Gallerist Gregg Irby’s remodeled Buckhead home is a striking composition of color and art

From mold, mildew, and electrical problems to the perfect family home

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Gregg Irby house

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

Art and creative designs are creative cousins, which is why gallery owner Gregg Irby’s house is a natural extension of her lifelong love of color, scale, and pattern. Her eponymous Westside gallery, located in an industrial space on Huff Road, is a treasure trove of bright, approachable pieces from emerging and established artists.

Gregg Irby house
French-inspired architecture was updated with custom white paint on exterior brick and a new cedar-shake roof with an extended roofline. Gas lanterns and simple landscaping add to the charm.

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

Gregg Irby house
“A Chippendale railing isn’t what you’d expect when you walk in from the French exterior,” says Gregg. “But it’s one of my favorite things in the house.” Wallpaper by Thibaut has just enough pattern for visual interest.

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

In 2013, Gregg and her husband, Mike, didn’t hesitate to buy this 1961 cottage in a family-friendly Buckhead neighborhood, seeing beyond the mold and mildew problems and dated electrical system. “I loved the charming French-country architecture, so I knew we could make it ours,” says Gregg, who also appreciated the Goldilocks-like, just-right size for her family of four. “Everyone has a place to get away if needed, but it’s small enough that it feels like we’re actually living together.”

They remodeled the house in two phases, enlisting Greg and Lauren DeLoach of Cottage Industry in 2013 to address a myriad of issues—both exterior and interior—and expand and upgrade each room. Architect Frances Flautt Zook helped with the earlier phase and also designed a spacious family room addition in 2017 that became a centerpiece for entertaining.

Gregg Irby house
Soothing greens in the master bedroom reflect the homeowners’ wooded lot. Both make for happy retreats for their field spaniel, Birdie.

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

Gregg Irby house
“I can’t do a serious dining room—it’s just not us,” says Gregg, who painted the chairs Farrow & Ball’s bright “Yellow Cake.” The painting is by Tommy McDowell. A cube pendant from Stanton Home Furnishings and aquamarine lamps from Circa Lighting show light fixtures are another form of art.

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

Gregg Irby house
The bar-height table from One Kings Lane makes for a sunny perch in the corner of the family room. The barstools are from Serena & Lily.

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

All the while, Gregg was acting as her own interior designer, collecting furniture and art and always revising. Rooms are filled with art from her gallery, family heirlooms, repainted flea-market finds, and custom architectural features. She’s not afraid to change things around frequently. “Most of the way I decorate just naturally evolves,” says Gregg. “Obviously, I like an eclectic mix of patterns and colors. The color combinations can be an obsession of mine and what makes it hard for me to edit.”

Gregg Irby house
The vaulted family room addition by Powerhouse Inc. gave the family a light-filled gathering spot near the kitchen for easy entertaining. The upholstered furniture is from Lee Industries, and the hexagon-shaped coffee table is from Anthropologie.

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

Gregg Irby house
The festive bar area is painted in Benjamin Moore “Southfield Green.”

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

Gregg Irby house
An ethereal 48 x 60-inch mixed-media painting by Lynn Sanders.

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

Gregg Irby house
The Ashley Hicks–designed rug anchors the living room and complements the art, including the Erin McIntosh painting over the mantel.

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

As Gregg tells customers in the gallery, buy what you love, and figure out a place for it later. She likes to apply the same logic for designing a house: “It’s not about making the right decision versus a mistake,” she says. “Trust your instinct, and don’t overthink it.”

Gregg Irby house
Interior designer Lauren DeLoach helped Gregg pick finishes in the original house redo. “We chose a large tone-on-tone chevron marble tile to add a pattern that wasn’t overwhelming to an otherwise neutral bathroom,” says Lauren. The tiles are vein-cut, resembling wood.

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

Gregg Irby house
In the den, Gregg mixed painted rattan chairs with gray linen upholstery for a relaxed look. The sconces are from Circa Lighting and the coffee table is from Acquisitions.

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

Gregg Irby house
A quartzite-topped island, sourced at Atlanta Kitchen of Construction Resources, is perfect for both meals and homework. “I’ve had marble countertops in the past and have chipped and stained them,” says Gregg. “Quartzite is indestructible.” Shelves made of steel and brass rods add an artistic touch.

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

Gregg Irby house
The multifunctional breakfast room has built-in seating and storage. “The breakfast chair hand-me-downs have been painted over four or five times,” says Gregg. They’re now wearing Benjamin Moore “Evening Dove.” The rug is from Serena & Lily, and the wallcovering is Thibaut.

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

Resources

Architect Frances Zook Architects, LLC, franceszook.com
Builder, phase 1 Greg and Lauren DeLoach, Cottage Industry, 404-227-0621
Builder, phase 2 Powerhouse Inc., 404-233-8057.
Art through Gregg Irby Gallery, greggirbygallery.com
Living room Painting over sofa: Eileen Power, eileenpower.com. Rug: Eve and Staron, eveandstaron.com. Painting above mantel: Erin McIntosh through Gregg Irby Gallery, 996 Huff Road, greggirbygallery.com.
Foyer Wallpaper: Thibaut, thibaut.com. Chandelier: Parker Kennedy, parker-kennedy.myshopify.com. Painting: Erin McIntosh through Gregg Irby Gallery.
Dining room Wallcovering: Phillip Jeffries, ADAC, phillipjeffries.com. Light fixture: Stanton Home Furnishings, 1190 Huff Road, stantonhomefurnishings.com. Painting: Tommy McDonnell through Gregg Irby Gallery. Lamps: Circa Lighting, 3078 Roswell Road, circalighting.com. Paint on chairs: Farrow & Ball “Yellow Cake,” Laura Walker Ltd., 1000 Marietta Street, laurawalkerltd.com, farrow-ball.com.
Family room Painting: Lynn Sanders through Gregg Irby Gallery. Sofas, chairs: Lee Industries, leeindustries.com. Coffee table: Anthropologie, multiple locations, anthropologie.com. Bar table: One Kings Lane, onekingslane.com. Stools: Serena & Lily, Westside Provisions District, serenaandlily.com. Paint on bar: Benjamin Moore “Southfield Green,” benjaminmoore.com. Lilac fabric: Clay McLaurin Studio, Bungalow Classic, 1197 Howell Mill Road, bungalowclassic.com.
Den Sconces: Circa Lighting. Coffee table: Acquisitions, 660 Miami Circle, acquisitionsinteriors.com. Painting: Sally King Benedict, sallybenedict.com.
Breakfast area Rug: Serena & Lily. Wallpaper: Thibaut. Paint on chairs: Benjamin Moore “Evening Dove.”

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

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