Designer Jessica Davis creates a sophisticated but playful home in a Buckhead midcentury-modern

The project is a study in sophisticated DIY

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Jessica Davis home
Jessica Davis is the founder of design studio Atelier Davis and hardware company Nest Studio. She shares a midcentury-modern home in Buckhead with her husband, Scott, their two children (Lucy, six, and Bryan, nine), and their poodle, Cheerio. The exterior is painted Benjamin Moore “Black Forest Green,” and the front doors bear a cheery peach and their original oversize round brass knobs—something the hardware enthusiast appreciated.

Photograph by Emily Followill

When interior designer Jessica Davis, founder of the groovy hardware line Nest Studio, was house-hunting in Atlanta in 2018, she knew she wanted a change from the grand, turreted Victorian where she and her family had been living in the New York City area.

“We had never lived in a midcentury-modern,” says Jessica, who grew up in Hong Kong and has lived all over the world. “And I’d always wanted to.”

Jessica Davis home
The red chairs from West Elm pick up red pops in the adjoining kitchen, and the light fixture was an Etsy find. The table, which Jessica originally got for free and recently repainted a pale green, is on its third house with the family. The colorful nude painting is by Jessica, who is also an artist.

Photograph by Emily Followill

Jessica Davis home
The central wood-burning fireplace is topped with smooth, knot-like sculptures by San Francisco woodworker Katie Gong.

Photograph by Emily Followill

Jessica Davis home
The lush backyard, which includes original stonework and a revamped pool, is an oasis for the family, with two acres for the children to roam.

Photograph by Emily Followill

Her husband, Scott, who works in management consulting, had landed a job in Atlanta, and it was he who found the circa-1960 L-shaped post-and-beam home online and took the first tour. The couple and their two children packed their bags sooner than expected and headed south.

The house, on a leafy two-acre hill in Buckhead, was an early project by architect Jerry Cooper, cofounder of the noted Atlanta firm Cooper Carry. But it was due for some updates, which the Davises embarked on thoughtfully, keeping the original footprint and repurposing materials. The former kitchen, which Jess describes as “very high-end for the ’80s,” got a full makeover with integrated appliances, Fireclay tile, Dekton countertops, and a pop of color in the cherry-red Smeg range.

Jessica Davis home
The kitchen was completely reconfigured, but the unusual, original, marbled magnolia wall paneling was salvaged and repurposed on a pantry of built-ins that feels at once vintage and modern. Pale green Fireclay tile adds subtle color while a cherry-red Smeg range brings a big pop.

Photograph by Emily Followill

Jessica Davis home
Jessica chose Dekton from Cosentino for the countertops. “I love the Dekton,” says Jessica. “It looks like soapstone, but it’s super–heat resistant. You can just put a pot down on it.” The hardware is the star, with knobs and pulls from Nest Studio’s Deco collection and custom-made knurled brass legs on the kitchen island.

Photograph by Emily Followill

Jessica Davis home
Atelier Davis and Nest Studios, with offices in New York and Atlanta, are based out of Jessica’s home, with shelving and desks from Ikea.

Photograph by Emily Followill

Jessica Davis home
The cozy corner, with vintage Milo Baughman chairs from Chairish, features a large-scale painting that Jessica started and her children finished with oil pastels.

Photograph by Emily Followill

The floors in the foyer and halls got an upgrade to swanky terrazzo, which Jessica describes as appropriate for the house’s era. It was a splurge compensated for by painting the subfloor in the master bedroom rather than topping it with another material.

Jessica Davis home
For a chic and easy budget makeover, Jessica pulled up the old carpet and painted the subfloor in charcoal Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. A vintage Moroccan rug “headboard” hangs on a CB2 drapery road, while the blue table lamps are Koncept. The nightstands are a prototype from the furniture line she’s developing with powder-coated tubular metal hardware. These were made by Atlanta woodworker Kendrick Anderson.

Photograph by Emily Followill

Jessica Davis home
Jessica’s parents had the same iconic Ny rocking chair by Japanese designer Takeshi Nii when she was a child.

Photograph by Emily Followill

Jessica Davis home
The bathroom off the office shines with Fireclay tile and Nest Studio’s “Geo” pulls.

Photograph by Emily Followill

The project is a study in sophisticated DIY: The crafty designer loves refreshing old or found pieces with paint and custom upgrades, like her stylish hardware (available at Matthew Quinn Collection), which stars throughout the house. Playful touches abound, like wallpaper fit for crayons, homemade bed forts for the kids, and even a secret passageway through false cabinetry.

Jessica Davis home
Lucy’s room features color-on wallpaper from custom digital printing company Spoonflower. “I love using Spoonflower,” says Jessica. “It’s a total rabbit hole.” Mother and daughter painted the DIY bed frame together.

Photograph by Emily Followill

Jessica Davis home
Jessica lofted the kids’ beds to create “forts” underneath. Bryan’s room also features wallpaper from Spoonflower. In lieu of a closet, he has bright blue lockers and a midcentury dresser.

Photograph by Emily Followill

Jessica Davis home

A vintage hanging chair and dresser fit the midcentury vibe. Cork flooring in the kids’ rooms, Jessica says, is soft underfoot, period appropriate, and sustainable.

Photograph by Emily Followill

Jessica Davis home
One extra fanciful detail? A secret passageway through the false cabinetry between the sitting room and the children’s rooms.

Photograph by Emily Followill

Haute Hardware
For her hardware line, Nest Studio, designer Jessica Davis collaborates with sculptors and artists around the world—many of whom she finds on Instagram.

Jessica Davis home
Pulls from the Geo collection (from $40) available in several finishes, including powder-coated bright colors.

Photograph by Emily Followill

Jessica Davis home
Pulls from the curvy Deco collection (from $50)

Photograph by Emily Followill

Jessica Davis home
The Glaze collection (from $150) was created with New York ceramicist Jonathan Castro and comes in soft white, charcoal brown, and matte teal (shown here).

Photograph by Emily Followill

Jessica Davis home
The Organic collection (from $80) in blackened and polished brass.

Photograph by Emily Followill

RESOURCES | Interior design Jessica Davis, Atelier Davis, atelierdavis.com Builder Randy Guyton, Guyton Design Homes, 678-350-6097 Living room Sofa: Chairish, chairish.com. Chairs: Target, target.com. Rug: Etsy, etsy.com. Chair pillows: Virginia Kraft Textiles, virginiakraft.com. “Linna” daybed: Design Public, designpublic.com. Dining room Table: Vintage. Chairs: West Elm, westelm.com. Chandelier: Etsy. Floors: Terrazzco, terrazzco.com. Kitchen Countertops: Dekton, dekton.com. Skylights: Velux, veluxusa.com. Backsplash tile: Fireclay Tile, fireclaytile.com. Smeg range: AJ Madison, ajmadison.com. Sconces: Worley’s Lighting, worleyslighting.com. Den Poufs: Target. Cushion: Bjork Studio, bjorkstudio.com. Bolster fabric: Anthony George Home, anthonygeorgehome.com. Sconce: Humanhome, humanhome.co. Painting: Vintage through Maplewood Mercantile, maplewoodmercantile.com. Master bedroom Headboard hardware: CB2, cb2.com. Nightstands: Atelier Davis, atelierdavis.com. Lamps: Z-Bar by Koncept, koncept.com. NY chair and tortoise lamp: West Elm. Mirror: Dunes and Duchess, dunesandduchess.com. Wall brackets: Vintage through Maplewood Mercantile. Rug: Amazon, amazon.com. Office Desks: Ikea, ikea.com. Shelves: Ikea. Lucy’s room Bed: Wayfair, wayfair.com. Rug: CB2. Swing: Etsy. Shelf: Ikea. Curtains: Ikea. Wallpaper: Spoonflower, spoonflower.com. Bryan’s room Bed: Wayfair. Locker: Schools In, schoolsin.com. Wallpaper: Spoonflower. Guest bath Tile: Fireclay Tile. Hardware: Nest Studio, neststudiocollection.com. Counter: Dekton. Plumbing: Build with Ferguson, build.com. Kids’ hall Shelving: Ikea. Bookshelf: Amazon.

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

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