How this Brookwood condo went from a big white box to a modern art-inspired home

With the help of interior designer Kate Hayes, the condo feels cool, calm, and collected
Brookwood Condo
Matt Richburg enlisted designer Kate Hayes to work on his Brookwood condo. “My favorite wall has the Hermès wallpaper with the gorgeous landscape and Modernist pieces on it,” says Hayes. “To balance the midcentury, we played up the French influence, antiques, and texture.”

Photograph by Kristen Wade

Matt Richburg first connected with interior designer Kate Hayes through Houzz, the online design source. When they met in person at the new empty condo he’d bought at the Brookwood in south Buckhead, their styles meshed instantly. “We both love modern art, all things French, clean-lined furniture, and design with a story,” Kate says. Allowing Matt’s collection of art and midcentury furniture to be the star, she helped transform the “big white box” of a condo into a nuanced, cozy home that happened to have amazing views. “The goal was to soften, add layers and texture and more history to the space—but not overwhelm it,” she says. Matt shares the process:

Why did you choose the Brookwood condo building?
The location is terrific; it splits the difference between Buckhead and Midtown. The building is one of the few to offer large units [three bedrooms/three baths, 1,800+ square feet] along with high-end finishes. The 10-foot ceilings were a plus, and the amenities are top shelf, too—beautiful gardens, impressive workout room, nice pool, and three very good restaurants in the building.

Brookwood Condo
“The menswear vibe in the master bedroom feels so right,” Kate says. “We couldn’t get enough crosshatch, wool, and houndstooth to please me.” The gray bed is energized by Schumacher wallpaper reminiscent of an M.C. Escher painting, Matt says.

Photograph by Kristen Wade

What kinds of things did you do to make it more your own?
I added hardwood floors in both the master and second bedroom. Then I painted it top to bottom, including a bold orange in one bath and a calming blue in the other. Bright whites and a soft blue were used in the other rooms. I installed wallpaper and changed all of the lights. And I bought lots of cool furniture and more art to go with existing pieces—and Kate made it all work.

You have wonderful art.
I have several “master works,” including the Lichtenstein over the credenza in the dining room. It is the crown jewel of the collection, but I also have pieces by Robert Rauschenberg, Alexander Calder, and Louise Nevelson. A number of the pieces were purchased from Alan Avery Fine Art.

Brookwood Condo
Vintage midcentury furniture and a Roy Lichtenstein painting define the dining area.

Photograph by Kristen Wade

Brookwood Condo
Vintage midcentury furniture helps define the dining area.

Photograph by Kristen Wade

And your furniture?
I have always loved good design and had a special affinity for midcentury and Bauhaus-inspired pieces. The navy sofa and Mies van der Rohe daybed were both impulse buys. The sofa was a floor sample at a wicked good price at Room and Board, and it reminded me of the Florence Knoll classic sofa. The two end tables are vintage Baker from the ’60s, and each was found at local secondhand stores.

Why do you love midcentury?
I’ve loved midcentury since the early ’90s when a friend who was way ahead of the curve helped me see the beauty of it—before it was trendy, and, in fact, was reviled. The credenza in the dining room is from City Issue, and it is a beautiful original George Nelson piece. I stumbled upon the table on Chairish, and it was the bargain of the century. It is a vintage Florence Knoll. The walnut top has a beautiful patina.

Brookwood Condo

Photograph by Kristen Wade

I have heard you love les puces—the french flea markets.
I love Paris and go regularly. The markets at Saint-Ouen are amazing. With each trip, I bring back more art and, often, antique frames to go with it. Other trips have yielded vintage Hermès pieces. There are other nods to France in the apartment, including the antique bergère chairs, purchased at Anne Flaire and recovered in a beautiful wool houndstooth.

Designer Kate Hayes,
Interior design Kate Hayes Design,
Living room Sofa: Room & Board, Wallpaper: Hermès,
Dining room Chairs: Anne Flaire Antiques,
Master bedroom Wallpaper: F.Schumacher,
Office Rug: Moattar, Ltd., Sofa: Design Within Reach,

This article originally appeared in our Winter 2017 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.