With some homes, it all begins with the view. Vicki and Allen Filstein originally thought they wanted to downsize to a condo in Midtown, but a stunning vantage point looking onto the city brought them to the Aberdeen in Vinings. “I have a sister who lives in Manhattan, and I’ve lived on Long Island, so I always knew that someday I wanted to live in a high-rise,” says Vicki. “There’s something about that sophisticated lifestyle that appealed to me.”
Once their children were grown, the couple left a large Buckhead house with acreage for this two-bedroom (three, if you count a small office) condo. They gave up square footage but gained other amenities in the building: a fitness center, wine cellar, putting green, and multiple party areas. To help transition to their new digs, Vicki and Allen hired interior designers Niki Papadopoulos and Mark Williams of Mark Williams Design Associates. “Niki and Mark helped us edit everything,” says Vicki. “They made us list everything in the house and assign a number to what’s important.”
Niki identified some key pieces that could work well with the condo’s smaller scale—a Baccarat crystal chandelier, barrel chairs that could be recovered—but helped purge other furniture that had filled the larger house. “I was told a long time ago that it’s not called downsizing; it’s called rightsizing,” says Niki. “It’s definitely an emotional process that everybody goes through because you’re trying to use all the layers of a life in a home that no longer fits your lifestyle.” The biggest priority was keeping the Filsteins’ impressive art collection and finding wall space for the large pieces, the designer adds.
“We let the art guide us, color-wise,” recalls Vicki, who at first wanted more color incorporated in furniture and wall paint, but then realized that the view and existing art should take the spotlight. The designers closed two open archways in the hallway to provide a surface for paintings (on the other side, the niches became bookcases), which gave visitors a dramatic focal point from the entry.
“We knew the artwork in the living and dining room was vibrant, so we kept the rest of the furnishings a bit more muted with hints of blue, pulling color from the artwork as well as some of their other collections,” says Niki. A patterned Jim Thompson fabric on window treatments was initially a bit of a stretch for her clients in the living room, she says, but ended up being the perfect punch of color and pattern. In the sitting room, the designers played off the adjacent muted kitchen with warm, caramel colors, not wanting to compete with the balcony and its view.
Vicki and Allen can walk to shops and restaurants in Vinings, but their favorite entertainment is watching life unfold from their birds-eye view. “I feel like I’m at the Plaza in New York, looking onto Central Park, with all our trees,” says Vicki. “The view is stupendous.”
Interior design Niki Papadopoulos, Mark Williams Design Associates, mw-da.com
Residence the Aberdeen, aberdeenatl.com
Interior design Niki Papadopoulos of Mark Williams Design Associates, ADAC Atlanta, 678-539-6886, mw-da.com
Foyer Art with white frame: Romero Britto, britto.com
Living room Drapery fabric: Jim Thompson, jimthompsonfabrics.com. Hounds-tooth fabric: Pierre Frey, pierrefrey.com. Painting: Paige Harvey, paigeharveyart.com
Sitting room Art: Sol Lewitt, artsy.net
This article originally appeared in our Winter 2017 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.