of the details were inspired by chic hotels where they’ve stayed.”

He combined traditional elements—like plaid textiles and brass hardware—with clean-lined silhouettes (see the curved-back spindle chairs in the breakfast room or the marble-topped tulip table in the entry hall). Some selections took the clients outside their comfort zone: including contemporary lighting (see the spiky sea urchin-inspired fixture in the living room), high-contrast neutral palettes and moody tones with a transformative effect. “Harry’s conviction about the palette was critical,” the wife shares. “He definitely pushed us on color, texture and lighting.”

The foray into bolder choices truly began with the renovation of the kitchen and its accompanying scullery. Here, simple, Shaker-style cabinetry in a verdant hue plays a supporting role to statement slabs of Calacatta Borghini marble on the backsplash and countertops. From the beginning, everyone envisioned green for the cook space. But while the owners originally had their hearts set on a saturated emerald shade, arriving at the final, more muted iteration “took some convincing,” Parmenter recounts. Happily, everyone was so thrilled with the look that it became the springboard for a green scheme recurring throughout the remainder of the residence. 

In the end, it was that consistent willingness to think outside the box that paid off for all parties. While Parmenter appreciated that his clients were game to go bold, the homeowners valued their designer’s ability to take things as they come. And if you ask Parmenter, that push-and-pull was key for creating a chic new identity for a home with such iconic Atlanta history.