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Inside HGTV star Brian Patrick Flynn’s eclectic Buckhead home

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Brian Patrick Flynn House
The famously wandering Flynn is catching up on time spent at home this year, but has traveled to the majestic—and hard to reach—Greenland ice sheet four times in recent years, a summer destination with 22 hours of daylight in July.

Photograph by Rustic White

It may come as a surprise to viewers of his HGTV shows or his 130,000 Instagram fans, but exuberant designer Brian Patrick Flynn is truly a homebody. The midcentury house in Atlanta he shares with his husband, Hollis Smith (a costumer with Marvel Studios), may be magazine-chic, but its primary function is as a place to relax. “We both are super busy,” says Brian, who typically travels as much as seven months out of the year. But this year, of course, has been different. “I have projects I’d be working on in Texas, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas. Those will all push back most likely until fall, and when that time comes, I’ll just play calendar Tetris and make it all work.” Until then, find them cozied up in their favorite place.

Brian Patrick Flynn House
TV producer–turned–interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn and his husband, Hollis Smith, enjoy their fifth home together, spurred often by the love of a great project. Brian, who is known for HGTV’s Urban Oasis and HGTV’s Dream Home, is working on a book that combines travel, interior design, and humor. “I wanted to make the kind of book that I could never find,” he says. This house, a 15-minute walk to Lenox Square, is convenient for Hollis, who works as a costumer for film and TV. “The house has me centrally located to costume houses and several filming studios so that I have a light commute,” says Hollis. Their dog is named Gidget.

Photograph by Rustic White

Brian Patrick Flynn House
After Brian worked on a design project for the original owner of this 1965-built house, the owner declared that she would sell the home to him and only him when it came time. Sure enough, five years later, he and Hollis signed the deed for it. The designer replaced small windows with these large-scale steel frames from Atlanta-based Forge Fine Steel, then painted the front Sherwin-Williams “Tricorn Black.” “I love the extreme contrast between the house itself and the lush green surrounding it.” Brian says.

Photograph by Rustic White

This ’60s house in a woodsy setting joins a recognizable list of Flynn-Smith homes, starting in 2004 with a Castleberry Hill loft, then an East Lake midcentury—featured in this magazine—and their vacation homes: a mountain house in Ellijay, Georgia (shown in Magnolia Journal and Country Living) and an attic apartment in the improbable location of Reykjavik, Iceland, which was on the cover of House Beautiful. (Google their wedding, a beyond dramatic affair in Antarctica on giant icebergs featured by People and Harper’s Bazaar, as proof the pair doesn’t do things halfway.)

Brian Patrick Flynn House

Brian Patrick Flynn House
The planet-like light fixture in the entryway is “Truax” from Brian’s own line of lighting for Crystorama, and the rug is from Moattar. Metal doors and arctic-white floors and walls create a dramatic setting in the foyer, yet the amusing mix of art on the gallery wall fits the couple’s personalities. Art includes vintage pieces picked up at City Issue and an ebony coconut shell mirror from R.Hughes.

Photograph by Rustic White

Brian is known for an eclectic dynamic. “I like to mix the midcentury look with other styles,” the designer says. “In this case, the industrial-steel windows are a bit unexpected, and the white painted floors are a little more ‘NYC loft.’” He decided to paint the exterior black. “It just looks more current, like the house belongs to someone who pushes the envelope,” he says, and a lot of the rooms are cozy and dark, too. The glossy white floors and reflective white cabinets in the kitchen lighten things up.

Brian Patrick Flynn House
The carport is tricked out to serve double-duty as an entertaining space, with Sherwin-Williams “Tricorn Black” on the walls.

Photograph by Rustic White

Brian Patrick Flynn House
The glossy white Ikea kitchen and matching floors epitomize cool. The floors will need to be repainted every few years, but the light and airy effect is worth it, says Brian. “Most people flip out seeing the pure white floors, but the truth of the matter is that dark floors are a nightmare,” he says. “They work as a mirror and show all of the flaws. White painted floors, especially glossy ones, are surprisingly easy to care for.” Pendant lights from Design Within Reach and chairs from Room & Board continue the contemporary chic.

Photograph by Rustic White

Brian Patrick Flynn House
Wood veneer wallpaper from Thibaut captures the woodsy vibe of the house. This cozy family room is outfitted with a large-scale sectional from Stock & Trade and side chairs from Norwalk Furniture.

Photograph by Rustic White

A love of contrasts and quirky combinations is most evident in the entryway, where the Florida-born designer channels his affinity for Scandinavian style with an oversized contemporary light fixture, all-white surfaces, and an entertaining mix of art collected by the couple over the years. “The gallery wall is such a conversation starter,” he says. “It’s super unpretentious because we’ve got found objects I picked up for free mixed in with remarkably pricey high art.” Op Art by Gina Julian out of Nashville hangs near a lithograph of a 1970s printer used as set decoration on one of Hollis’s TV shows. Pop culture is a recurring theme. 

Brian Patrick Flynn House
Thibaut wallpaper resembling agate in the master bedroom reinforces the couple’s love of nature. The chests are from Dwell Studio and the lamps are from City Issue.

Photograph by Rustic White

Brian Patrick Flynn House
Brian found this vivid blue solid-surface countertop and backsplash from Cambria and thought, “Why not?” Cabinetry from Design Galleria and sconces by Jonathan Adler round out the mod look.

Photograph by Rustic White

Brian Patrick Flynn House
A painting by Atlanta artist Blayne McCauley livens up the guest bedroom, with a four-poster bed from Room & Board.

Photograph by Rustic White

Every home he and Hollis have created is different, and Brian doesn’t hesitate to change things out, admitting that each design “mistake” ultimately sends him in the direction of his true style. There’s a sense of permanence with this home that makes it more than a design lab, however. “We’re gone a lot,” he admits, “but as long as we’re in Atlanta, this is our forever house.”

RESOURCES | Interior designer: Brian Patrick Flynn, flynnsideout.com. Contractor: Walter Hope, Architectural Wood (now retired). On the cover (photo 4 – gallery wall) Mustache man art, ’70s analog printer art, and vintage portrait in yellow baseball cap: City Issue, cityissue.com. Custom Iceland watercolor: Blush & Honey Paper, blushandhoneypaper.com. Ebony coconut shell mirror: R.Hughes, ADAC, r-hughes.com. “Willie”: Karen Musgraves, karenmusgraves.com. Kacey Musgraves poster: kaceymusgraves.com. Text art: Leanne Ford, leanneford.com. Plaid blanket: Geysir, Reykjavik, geysir.com. Globe chandelier: Truax, Brian Patrick Flynn for Crystorama, crystorama.com. Rug: Joanna Gaines, Magnolia Home and Loloi, shop.magnolia.com. Runner: Moattar, ADAC, moattar.com. White floor paint: Sherwin-Williams “Extra White,” sherwin-williams.com. Sofas: Classic Home, classichome.com. Metal windows and doors: Forge Fine Steel, forgefinesteel.com. Kitchen Cabinetry: Ikea, ikea.com. Countertops: Caesarstone, caesarstone.com. Lighting: Design Within Reach, dwr.com. Chairs: Room & Board, roomandboard.com. Table: Wayfair, wayfair.com. Dining room Table and chairs: Williams-Sonoma, williams-sonoma.com. Pendants: Brian Patrick Flynn for Crystorama. Wallpaper: Thibaut, thibautdesign.com. Photography artwork: Rustic White, rusticwhite.com. Family room Wall covering: Thibaut. Sectional: Stock & Trade Design Co., stockandtrade.com. Coffee table: Duralee, robertallendesign.com. Rug: Wayfair. Chairs: Norwalk Furniture, norwalkfurniture.com. Guest bedroom Wallpaper: Thibaut. Artwork: Blayne McCauley, blayneart.com. Bed: Room & Board. Lamps: Aerin, aerin.com. Guest bathroom Design: Design Galleria, designgalleria.net. Solid surface: Cambria, cambria.com. Sconces: Jonathan Adler, jonathanadler.com. Master bedroom Wallpaper: Thibaut. Bed: Room & Board. Bedside chests: Dwell Studio, dwellstudio.com. Lamps: City Issue.

This article appears in our Summer 2020 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

A studio, gallery, and vacation rental all combine in this historic Macon home

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Joe Adams house Macon
The turn-of-the-century house is close to downtown Macon and still has its original pressed-tin roof. Joe came up with the one-of-a-kind front door as an homage to the 20th century sculptor Louise Nevelson—and the artistic viewpoint inside.

Photograph by Rustic White

Contemporary artist Joe Adams has restored several historic houses in his hometown of Macon, and this one proved to be the perfect space for his working studio and a gallery. On the second floor, he created an arty retreat that he rents via Airbnb, decorated with modern furniture and his abstract paintings alongside antique finds and Victorian woodwork.

Joe Adams house Macon
After studying art at Mercer University, artist Joe Adams taught for a while, then moved on to other businesses. He only came back to painting 15 years ago at the recommendation of his wife, Evelyn.

Photograph by Rustic White

What was the house like when you bought it?
The house was built around 1900 and still has the original pressed tin roof, which is painted terra cotta. All of the ceilings still have the original bead board, and all of the mantelpieces are intact. At some point, it had been made into an attorneys’ office but fortunately had not been butchered up. It contains all of the original architectural features. I knew I could get historic tax credits to rehabilitate the building. For me, it was ideally situated, since I live in a downtown loft and this building is three blocks away, close to downtown restaurants and businesses.

Joe Adams house Macon
The main floor of this Macon house serves as his studio and an art gallery, with an apartment upstairs. Joe’s work is also sold in Atlanta at Jennifer Balcos Gallery and Mathews Furniture

Photograph by Rustic White

Joe Adams house Macon
Painted, glossy white floors and a dark brown-gray ceiling are the backdrop for the mix of old and new. The sofa and lamps are from Swoox, the breakfast table from CB2. Visitors are welcome to pop in Joe’s studio while staying at the Airbnb and buy art at an insider’s discount.

Photograph by Rustic White

How does the layout work? And what is the story with that memorable front door?
The apartment and my studio share the original foyer, with stairs to the second floor. My studio consists of four rooms and a back porch, and the front room is set up as a gallery. The front door I treated like a collage of wood and metal, nailing or screwing in various architectural pieces, then painting it turquoise with a burnt umber glaze on top.

What was your goal for the apartment’s interior design?
I collaborated with a building designer, Paul Rogers, and the design of the interior is very eclectic, a combination of modern and traditional. The paintings are all mine, and there are touches of tribal art. My favorite feature is the large Corinthian capital console table in the upstairs landing, which fits my love of history. I wanted to have either black or white painted floors and settled on white for a clean and bright look. They had been painted in the past, so we just primed them and then painted them with a porch-type paint.

Joe Adams house Macon
The renovated kitchen in the upstairs apartment feels modern and European, with an added bonus of a painted backsplash by Joe himself. A layer of glass covers the abstract design to guard against splashes.

Photograph by Rustic White

Joe Adams house Macon
A Corinthian capital serves as a welcome console in the landing, elegant with its high ceilings and original trim. “I wanted the upstairs apartment to be modern with elements of interesting art and architecture,”says Joe, who also works as a real estate agent and often has access to architectural salvage.

Photograph by Rustic White

Another fun feature is the painted backsplash.
Paul designed the cabinets with a midcentury vibe, and it was his idea for me to paint the backsplash. The cabinetmaker made a plywood panel that he mounted to the wall. I primed the wood, painted on it in place, then had the cabinets and hood installed. I didn’t plan what the design would be in advance, but I just wanted it colorful. I used acrylic paint along with some paper collage in it, and the dots were created with a stencil and spray paint. The final painting isn’t coated with a protective layer, but I did install a glass backsplash below the cabinets and hood.

Joe Adams house Macon
A floating bed sits in a specially designed niche, a way to make the most of master bedroom space.

Photograph by Rustic White

You’ve spent your whole life here. Why is Macon a hidden gem?
Macon is often overlooked but has so much to offer. There are so many beautiful historic districts, and the downtown is a very happening place. Mercer University is a major player, and the city has a rich music history. Macon is so much more than what is seen from the interstate.

This article appears in our Spring 2020 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

Inside this Atlanta designer’s Palm Springs paradise

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Palm Springs vacation home
The backyard, with its spacious covered lanai, swimming pool, and panorama of tall palm trees, embodies Hollywood glamour. Designer Bill Stewart kept the original pool but redid the surrounding hardscapes.

Photograph by Lance Gerber

Long before Palm Springs was on every sun-seeker’s radar, Atlanta interior designer Bill Stewart of Stewart Mohr Designs fell in love with this hip California city in the desert. He bought his first vacation home there 15 years ago, then upgraded to this circa-1964 house three years ago. It has the midcentury-modern glamour that draws visitors to the town, and, in fact, Bill is used to a constant parade of people taking pictures in his front yard.

Palm Springs vacation home
Bill painted the exterior of this mid-’60s house “Flora and Fauna” by Sherwin-Williams. To allow the large Mediterranean Fan palm tree and decorative modular screens to shine, he simplified the front yard with artificial turf and exposed pea-gravel concrete.

Photograph by Lance Gerber

The house he shares with his husband, Joe Gyori, was designed by well-respected architectural firm Frey and Chambers and is now on the historic register, but it wasn’t always so photo-ready. “The house was very unattractive when we bought it, with overgrown landscaping and sort of a dirty mustard color,” says the designer. “I decided right away that it had to be pink.” Pink was architect Albert Frey’s favorite color. The verdant interior color scheme was inspired by another California icon, the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Bill and Joe revived the original charms of the house. The exterior is distinguished by decorative architectural sunscreens in bronze-painted aluminum, the sort of midcentury feature that causes cars to slow down when they drive by. The backyard oozes luxury with its angular pool and spacious lanai with original terrazzo flooring.

Palm Springs vacation home
Over the years, Bill has picked up midcentury pieces from auctions, estate sales, and a favorite in Atlanta: City Issue in Inman Park. Swivel chairs are by Coup d’Etat from R. Hughes at ADAC.

Photograph by Lance Gerber

Palm Springs vacation home
“I’m all about texture,” says Bill, who added a grass-cloth accent wall and zigzag bedding in the master bedroom, which overlooks the pool.

Photograph by Lance Gerber

Palm Springs vacation home
“Pinks and greens are a classic color combination, like Lilly Pulitzer,” says the designer, who layered varying shades of the colors throughout the home.

Photograph by Lance Gerber

Inside, the designer painted walls in Dunn-Edward’s “Olive Oil” for contrast to the pink on the exterior, then had fun positioning his collection of midcentury furniture and lighting picked up over the years, mixed in with some newer pieces. “The success of any designer is taking what you’ve been given and making something out of it, putting unrelated items together,” he says.

Back in Atlanta, Bill and Joe live at Ponce City Market, but they try to spend almost half their time in Palm Springs, where they often take day trips to nearby mountains or Joshua Tree National Park, or—a favorite Palm Springs pastime—just sit by the pool.

Vacation Planner: Here’s how to enjoy this sunny, retro destination

BUY | It’s still possible to buy midcentury houses in the mid-500K range, says designer Bill Stewart, particularly by looking in neighborhoods outside the well-known streets. He recommends local realty firm TTK Represents and, as an insider tip, says to ask for agent Chris Menrad.

VISIT | Palm Springs has one of the world’s largest collections of midcentury residential architecture, a thriving downtown area, swanky restaurants and bars, and 360 days of sunshine. In winter and spring months, Delta has direct flights from Atlanta. Bill recommends (for big budgets) L’Horizon Resort and Spa to tap into luxurious 1950s glam and the more moderately priced but still groovy Orbit In hotel. A day trip to Joshua Tree National Park is a must.

This article appears in our Spring 2020 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

This versatile room does triple duty for studying, crafts, and playtime

Room EnvyPart playroom, part crafts room, and part study hall, this terrace-level space in Decatur serves many functions in style.

Sunny disposition
“We wanted it to have a connection to the outdoors,” says Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson of Terracotta Design Build. French doors to the backyard are painted black to add contrast.

Swing time
The hanging rattan chair by Serena & Lily creates a playful mood.

Paper play
A paper dispenser and cutter mounted on the desk provides paper to doodle on or work out math problems—and protects the desk, too.

Rule of threes
To keep the scale right for the long desk, Hidalgo-Nilsson chose three verdant pendants from Rejuvenation, and the family added a trio of dry-erase boards and buckets from Ikea.

Adding height
Hidalgo-Nilsson designed the custom desk and activities table with hydraulic lifts, built by Greenwalt & Sons. The homeowners, Leann and Shane Cox, wanted a surface that could be raised as eight-year-old Noah grows taller.

Designer tip
“Keep it practical,” says Hidalgo-Nilsson. The flooring is vinyl that looks like wood (since basements are notorious for dampness and flooding), topped by an Oriental rug that hides all stains.

This article appears in our June 2020 issue.

A modern makeover brings striking contrast to a Queen Anne Victorian in Grant Park

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Queen Anne Victorian Grant Park
This Queen Anne Victorian near Oakland Cemetery retains its original architectural features, including the decorative railings and spindlework. The potted cacti bask outside as many months of the year as possible.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Queen Anne Victorian Grant Park
Alison Michaels-Fandel (with Francis) grew up in East Cobb with parents who influenced her artistic passions: “Things were always being renovated and decorated and just happening,” she says of her upbringing. A fine arts degree and long stint at Anthropologie honed her skills. Now, she works on the design and decor for about two to five full-house projects a year.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Alison Michaels-Fandel isn’t likely to do what everyone else is doing, even if the rest of the world eventually catches up to her style. This creative spirit (a realtor, remodeler-designer, and founder of Shoppe Native, an invite-only shopping club) lacquered her kitchen black long before it became a trend and filled the house with modern furniture and sculptural plants. She and her husband, Derek, a fellow creative, bought the circa-1892 Queen Anne Victorian in 2017 and are only the second family to live in the home.

Queen Anne Victorian Grant Park
Alison and her husband, Derek, added a deck for a scenic view of the backyard. Modern outdoor furniture from Room & Board fits the black-and-white scheme.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Queen Anne Victorian Grant Park
The wraparound porch provides a pleasant perch overlooking the street in Grant Park. Greenery, from cacti to banana trees, is a defining feature of the home.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Queen Anne Victorian Grant Park
Alison and Derek transformed the overgrown backyard into this chic area, featuring a mix of rocks, turf, and plants. The little black shed is Derek’s furniture shop and mill. When he’s not away working on oil fields in Alaska, he’s pursuing art projects, mainly in metal.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Alison calls herself a modern traditionalist because she has a deep love for old architecture and the patina that goes with it, but revels in a contemporary perspective. Working within guidelines for a historic tax credit (which means keeping walls intact), the couple removed some interior doors and raised entryways, bringing in more light and providing a better flow. They kept the original fretwork, doors, mantels, and transom windows and reused materials whenever possible. They gave the heart-pine floors a whitewashed stain to make the cozy floorplan feel more open and modern.

Queen Anne Victorian Grant Park
The entry hall is painted Sherwin-Williams “Pure White” (the same as the exterior), with the original heart-pine floors wearing a white stain made by Bona. Alison kept the doors a darker stain for contrast. Elaborate fretwork is original to the house. The large oil painting of a man is by her husband, Derek. The chairs are vintage.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Queen Anne Victorian Grant Park
The living room’s bay window offers plenty of sunlight for the collection of plants, many of which come from the Victorian Atlanta at Ponce City Market. The leather sofa and marble plinth table are from RH, and the patterned rug is from Dear Keaton.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Queen Anne Victorian Grant Park
Vintage pieces fill the office-drawing room, where Alison works with a view of the street. A scene captured at DragonCon by photographer and friend Audra Melton fits the quirky spirit of the room.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Queen Anne Victorian Grant Park
The updated powder room is covered with a vintage-style print from Walnut Wallpaper. The mirror is from West Elm.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Furnishings and art are stylish and often unexpected. “I tend to enjoy things with a story, a meaning, and some rich history,” says Alison. “The cactus on my porch is 27 years old, and the jade is the first plant my mother gifted me 15 years ago when I built my first home.” Skateboards are hung on the wall like art but also used by Derek almost daily.

Queen Anne Victorian Grant Park
A custom dining table by Atlanta artisan Kendrick Anderson is made of bleached ash and shows off the wood grain. Large pendants from CB2 fit Alison’s informal approach to design.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Queen Anne Victorian Grant Park
Skateboards are mounted as art throughout the house (as in the breakfast room) but also used regularly by Derek, who often hits the Old Fourth Ward skate park.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Queen Anne Victorian Grant Park
To update the kitchen, Alison and Derek gave the cabinets a coat of black lacquer, added honed black granite countertops from Stone Connection, and chose brass hardware from Signature Hardware for contrast. They installed counter-to-ceiling tiles from Emser Tile and a contemporary fan. Alison decorated the display shelves with ceramics by local artisan Charlotte Smith.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Alison gravitates toward a Scandinavian aesthetic in simple black and white, with plenty of texture. A macrame hanging and a marble coffee table that coexist with ornate fireplaces and 128-year-old heart pine—that’s the combo she adores. “I like a minimalistic palette, but I also love all those historic details,” she says.

Queen Anne Victorian Grant Park
Walls painted a moody “Tricorn Black” from Sherwin-Williams cozy up the master bedroom, featuring the original fireplace. Sculptural vintage lamps flank a wooden bed from Bed Down, with pillows from Dixon Rye.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Queen Anne Victorian Grant Park
The couple loves contemporary photography; this piece in the breakfast room by Los Angeles–based Steven Clouse depicts a scene in White Sands, New Mexico.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Queen Anne Victorian Grant Park
The airy guest bedroom features a bed from RH, a lamp and nightstand from Anthropologie, and a cozy throw sourced from Morocco.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

RESOURCES | Interior designer: Alison Michaels-Fandel, adamsrealtors.com; contractor: Frank Klimes, 404-427-8135; landscape design: Howkins Landscape Design, howkinslandscapeanddesign.com. Exterior paint: Sherwin-Williams “Pure White,” sherwin-williams.com. Hallway Floor stain: Bona “Nordic White Seal,” bona.com. Living room Sofa and marble table: Restoration Hardware, rh.com. Rug: Dear Keaton, dearkeaton.com. Plants: the Victorian Atlanta, thevictorianatlanta.com. Office DragonCon photography: Audra Melton, audramelton.com. Dining room Table: Kendrick Anderson, kendrickanderson.com. Pendants: CB2, cb2.com. Rug: West Elm, westelm.com. Large mirror: Stanton Home Furnishings, stantonhomefurnishings.com. Kitchen Matte black faucet: Brizo, brizo.com. Ceramics: Charlotte Smith, charlottesmithstudios.com. Master bedroom Wall paint: Sherwin-Williams “Tricorn Black.” Bed: Bed Down, beddown.com. Pillows: Dixon Rye, dixonrye.com. Ceiling fixture: West Elm. Photo of girl playing chess: the Citizenry, the-citizenry.com. Master bath Light fixtures: Cedar and Moss, cedarandmoss.com. Powder room Wallpaper: Walnut Wallpaper, walnutwallpaper.com. Mirror: West Elm

This article appears in our Spring 2020 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

A moss wall adds a touch of nature to this Druid Hills home

Room envy accent wallThis 1918 Mediterranean-style Druid Hills house came with a beautiful backyard, so homeowner Steve Colby decided to blur the boundaries between inside and out with a moss accent wall. “I love plants and playing with textures,” he says.

Custom curves
Colby built this sunny garden room off the kitchen a couple years ago, adding custom metal doors that lead to the backyard. They were designed with an arch to mimic the original architecture.

Garden games
The picturesque backyard just beyond the doors includes stone retaining walls, a badminton court, and a goat house. (Trivia: It was once home to Moose, the goat who rose to fame in Colby’s memorable 2013 Doritos TV commercial.)

Ceiling savvy
Tongue-and-groove pine and cypress beams bring woodsy warmth to the ceiling.

Green light
The advertising director and cinematographer had experimented with a live-moss structure in his office once before but found it difficult because of watering and problems with allergens. This moss wall 2.0 uses preserved moss.

Charming chairs
Seating in the garden room includes these patterned chairs with intentionally mismatched fabric.

Designer tip: Colby says his DIY moss wall was “embarrassingly easy” to make: He used a heavy-duty staple gun to attach the various mosses straight into the sheetrock. “It was a quick way to achieve the effect, and the moss naturally hides the staples,” he says.

This article appears in our May 2020 issue.

This charming Georgia farmhouse let an Atlanta artist get back to her country roots

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Elaine Burge house
An inherited Persian rug anchors the living room, now home to an Anthropologie coffee table. The large painting by the front door is by three-year-old Lucy, with help from her mother, homeowner and artist Elaine Burge, who enlisted interior designer Whitney Durham to transform her family’s farmhouse. “We used solid pieces of furniture, such as the leather sofa and blue swivel chairs, in the living room to allow for a space to rest your eye,” says Whitney. “But we like unexpected color patterns and feel that all colors can coexist together.”

Photograph by Christina Wedge

Having grown up on 30 acres in north Georgia, artist Elaine Burge was thrilled when her future husband, Richey, showed her his farmhouse in tiny Riddleville, around two hours east of Atlanta. This was eight years ago, after Elaine had lived in Atlanta and Savannah, but it didn’t take long for her rural roots to lure this painter back to the country. “I guess I didn’t realize until then how much being outdoors meant to me,” says Elaine. “I remember driving down that dirt lane and just loving it.”

Elaine Burge house

Elaine Burge house
Elaine and Richey Burge are able to maintain their careers in a small town about an hour south of Augusta while enjoying life with Lucy, three, and Bonnie, one. Richey has his own land- and wildlife-management company, and Elaine paints in a studio a few miles away. Her art is sold through Gregg Irby Gallery in Atlanta’s Westside, and her new line of wildlife-themed painted dinnerware is available at elaineburge.com.

Photograph by Christina Wedge

Elaine Burge house
Elaine and her husband, Richey, turned an existing outbuilding on their property into a chicken coop. Their property is about three acres, but Richey’s 1,100-acre family farm is right down the road.

Photograph by Christina Wedge

The circa-1940s, 1,600-square-foot ranch house needed some updating, which the couple has tackled in phases while expanding their family to four, with the addition of daughters Lucy and Bonnie. Out went some yellow linoleum floors and Richey’s bachelor decor. They didn’t have a game plan exactly, but it was only natural that the design would incorporate her love of wild color and his passion for the outdoors. The result is funky, eclectic, and highly personal.

Elaine Burge house
A vintage farm table and former church pew are part of the charming mix of front-porch furniture, where the family eats whenever weather cooperates. Elaine found the garden stools at a garage sale.

Photograph by Christina Wedge

Elaine Burge house
Mint-colored barstools and floral curtains are a cheerful touch in the kitchen.

Photograph by Christina Wedge

Elaine Burge house

The project was done on a strict budget, and Elaine’s DIY skills and knack for thrifting played a big role in the redo. “Anytime I see an antiques store or garage sale, I hit the brakes,” she says. She’s also a big fan of Final Cut in Augusta, a clearing house for major brands; the circular coffee table in the living room had originally been offered at Anthropologie for $1,200 but, with a few nicks in it (which Elaine cleaned up), was a steal at $80. Elaine’s own nature-themed art livens up walls, and even Lucy’s early skills are on display in a living-room painting.

Elaine Burge house
Blue-and-white pottery Elaine has collected over time lines the living-room fireplace mantel. As in many old houses, the fireplace isn’t functional but serves as a focal point to the room.

Photograph by Christina Wedge

Elaine Burge house
A midcentury table—an antique-store find—anchors the dining room. The bead chandelier brings in Elaine’s beloved turquoise, while a 1970s pink console becomes an unexpected element in the room. Some choices are practical; “I love those ‘ghost’ chairs because they’re easy to wipe down,” Elaine says.

Photograph by Christina Wedge

The family had the help of interior designer Whitney Durham, who was already a fan of Elaine’s work. “We pulled from similar color palettes throughout the home so that there would be smooth transitions from one room to the next,” says the designer. “We carefully combined large-scale patterns with smaller-scale prints so they didn’t compete with each other.” The two of them worked out a barter system—paintings for interior design consultation—and have become friends along the way.

Elaine Burge house
Elaine’s artistic skills were put to use in the hallway, with a Dalmatian-print stencil adding a whimsical touch. She loves the high-gloss salmon color elsewhere on the walls, calling attention to the wood details in an old house.

Photograph by Christina Wedge

Elaine Burge house
An artistic wallcovering from Anthropologie celebrates the Burges’ love for nature in the girls’ bedroom.

Photograph by Christina Wedge

Elaine Burge house
Velvet draperies from Ballard Designs frame an otherwise neutral guest bedroom.

Photograph by Christina Wedge

Elaine Burge house
A cornflower blue cupboard serves as a bar.

Photograph by Christina Wedge

Elaine Burge house
Whitney layered rugs as part of her relaxed approach to country style. The lumbar pillow is made from fabric by Emily McCarthy out of Savannah. The distressed wooden bed is from Chairish.

Photograph by Christina Wedge

The country life has been everything Elaine hoped for. Her two young girls collect eggs from the chicken coop for breakfast. Riddleville doesn’t even have its own post office, Elaine notes, but she’s content with the peaceful view from their wrap-around porch. “There isn’t much to do around here,” she says. “Just being together is what we find to be the most fun.”

Resources | Interior designer: Whitney Durham Interiors, whitneydurhaminteriors.com
Art: Elaine Burge, through Gregg Irby Gallery, greggirbygallery.com Living room Sofa: Pottery Barn, potterybarn.com. Blue swivel chairs: West Elm, westelm.com. Coffee table and velvet armchair: Final Cut (originally Anthropologie), 500 Fury’s Ferry Road, Martinez. Dining room Acrylic chairs: Amazon.com. Master bedroom Pillow fabric: Emily McCarthy, emilymccarthy.com. Bed: Chairish, chairish.com. Guest bedroom Velvet draperies: Ballard Designs, ballarddesigns.com. White quilt: Target, target.com. Girls’ bedroom Wallcovering: Anthropologie, anthropologie.com (discontinued).

This article appears in our Spring 2020 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

Afraid to commit? Peel-off wallpaper is fun for kids or adults

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Joni Lay children's roomLiving in a rental house didn’t deter design blogger Joni Lay from creating a stylish children’s bedroom. No permission to paint? No problem. Peel-off wallpaper was step one in transforming this cozy nook.

Pink power
Blush velvet blackout curtains from Target—with tassel trim—make early bedtime easier, since they block sunlight when needed.

Stick with it
Angular walls aren’t the easiest to wallpaper (sometimes you have to hang paper from the bottom up, says Lay), but the result adds instant personality. This charming “Puppy Pile” pattern from chasingpaper.com can be removed and even reused without harming walls.

Spools rule
The Lays’ three oldest girls (they have four total, all under 10) share this room, and each has a Jenny Lind–style bed, which Lay recommends because the rounded, whimsical shape works with any style.

Cheeky chic
Accessories are lighthearted but sophisticated, such as the vintage pennants and “Bonjour” lamp.

Lovely layers
Lively accent rugs from Crate & Barrel hide existing carpet.

Designer Tip: Change out light fixtures while in a rental, then switch back to the originals before moving out. This ceiling fixture from Etsy adds a modern touch. “It makes a kids’ space feel a little bit less juvenile,” says Lay, and can be reused anywhere in another house.

This article appears in our April 2020 issue.

An Atlanta designer hits all the right notes with this midcentury renovation

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Mark Williams house
This late-’60s built house is very much of the Brady Bunch era, says designer Mark Williams (right) with husband Steve Summers, who is Dolly Parton’s longtime creative director. “We chose white and gray for the exterior of the house because it’s calm and unassuming,” he says. The bright pop of yellow for the front door was a nod to cheery.

Photograph by Emily Followill

When Atlanta architectural and interior designer Mark Williams headed to see Dolly Parton perform at the Fox Theatre 12 years ago, he had no idea that a chance meeting with Dolly’s creative director, Steve Summers, would change his life. Five years later, the two married, and Mark now splits his time between Atlanta (where he has a home in Midtown and an office at ADAC) and the country music capital.

The home sits on more than an acre, with a backyard overlooking a creek and acres of parks and greenspace.

Photograph by Emily Followill

Mark Williams house
A wood-topped table by Oly Studios can expand to 10 feet. Mark selected the iconic “Handkerchief Chair” by Massimo Vignelli as lightweight but comfortable seating for the dining area. A Jonathan Adler light fixture fits the era of the house.

Photograph by Emily Followill

Mark Williams house
A large blue piece of art from Bobo Intriguing Objects is bold, but the adjacent gallery wall of collected works gets points for sentimental value; Mark and Steve carefully purchased and placed art to represent travels and other occasions in their lives. The rug is from Moattar.

Photograph by Emily Followill

When the pair spotted the circa-1969 home just outside of Nashville, it was a mess but had obvious potential. “We loved the very original midcentury feel to it,” says Mark. “It’s more of a ‘California Style’ ranch, which is not common in the Nashville area, so we jumped on it.” They stripped the structure down to the studs and rebuilt the back, doubling the size of the house. The former garage is now a sleek kitchen, with a custom stainless-steel wall for appliances and storage and white Silestone countertops. The view took center stage: The U-shaped house looks onto a creek and the couple’s acre-plus woodland setting, with a string of parks beyond their property.

Mark Williams house
An Ikea kitchen with Silestone countertops is classically modern. Appliances by Sub-Zero Wolf are integrated into the stainless-steel wall. Colorful counter stools from Modernica and a vintage store sign originally from Sweden liven up the white space.

Photograph by Emily Followill

Mark Williams house
Steve, with help from Mark, constructed the tall blue headboard for the master bedroom. They then added texture and visual interest with a vintage leather chair, and lamp and art from Bobo Intriguing Objects.

Photograph by Emily Followill

Mark Williams house
Porcelain floor and wall tiles by Crossville have the look of wood. The nature-surrounded master bath includes a glass shower and cabinetry by Ikea.

Photograph by Emily Followill

Steve started as a singer and dancer at Dollywood 25 years ago. He now oversees everything visual for the superstar, including her sets, album covers, and iconic fashions—but he largely deferred to Mark for the design at their own house. “I thought I had great style until I married him,” he jokes, adding that he may have had a hand in upgrading Mark’s wardrobe. A special gallery wall of artwork reflects both of their tastes.

Mark loves that the house evokes a golden age of entertaining; Dolly herself is a sometime guest. “The time this style of house was made popular—an optimistic postwar America—was when families and neighbors socialized a lot, before mobile phones,” he says. “It was an era of cocktail parties and backyard barbecues. We wanted to be sure the house maintained that spirit.”

Resources | Interior Designer: Mark Williams, Mark Williams Design Associates, mw-da.com; Living room Wall color: Sherwin-Williams “Pure White,”
sherwin-williams.com. Sofas: Donghia, donghia.com. Side chairs: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, mgbwhome.com. Ottoman: Custom through Bjork Studio, bjorkstudio.com. Coffee table: Custom through Skylar Morgan Furniture, skylarmorganfurniture.com. Floor lamp: West Elm, westelm.com. Rug: Moattar, moattar.com. Bird painting: Paige Harvey, paigeharveyart.com. Dining room Table: Oly Studio, olystudio.com. Chairs: Knoll, knoll.com. Light fixture: Jonathan Adler, jonathanadler.com. Kitchen Cabinetry: Ikea, ikea.com. Countertops: Silestone, silestone.com. Floor and wall tiles: Crossville, crossvilleinc.com. Appliances: Sub-Zero Wolf, subzero-wolf.com. Stools: Modernica, modernica.net. Sign: Bobo Intriguing Objects, bobointriguingobjects.com. Porch Accessories: West Elm. Chairs and table: Ikea with custom stain. Master bedroom Wooden chest: Restoration Hardware, rh.com. Bedding: West Elm. Lamp and art: Bobo Intriguing Objects. Master bath Cabinetry: Ikea. Porcelain tiles: Crossville.

This article appears in our Spring 2020 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

This classical Ansley Park home has strong New England vibes

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Ansley Park Craftsman
A renovation decades ago converted this former Craftsman bungalow to Federal style. New owners Laura Beth and Drew Gandy were drawn to its classic look along a picturesque street in Ansley Park. “The paint colors were already in place, and since we loved the cool gray with the crisp white, there was no need to change it,” says interior designer Maggie Griffin.

Photograph by Brian Bieder

Laura Beth and Drew Gandy were first drawn to the gray-shingled facade of this Ansley Park beauty, with its classical features and well-manicured front yard. “We lived in Boston for three years, and it reminded me of something you’d see in New England,” says Laura Beth. “Even the flow inside feels like a row house there.”

Ansley Park Craftsman
To cozy up the living room, the designer created two distinct seating areas and draped the windows with white linen panels. Furnishings from Lee Industries and Lewis & Sheron are livened up by a Renee Bouchon painting over the sofa, as well as art throughout the house by Drew’s mother, Marietta Petters. “That blue ottoman sets the tone for the room,” says Griffin.

Photograph by Brian Bieder

Ansley Park Craftsman
Framed Schumacher panels complement the elegance of decorative molding in the foyer. Griffin layered sisal and vintage rugs for an informal touch. The pocket doors lead to a family room.

Photograph by Brian Bieder

Ansley Park Craftsman
Grass cloth warms up walls in the dining room, distinguished by a coffered ceiling and the original fireplace. Chair backs wear Kravet gingham.

Photograph by Brian Bieder

Set among the Midtown skyscrapers, the circa-1913 house actually started as a Sears catalog floorplan, similar to the other Craftsman-style houses still along the street. A previous owner, interior designer Mimi Williams, remodeled the house and enclosed the front porch to create more space inside, reimagining the exterior in American Federal style. (The renovation was featured in several magazines, including this one in 2007.)

Inside, elegant touches such as coffered ceilings in the 11-foot-high living and dining rooms and generous molding around doorways fit the historic architecture. The Gandys added a large back deck for relaxing and entertaining.

Ansley Park Craftsman
Schumacher wallpaper and fabric fill the breakfast room area. Performance fabric used on upholstery ensures that spills won’t mess up the crisp look.

Photograph by Brian Bieder

Ansley Park Craftsman
The previously redone kitchen was spruced up with subway tile and window treatments that play into the blue-and-white motif.

Photograph by Brian Bieder

Ansley Park Craftsman
A duo of handpainted chinoiserie paintings bought on Chairish liven up the serene sitting room. The ebony coffee table is from Serena & Lily.

Photograph by Brian Bieder

Laura Beth admits that she’s a traditionalist, so her collaboration with interior designer Maggie Griffin included a deft use of blue and white, colorful fabrics, vintage china, and Oriental rugs. The furnishings are child friendly to accommodate the Gandys’ five-year-old son, James, but suit the scale and tone of the sophisticated house. In the foyer, for instance, Griffin paired framed fabric panels with upholstered stools that serve as an ideal spot for dropping bags, kids’ stuff, and other everyday items. Wallcoverings in many rooms add a layer of interest, sometimes subtle, sometimes not. A blue-velvet ottoman in the living room serves as a chic focal point, but it’s also a “stage” where James likes to dance, showing that an old house can be full of modern life. “We loved the formality of the original moldings and trim work,” says Griffin. “But we wanted this house to be a bit more playful for the young family.”

Ansley Park Craftsman
Georgia natives Laura Beth Gandy, an internal medicine physician, and Drew Gandy, an attorney, enjoy the proximity to Midtown amenities and Piedmont Park with their son, James.

Photograph by Brian Bieder

Ansley Park Craftsman
Grass cloth walls and built-ins lend a library feeling to the family room. A Wesley Hall sofa clad in fabric from Lewis and Sheron is both cozy and chic. The framed map of Boston references the homeowners’ stint up north.

Photograph by Brian Bieder

Ansley Park Craftsman
A starting point for the master bedroom was the four-poster bed from Williams-Sonoma Home, with nightstands made with bone inlay. “I love a collected vibe, and those chests seem to fit the bill,” says Maggie Griffin.

Photograph by Brian Bieder

Ansley Park Craftsman
An antique rug, with handsome drapes and window-seat fabrics from Lacefield Designs, allows son James’s room to grow as he does.

Photograph by Brian Bieder

Ansley Park CraftsmanRESOURCES | Interior designer Maggie Griffin, maggiegriffindesign.com Entryway Wall paint color: “Kendall Charcoal” by Benjamin Moore, benjaminmoore.com. Ceiling color: “Half Moon Crest” by Benjamin Moore. Framed panels: Schumacher fabric with framing by Purple House Gallery, fschumacher.com, purplehousegallery.com. Stools: Gabby Home, gabbyhome.com. Rugs: Looms and Lighting through Maggie Griffin Design Studio, loomsandlighting.com. Dining room Grasscloth wallcovering: Schumacher. Window treatment fabric: Thibaut Design, thibautdesign.com. Table: Bliss Studio from Martin Furniture and Design in Gainesville, martinfurnitureanddesign.com. Console: Le Chateau European Interiors, Scott Antique Markets, scottantiquemarket.com. Light fixture: Houzz, houzz.com. Rug: Myers Carpet, myerscarpet.com. Art: Allison James through the Maggie Griffin Design Studio. Sconce: Circa Lighting, circalighting.com. Living room Sofa, ottoman, and blue check chairs: Lewis and Sheron, lsfabrics.com. Art over sofa: Renee Bouchon, reneebouchon.com. Leather chair: Wesley Hall, wesleyhall.com. Daybed: Bliss Studio recovered in Lee Jofa fabric, leejofa.com. Daybed pillows and cushions: Lacefield Designs mixed with Jim Thompson fabrics, lacefielddesigns.com, jimthompsonfabrics.com. Lamps: Maggie Griffin Design Studio. Wall color: “China White” by Benjamin Moore. Kitchen Window treatments: Schumacher. Banquette: Ballard Designs, ballarddesigns.com. Master bedroom Bed: Williams-Sonoma Home, williamssonomahome.com. Bedding: Annie Selke, annieselke.com. Mirrors: Mirror Image Home, mirrorimagehome.com. Pillows: Custom, Kravet with Samuel and Sons trim, Schumacher. Coffee table: Serena and Lily, serenaandlily.com. Sofa and chairs: Custom, Ballard Designs. Powder room Wallpaper: Schumacher. Sink basin: Pottery Barn, potterybarn.com. Mirror, sconces, and ceiling light: Shades of Light, shadesoflight.com. Family room Sofa: Wesley Hall through Lewis and Sheron. Chair: Wesley Hall through Lewis and Sheron in a Thibaut plaid. Grass cloth: Thibaut. James’s room Natural rug: Ballard Designs. Antique rug: Scott Antique Markets. Cushion fabric, drapery fabric: Lacefield Designs. Mirror: Pottery Barn. Lamps: Wayfair, wayfair.com.

This article appears in our Winter 2019 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

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