High-end finishes transform a Kennesaw build into a designer showpiece

How interior designer Kathryn McAdams made every detail of this new home construction unique, from high-end lighting to custom millwork

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High-end finishes transform a Kennesaw build into a designer showpiece
In the living room, designer Kathryn McAdams strategically placed built-in bookshelves to hide soffits around the fireplace. “The builder allowed us to do a lot of custom trim work,” she says. “We really tried to push the envelope that way.”

Photograph by Jeff Herr

When Jerry and Alicia McVeigh got married in 2015, they wanted a fresh start for their family, including Jerry’s two daughters, Marissa and Brianna. They found a new home being built in Kennesaw and hired interior designer Kathryn McAdams of the Meriwether Design Group to make every detail unique, from high-end lighting to custom millwork. “It looks like every other house on the street from outside,” says Kathryn. “But when you walk in, it’s not. Defining the spaces as individual and special, while still being connected, was a wonderful challenge.”

High-end finishes transform a Kennesaw build into a designer showpiece

Photograph by Jeff Herr

High-end finishes transform a Kennesaw build into a designer showpiece
A tall, gabled ceiling creates an airy space in the light-filled family room. The neutral foundation is punctuated by pops of green and blue, colors that flow through the rest of the home.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

High-end finishes transform a Kennesaw build into a designer showpiece
“Having art that’s the right scale for the house means everything,” Kathryn says. She enlarged this vibrant abstract giclée up to a statement-making 8 x 5 feet.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

It was also paramount that the home look finished when it was time to move in, with no outstanding projects or to-do lists. Still, rather than repurposing a hodgepodge of items from the family’s previous residences, Kathryn started from scratch. “Everything was new. The only thing we kept was a sofa we recovered for the master bedroom sitting area,” she says. Through careful sourcing—with a mix of vintage, new, and custom pieces—the finished effect feels curated and collected.

High-end finishes transform a Kennesaw build into a designer showpiece
Alicia knew from the start that she wanted a black dining room, and Kathryn added intensity and interest with paneled walls, contemporary art, and bright gold light fixtures. Kathryn tapped an artist friend to bring her vision of bold gold stripes to life.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

High-end finishes transform a Kennesaw build into a designer showpiece

Photograph by Jeff Herr

High-end finishes transform a Kennesaw build into a designer showpiece
Jerry and Alicia McVeigh with (from left) Marissa, Sebastian, and Brianna.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

The interior has moments of all-out glamour. Case in point: The dining room, with paneled walls painted a rich black, is accented with a pair of glossy gold stripes to echo the gilded Strada chandelier by Kelly Wearstler. “The McVeighs know what they love. They’re very trusting and they gave me a lot of leeway,” says Kathryn, who further pushed the envelope with a deep green for the owners’ bedroom.

High-end finishes transform a Kennesaw build into a designer showpiece
Instead of adding a kitchen table, Kathryn designed two teal islands. “The family wanted to sit at the bar and eat together,” Kathryn says. “That’s just how they communicate.”

Photograph by Jeff Herr

High-end finishes transform a Kennesaw build into a designer showpiece
The nursery was the most recently completed space. It was designed to be functional and low-maintenance yet stylish like the rest of the home.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

High-end finishes transform a Kennesaw build into a designer showpiece
Kathryn added a table for holding drinks, adorned with sculptural West Elm vases, behind a plush sectional.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Despite the dramatic touches, the family wanted to feel at ease. “We didn’t want anything to feel untouchable,” says Alicia. To allay concerns over future spills, Kathryn chose performance upholstery and easy-clean fabrics such as Crypton and Sunbrella, even for indoor pieces. “I design rooms where there’s a place to put your drink at every seat and where you don’t have to worry about [spilling] red wine,” she says.

High-end finishes transform a Kennesaw build into a designer showpiece
The owners’ bedroom is Kathryn’s favorite part of the project. “They were so trusting. I suggested deep green” for their bedroom walls, says Kathryn. “And they said yes.”

Photograph by Jeff Herr

High-end finishes transform a Kennesaw build into a designer showpiece
Everything in the McVeighs’ home is new except for this sofa in their bedroom sitting area. Kathryn added plush custom pillows with pops of deep blue and green.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

High-end finishes transform a Kennesaw build into a designer showpiece
“I found old French love letters in Savannah and had them framed especially for the master bedroom,” Kathryn says of the gallery wall surrounding a Rothko-inspired painting that hides a television.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

High-end finishes transform a Kennesaw build into a designer showpiece
His and hers sinks, an oversized tufted ottoman, and Circa lighting create an elegant oasis for the busy parents of three in their bathroom.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

That forethought came in handy, as the couple welcomed their son, Sebastian, during the pandemic. Naturally, Kathryn designed his nursery to be as functional, clever, and low-maintenance as the rest of the home. “People underestimate the finishes—furniture, draperies, art, and lighting,” she says. “Any house can be turned into a magical wonderland with those things.”

RESOURCES | Interior design Kathryn McAdams, Meriwether Design Group, meriwetherdesigngroup.com, Builder The Providence Group, theprovidencegroup.com, Living room Sofa and upholstered chairs: Meriwether Design Group, meriwetherdesigngroup.com. Window treatments (fabric): F. Schumacher, fschumacher.com. Overhead lighting, floor lamps: Circa Lighting, circalighting.com. Black chair: Lee Industries, leeindustries.com. Kitchen Pendant lights: Circa Lighting. Appliances: Subzero Wolf, subzero-wolf.com/wolf. Range hood, bar stools: Meriwether Design Group. Rug: vintage. Tile/backsplash: Floor and Decor, flooranddecor.com. Family room Sofa: Wesley Hall, wesleyhall.com. Leather bench: Meriwether Design Group. Overhead lighting, sconces: Circa Lighting. Horse art: Meriwether Design Group. Entryway Art: custom and vintage. Table: Meriwether Design Group. Lamp: Circa Lighting. Dining room Table: discontinued. Painting, side chairs, window treatments: Meriwether Design Group. Light fixtures: Circa Lighting. Host chairs: Lee Industries. Wall paint: “Domino,” Sherwin-Williams, sherwinwilliams.com. Owners’ bedroom Bed: Meriwether Design Group. Chandelier, bedside lighting: Circa Lighting. Pillows and bedding: Sferra, sferra.com. Italian marble cube: antique/vintage.

This article appears in our Winter 2021 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

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