For Georgia-based Buffy Ferguson and New York–based David Frazier, two designers were better than one when it came to freshening up David’s family home. His parents, Patsy and Mike Frazier, purchased the house in 2005 but began to grow tired of the ’90s-era, cookie-cutter decorating. David, who graduated from Auburn University with a degree in architecture, had since moved to Manhattan and launched his own design firm, so he called in Buffy to collaborate and execute the job. Her office in West Point, Georgia, is just across the state line from the Fraziers’ home in Lanett, Alabama.
But Buffy, a family friend, was more than the local liaison. She helped bridge design styles between a 20-something and his parents and take the pressure off mixing work and family. “Buffy played ‘middle man’ between Mom, Dad, and me,” David says. “She also has a much more feminine sensibility and could soften my modern aesthetic.” The design team was taking their time until David agreed to host his 10-year high school reunion and a friend’s engagement party there. “There’s nothing like a hard deadline to create some urgency to finish,” he says.
Design lessons to copy:
The “wow” doesn’t have to come from architecture.
“This is a pretty typical suburban house,” says Buffy. “But you don’t have to have a house with great features to make it dramatic.” Dark walls and light furniture—with one eye-catching painting in each room—provide the sophisticated dynamic in both the dining and living rooms.
Art collections can provide unity.
Paintings by Signe and Genna Grushovenko, collected over the years, are in almost every room. “My parents and I joke that we’re their largest gallery,” says David. Buffy points out the appeal of the colorful, layered pieces, with references to vintage photographs: “It’s approachable art, and each one evokes memories, as if you could imagine someone you know in each painting,” she says.
Balance is everything.
Furniture with history and the patina of old wood is important, so antiques in each room are as key as comfortable seating. Compromises were part of the process, too. David lobbied for a more modern light fixture in the dining room, but Buffy steered the choice to a brass chandelier with an overscaled edge—more appealing to the parents but still a look everyone could get behind.
Interior design David Frazier, davidfrazier.co. Buffy Ferguson, Elizabeth Ferguson Design, 706-773-3295, elizabethfergusondesign.com
Dining Room Table: Noir, noirfurniturela.com. Chairs: Restoration Hardware, restorationhardware.com. Console: Blackshop, blackshopbham.com.
Foyer Chest: Scott Antique Markets, scottantiquemarket.com. Bench: Noir.
Living room Sofa and chairs: Bungalow Classic, bungalowclassic.com. Drapery fabric: Schumacher, fschumacher.com.
Keeping room Antique French Empire chest: Willow Creek Gallery, Knoxville, Tennessee. Chairs: Noir. Light fixture: Circa Lighting, circalighting.com
This article appears in our Winter 2018 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.