An Atlanta Home in Shades of Black & White

An Atlanta Home in Shades of Black & White

Selena Kirchhoff
Jul 1, 2015
(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)

Name: Alison & Derek Fandel and Great Dane puppy, Francis
Location: Grant Park; Atlanta, GA
Size: 1,580 square feet
Years lived in: almost 9 years; Built & Owned

This custom-built home wonderfully combines a minimal black and white aesthetic with touches of color and natural textures. Each room I explored seemed to exude its own personality while still remaining connected to the entirety of the home, exemplifying Alison's knack for design.

(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)

Unfortunately, I didn't get the pleasure of meeting Alison's husband, Derek, during our shoot as he spends part of the year working in Alaska. He seems to be quite the artist as their home is filled with his pieces ranging from vibrant paintings to custom furniture. Pair that with the seasoned expertise in design and real estate that Alison has obtained throughout the years, and you've got the makings for a beautifully crafted and curated home.

Alison, ever the host, welcomed me in as if I were an old friend, sharing stories of her and her husband's life and offering me some thirst-quenching seltzer with lime. I was stunned when Alison told me that they had designed and built their Grant Park home, as the structure and feel was reminiscent of the older bungalow-style homes in the area. The giveaway? The extra bathrooms, a modern convenience you don't typically see in older homes. The bathrooms, along with the extra closet space, give this custom house the functionality of a modern home with that traditional charm.

The home has a recurring palette of black and white and is tied together by quirky motifs such as Alison's thing for medical crosses, which have been cleverly incorporated throughout the home. Hints of color from floral arrangements and artwork create a different feel in every room. These personal additions combined with the older feel of the home give it a fresh sense of tranquility and comfort. I'm not sure if it was the sun and the iced seltzer or the ambiance of my environment (probably both!) but it was definitely hard to leave behind such a lovely home.

(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Modern Traditionalist

Inspiration: Everywhere, everything. I'm hard to watch a movie with 'cause I talk about the set the whole time. But, I'd have to say architecture and construction give me the most inspiration; seeing how something is designed and built inspires me endlessly- probably why I love my craftsman husband so much.

Favorite Element: Probably our white painted brick fireplace that I schlepped the material here for our builder. I like the heaviness it brings to the room.

Biggest Challenge: The dining room. We cook and entertain a lot, so it's about being creative to maximize space. I've done a 12 person sit-down dinner party for a friend's birthday and quite a few Thanksgivings here. Keeping additional tables and chairs stored is key.

What Friends Say: We live in an area built from 1890 to 1930, so loads of folks think our house is a renovation vs a build; that's nice. I also get told a lot my house is "so me." I think that's a compliment considering I've done quite a few of my friends' homes.

Biggest Embarrassment: The master bath tile. :( Can't wait to rip it out this year.

Proudest DIY: I guess the house since we custom-built it with our architect/builder when we were pretty young. Or, simply hanging some of my husband's art.

Biggest Indulgence: The custom white silk dupioni drapes. The inspiration reminds me of beautiful wedding dresses.

Best Advice: Don't be afraid of space. Let your eyes rest in a room or on a table. Also, 4" cans not 6" for recessed lighting. Less is more.

Dream Sources: Intown, City Issue, Stanton Home Furnishings, Paris on Ponce, Scott's Monthly Antique Market. Everywhere: eBay, Room & Board, DWR, Cedar and Moss, Schoolhouse Electric, Rejuvenation. Funny, but "Google search" is the dream source of the world. It's made finding things way easier to source.

(Image credit: Derek Fandel)


(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)


  • I use Sherman Williams, Benjamin Moore, and Farrow & Ball
  • Favorite Whites: SW Pure White and BM Decorators White
  • Favorite Grays: SW Grizzle Gray, Iron Ore, and Gray Matters
  • Favorite Blacks: FB Drainpipe & SW Tricorn Black and Greenblack
(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)


  • Art: my husband Derek Fandal, Kristen Thoreson, and George Peterson
  • Sofa: Restoration Hardware
  • Chairs: vintage or locally sourced
  • Hides: eBay
  • Fireplace tool: Andrew Crawford
  • Pillows: Stanton Home Furnishings
(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)


  • Table: from my mom's antique store from years ago
  • Chairs: Restoration Hardware
  • Pottery: local
  • Longhorn: Scott's Antique Market
  • Light fixture: eBay
  • Art: local, old Burmese bible strips
  • Mirror: Stanton home furnishings
(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)


  • Stool: Stanton Home Furnishings
  • Art: Provenance Antiques
  • Bowls: CB2
(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)


  • Bed: Bed Down, local
  • Nightstands: Crate & Barrel
  • Lamps: Scott's Antique Market
  • Bench: found object at Anthropologie
  • Art: Andrew Thomas Lee and Audra Melton
(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)


  • Wallpaper: Cole & Sons
  • Light: Barnlight Electric & Schoolhouse Electric
  • Art: gift, photo taken by FBI agent in Russia
(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)


  • Lights: vintage
  • Bench: Stanton home furnishings
  • Art: Matthew Walker & Husband
(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)


  • Bed: antique, it's been about six colors over the 20 years we've had it
  • Art: local, Alyssa Cassatto
  • Chest: DIY, old chest made refreshed
  • Rug: West Elm
  • Lamp: Anthropologie
  • Lampshade: Lamp Arts
  • German piece: my husband speaks German, so one piece of art is German.
(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)


  • Tanker desk: Scott's Antique
  • Chair: Paris on Ponce
  • Drafting table: gift of friend's grandfather
  • Hide: The Cowhide Store
  • Skateboards: husband's own

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Thanks, Alison & Derek!

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