Blockbuster film producer Will Packer and his wife Heather’s Sandy Springs home is a sprawling, stylish family clubhouse well suited for their 21st-century Brady Bunch.
The couple, who married in 2015, have four children, including three still at home: Nija, 16; Maya, 12; and Zion, 14. Dominique, 22, is away studying at Harvard.
But Will is no clueless sitcom dad being perpetually hoodwinked by a houseful of sassy teens. No, this creative paterfamilias is more like the clan’s jocular, hip ringmaster—answering his front door on a brisk Saturday morning in a Spider-Man onesie. Or you might catch him spinning a mix of Stevie Wonder, Jay Z, and Ludacris in his basement DJ booth, complete with fog machine and a sound system that threatens to vibrate the copious industry awards off the walls of his office upstairs.
Will’s name has been in the credits of a number of hugely profitable projects, including Straight Outta Compton, the Ride Along franchise, and Think Like a Man, as well as TV’s Emmy-nominated Roots remake and Being Mary Jane. First making his name as cofounder of indie powerhouse Rainforest Films, then as the Midas-touch frontman of Will Packer Productions, he has helped make Atlanta the film locus of the South. Shooting productions around town, he’s imported a degree of Hollywood glamour—stars like Jamie Foxx, Gabrielle Union, Eddie Murphy, and Taraji P. Henson have all attended dinner parties he and Heather have hosted in their posh cream and gilt dining room.
The home’s colorful, sophisticated but family-friendly ambience was created over six months with designers Zach Azpeitia and Kate Fleming of Pineapple House (Heather discovered them on Houzz) and expresses the Packers’ distinctive style: contemporary and luxurious but approachable, with no hands-off spaces where kids or guests can’t roam. “Nothing in this house is off limits,” says Heather.
“They’re young, they’re modern,” Zach says of his clients, who wanted to erase the home’s previous dark, stuffy law office look, defined by heavy curtains and wingback chairs. Heather stated her design mantra early on, recalls Zach: “We aren’t afraid of color.” In fact, the inspiration for her colorful directive was an existing pumpkin-orange banquette that anchors a breakfast nook off the large, open kitchen—now stripped of its former fussy millwork.
If the Packers had a design touchstone for the house, Heather says it was Miami, a favorite romantic getaway. Their master bedroom is a modern take on Hollywood Regency that would be right at home in South Beach. A Phillip Jeffries wallcovering inlaid with shimmering mother of pearl, a fluffy caramel Stanton alpaca rug underfoot, and sheer white curtain panels behind the bed provide a sumptuous coziness. A blue-velvet daybed by the window is a favorite place for Will to decompress and watch Tampa Bay Buccaneers games.
Heather’s favorite space is her “mom cave,” aka the living room. Rather than a typical sofa, four soft-gray chaise lounges, flanked by Bernhardt acrylic drink tables, invite guests to stretch out and relax.
“They nailed it,” says Heather of how expertly Pineapple House pulled off the home’s glamour-meets-comfort attitude. She was especially impressed with how well they crystallized the interests and personalities of each child, despite having to design the kids’ bedrooms while they were away at summer camp.
An energetic, vibrant family, the Packers unwind in their terrace-level entertainment zone complete with a plush red-and-black home theater papered in grass cloth to muffle sound and adorned with framed posters of Will’s films. The theater’s enormous bean bags make it a favorite homework spot for budding journalist Nija. “There’s a chair for every mood,” she jokes. Facetiming as he walks through Cambridge Square, Dominique says coming home to his family’s warm, buzzing pad is a cherished refuge from the pressures of college: “For me, it’s almost like a resort vacation.”
“Heather and Will are all about family and the kids,” says Zach. It’s one reason that, though he keeps an apartment in L.A., Will’s home remains in Atlanta. “The people here aren’t jaded,” he says. “I grew up in the South. I think it’s great for family.”
This article originally appeared in our Spring 2017 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.