Eddie Brumbaugh is looking for a better word than “sexy.” Her publicity team isn’t convinced that’s the most strategic adjective for the interior designer’s new store, Jackson Charles Home. But Brumbaugh’s found it hard to describe her glamorous, relaxed, and playful style any other way.
If confidence breeds attraction, she’s got that part down. A former volleyball and track star at the University of Houston, Brumbaugh once trained with Carl Lewis and competed against Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Then after five years as a flight attendant, the native Californian decided to move South, change careers, and study interior design at the Art Institute of Atlanta. Her first undergraduate degree had been in fashion merchandising, and she figured, “If you can dress a person, you can dress a room.”
Her chutzpah has caught the attention of celebrity clients. She once designed a twenty-foot-tall chain-mail chandelier for Atlanta Falcon Osi Umenyiora. And she talked Real Housewife Kandi Burruss into a (faux) saber-toothed tiger skull with metal fangs. “It’s like the tiger’s grill,” she told Burruss. “I like a little edge on everything. You’ve got to do some stuff that no one understands if you’re going to live like a rock star.”
Brumbaugh backs up the bling with solid design and inviting furnishings. Her Westside store ranges from a midcentury vintage look to modern pieces, but don’t go calling it “contemporary”—a word she feels is too stiff and formal. “I want to lie on the couch and watch football with my husband on Saturdays,” she says. “I work hard to be sure rooms are comfortable.”
Jackson Charles, which was named after Brumbaugh’s oldest son, offers an especially strong selection of unique accessories, from oversized Henry Dale House fashion sketches to geometric, marble-topped occasional tables and a wide selection of lamps. Lighting options vary from the sculptural Eye Candy Chandelier ($14,999) to a more modestly priced chained chandelier for $1,699.
Located between a specialty barstool business and one of the locations of Cafe at Pharr that is not on Pharr Road (actually, none of them are now), Brumbaugh’s still trying to draw foot traffic. “People come for lunch and then realize I’m new,” she says. “For now I just treat this as an extended office space. I pull off the floor for my clients. When it can pay the bills, I’ll probably start calling it a store.” 1465 Chattahoochee Avenue, 404-629-0225
This article originally appeared in our May 2014 issue.