A pearl of a pool defines this Buckhead backyard

Kim Holifield’s outdoor space takes cues from her fashion sense—color, bling, and a dash of fun
Kim Holifield
Photograph by Emily Followill

Kim Holifield’s backyard takes cues from her fashion sense: a lot of color tempered by neutrals, a bit of bling, and a dash of fun. “I love all things fashion, and I believe that if you love it, use it somewhere in your house—inside or out,” she says.

Kim Holifield
The mixed patterns on the porch include a rug from Jaipur’s outdoor collection.

Photograph by Emily Followill

The Buckhead house she and her husband, Mark, purchased nearly a decade ago as new construction came with a utilitarian swimming pool, so they decided to remove it and start over. “We had lived in south Florida for many years, so outdoor spaces were important to us,” Holifield says. To create a retreat for their family, as well as a focal point for entertaining, they commissioned a two-tiered pool with a 52-foot water slide.

Landscape architect Patrick Hand took advantage of the hilly terrain and nestled the pool into the wooded property. Serpentine brick retaining walls dress up the slide, while a mix of evergreen and deciduous plants keeps the overall look lush. “We wanted to minimize maintenance while still providing a consistent background for the annual containers that Kim likes to create,” says Hand. Sago palm trees are hardy enough to withstand Atlanta winters and have survived in the backyard for five years.

The luxurious spa draws the most comments from guests, according to Holifield. “The tile that surrounds the hot tub was what inspired the whole yard,” she says. “I could just see the water running over the iridescence, adding a bit of glamour right in the middle of the backyard.” The leaf-shaped Italian tiles are highlighted by LED lights, and a constant overflow of water keeps them sparkling. Their beauty can also be enjoyed from indoors, since the spa was strategically situated to be visible through French doors.

Colorful print fabrics by Trina Turk spice up outdoor seating as well as the often-used covered porch. Interior designer Tish Mills layered patterns and textures—including rattan, metal, and a thick rug for comfort—to coordinate with interior spaces. A stone fireplace adds warmth in cooler months, luring the Holifields outdoors year-round.

Pro Resources
Interior Design Harmonious Living by Tish Mills Interiors, 404-814-3838,
Landscape architecture Patrick Hand Integrated Land Design, 706-248-0914

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2015 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.