Inside a modern, tropical-inspired home in the middle of Brookhaven

Architect Joel Kelly and principal designer Whitney Ray of Wyeth Ray Interiors brought the project to life

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Tropical-inspired retreat Brookhaven
“The extensive roof overhangs, wood-shake roof, and cedar-shake exterior give the house a crisp yet textured appearance,” says architect Joel Kelly. “The materials reinforce that modern-island vibe, and even the stacked stone has a ‘volcanic’ connection due to color and layering.”

Photograph by Rustic White

If Heather and Matt Dozier’s house looks like it could be at home in the South Pacific, then consider this project a success. Heather’s Filipina mother and Matt’s childhood in Hawaii were two major influences, along with the couple’s travels to Southeast Asian destinations like Vietnam.

Tropical-inspired retreat Brookhaven

Photograph by Rustic White

Tropical-inspired retreat Brookhaven
The courtyard concept enabled the couple to enjoy a private retreat away from the bustle of Brookhaven. The pool’s surface is at ground level, intentionally simple in design with a dark finish. “We wanted it to look like we’d placed a mirror on the ground,” says Heather.

Photograph by Rustic White

“We wanted a modern flair with Asian elements—I guess what you’d call ‘Modern Balinese,’” says Matt, citing their wish list for the custom house: wood, glass, and stone as prominent materials; low-pitched eaves on the roof; and a water element. “My mother asked if we really wanted our house to look like a resort,” says Matt. “And I told her: We absolutely do.”

The house wraps around a courtyard with a sleek pool and firepit. “We wanted a seamless quality of the outside and inside coming together, like you see in Hawaii,” says Heather. “From almost every part of the house, you can see the pool.”

Tropical-inspired retreat Brookhaven
Joel Kelly and Whitney Ray allied their architectural and interior-design talents—respectively—to form Wyeth Ray in 2017, although they both work on individual projects, as well. “We strike a good balance,” says Whitney.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Tropical-inspired retreat Brookhaven
“The great room is where all of the materials we wanted are joined together, with cherry wood floors, cedar beams, a stacked stone-and-slab fireplace, and the 15 hand-blown glass pendants hung from the ceiling at different heights,” says Whitney. “At night, when you look through the windows, it looks like the lights are lanterns and is really beautiful.” Chairs by Palacek have rope accents, adding another texture in the room.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Tropical-inspired retreat Brookhaven
The 10-foot-long custom table and benches are by Atlanta-based Skylar Morgan and are made of white oak with a custom finish. A see-through wine storage wall separates the kitchen and dining areas.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Architect Joel Kelly and principal designer Whitney Ray of Wyeth Ray Interiors brought the project to life, deftly balancing scale and aesthetics. “They showed us images of resorts in Bali and Southeast Asia,” says Whitney, “but the common concept was to create a sense of warmth with layers of natural textures. They wanted a modern home flooded with sunlight.” The great room, with its 15-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling sheer draperies, stacked-stone fireplace, and sculptural play of pendant lights, delivers drama in a calming way. Throughout the house, antiques and natural woods ensure that the modern design feels organic and relaxing.

Tropical-inspired retreat Brookhaven
Two slabs of Cafe Argento marble from Walker Zanger are bookmatched for an artistic—and symmetrical—backsplash in the kitchen. As another focal point, a live-edge bar top continues into a waterfall treatment, complementing other wood in the space.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Tropical-inspired retreat Brookhaven
A built-in banquette on the back of the wine wall is ideal for coffee or playing cards.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Tropical-inspired retreat Brookhaven
Lovingly dubbed the “contemplation room” by all, this quiet reading area is anchored by a round hide rug in black and green by Kyle Bunting and two chaises, from Verellen with Perennials fabric. Teak root balls are from A. Tyner Antiques. Drapery fabric is from Romo.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Heather and Matt, both physicians, are often up before dawn, so the peaceful home is “sanity-saving” after a long day, she says.

“When they’re inside this house and courtyard, they’re essentially in a world of their own,” says Joel. “It’s a resort for everyday living.”

Tropical-inspired retreat Brookhaven
A family room off the kitchen provides a place for relaxing. Aluminum laser-cut screens are custom from Miles and Lincoln, chosen to add metal texture and pattern. Framed tapestries reflect the homeowners’ love of artisan accessories.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Tropical-inspired retreat Brookhaven
“This bedroom was a really special part of the home,” says Whitney. “Since both homeowners are doctors, we wanted the master bedroom to be a relaxing oasis.” A platform bed upholstered in white linen secures the calm vibe, with unique focal points: a 19th-century Indian ceiling panel from A. Tyner Antiques above the bed and an 18th-century altar table from Joseph Konrad.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Tropical-inspired retreat Brookhaven
A concrete tub by Native Trails and a single trough sink along the vanity give this master bath rustic elegance.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Tropical-inspired retreat Brookhaven
Nightstands in the guest bedroom are gray teak roots. Art created out of cocoa sticks and beads is from Made Goods.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

RESOURCES | Architecture Joel Kelly Design, Joel Kelly, joelkelly.com Interior design Wyeth Ray Interiors, Whitney Ray, wyethray.com Contractor Brookside Custom Homes, brooksidefinehomes.com Landscape architect Howard Design Studio, howarddesignstudio.com Great room Sofas: Verellen covered in Perennials fabric, verellen.biz, perennialsfabric.com. Lighting: Tech Lighting through Illuminations Lighting, illumco.com. Drapery fabric: Romo, romo.com. Chairs: Palacek, palacek.com. Contemplation room Rug: Kyle Bunting, kylebunting.com. Dining room Table and benches: Skylar Morgan, skylarmorganfurniture.com. Kitchen backsplash: Cafe Argento through Walker Zanger, walkerzanger.com. Pendants: Tech Lighting. Bar stools: Skylar Morgan. Master bedroom Bedding: Peacock Alley, peacockalley.com. Accent pillow fabric: Jim Thompson Fabrics, jimthompsonfabrics.com. Master bath Tub: Native Trails, nativetrailshome.com. Guest bedroom Teak nightstands: Blaxsand, blaxsand.com. Lamps: Ralph Lauren through Circa Lighting, circalighting.com. Art: Made Goods, madegoods.com. Family room Metal screens: Miles & Lincoln, milesandlincoln.com

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

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