“I love a big, white, brick house,” says Vivian Bencich, who founded architecture and interior design firm Square Feet Studio with her husband, John, in 2001. “And the circular driveway is just really gracious. There aren’t many in Atlanta.” Square Feet is best known for its just-right design at restaurants like Kimball House and the General Muir, as well as shops like Sid Mashburn and Karoo at Ponce City Market. As a longtime friend of the owners of this 1920s Druid Hills Georgian, Vivian punched a hip vibe into the interior with Knoll furniture, modern art, and even a room inspired by the boldly colored, ’60s rock ’n’ roll–themed Hotel Saint Cecilia in Austin, Texas. Aside from some fresh paint, the team didn’t fiddle much with the classic exterior, possibly designed by Neel Reid, one of the neighborhood’s famed architects. For the shutters and front door, Vivian reached for her go-to gray, Benjamin Moore “Iron Mountain.” (“We’ve used it in tons of Square Feet projects,” she says.) But they left the rest untouched—right down to the akebia vines on the arbor. “The bones of this house are incredible,” Vivian says. “We’ve just slowly but surely layered in a new look.”
This article appears in our Summer 2018 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.