Rather than starting from scratch with a custom house, the contemporary-loving owners of this traditional Brookhaven home opted for a modern makeover. “We wanted to keep the architectural charm on the outside that’s part of the neighborhood’s appeal, while mixing it up on the interior in a way that’s totally unexpected,” says Karen Ferguson, interior designer at Harrison Design. As one major example, windows in the front of the house have classic, divided panes, while the rear features a two-story wall of metal windows, with panoramic views toward the backyard.
Harrison Design architect Robert Tretsch modified the front by removing archways and oval windows, painting the exterior off-white, and designing a pivoting glass front door. Inside, wood, glass, slabs of stone, and metal complement an open floor plan throughout. The redo actually started with a kitchen redesign, so its industrial materials became inspiration for the rest of the house. “Every piece of the kitchen is bespoke and meticulously detailed,” says Tretsch. “There’s even a hidden closet behind a steel-clad door.”
The primary bedroom has its stunning moments, as well. A floor-to-ceiling wall of windows, architectural wallpaper, and a custom steel fireplace give it the sort of drama usually reserved for more public areas. A custom oak-strip architectural backdrop adds warmth as it rises up to and runs onto the ceiling.
“They wanted a house that easily transitions from indoors to outside,” says Ferguson. Outdoors, a stunning steel-and-wood pool house features a cantilevered roof with a waterfall tumbling off its edge. Landscape architect Bill Caldwell incorporated specimen topiary trees, an Alaskan cedar tree, and a variety of grasses to complement the striking architecture, adding a touch of whimsy in places to keep the look unexpected.
The house channels European design—which has always mixed modern and historic elements—yet the local artisans and backdrop of maple trees maintain a lovely Atlanta vibe.
Resources | Interior design: Karen Ferguson, ASID Architect: Robert Tretsch, AIA | Both: Harrison Design, harrisondesign.com Landscape architect: Bill Caldwell, bcladesign.com Stairwell Mural: Recombinism through Maharam’s Atlanta showroom, maharam.com. Living room Sofa: Minotti, minottibyddc.com. Daybed: Ligne Roset, ligne-roset.com. Floor lamp: Flou, flou.it/en. Rug: Tai Ping Carpets, taipingcarpets.com. Kitchen Cabinetry: Block & Chisel, blockandchisel.com. Quartzite: Walker Zanger, walkerzanger.com. Refrigerator: Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove, subzero-wolf.com. Steamer, grill, electric oven: Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove. Combi–steam oven, microwave, warming drawer: Miele, mieleusa.com. Dining room Table: KGBL, kgblnyc.com. Chandelier: Danish artisan Vibeke Fonnesberg Schmidt, custom through Harrison Design. Primary bedroom Wallcovering: “Topographies,” Calico, calicowallpaper.com. Oak/walnut architectural backdrop: Block & Chisel. Pendants: Fendi, fendi.com. Bed: Flou. Primary bath Custom cabinets and mirrors: Block & Chisel. Light fixture: Terzani, terzani.com. Gym Wallpaper: Flavor Paper, flavorpaper.com.
This article appears in the Spring 2022 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.