In partnership withNational Association of REALTORS®

An Atlanta Home with a Warm, Minimalist ‘Dalmatian’ Style

published Oct 31, 2019
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This is Lauren and Brandon's first home together, so they wanted to make sure their styles balanced well.

Name: Lauren Price and Brandon
Location: Smyrna, GA 
Size: 2610 square feet 
Years lived in: 1

Lauren Price jokes that a Dalmatian would match her aesthetic perfectly, and she’s not wrong: Her penchant for black, white, and grey makes for a minimalist home where a spotted pup would fit right in.

With her striking style, Lauren, who runs the empowering women’s lifestyle blog Lauren Elyce, was interested in a turnkey new build: white walls and kitchen fixtures, a modern look, and tons of natural light. (Since she works from home, aesthetic appeal was especially key.) But real estate agent Sean Cronin is a REALTOR®, a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. He suggested the couple consider older builds with light renovation potential, which offered more flexibility on price and location.

“Sean helped me see that looks could easily be fixed,” she says.

Sean was already basically a member of the family, having helped Brandon’s mother relocate to the area after her husband passed away. “It was overwhelming for her,” Lauren says. “Sean helped her prioritize what she needed and wanted and didn’t let the overwhelming sense of buying her first home alone take over.” Lauren trusted him to help her and Brandon find their first home together, too.

They looked at a ton of options but kept coming back to this one—despite its lackluster, very brown decor. “At the end, we were between this house and a newer build, and it finally clicked for us when we were sitting down going over numbers and everything that we wanted,” Lauren says. “We were like, ‘Duh. This is gonna be it.’”

Sean especially came through at inspection time. “I didn’t really know what that meant, that an inspector was coming,” Lauren says. But Sean sat them down before the inspection to explain the process, and helped them work through dealing with the findings, which included a gap in the roofing at the front of the house as well as some outdoor outlets that needed to be rewired.

They were all small fixes, but Sean helped them negotiate the repairs into the closing costs. Just one problem: The repairs weren’t finished by the time Lauren and Brandon moved in. “Sean went directly to the [homeowners’ association] and helped navigate that on our behalf, even though we had already closed,” Lauren says.

“It’s cheesy, but that fresh coat of paint and a blank canvas was really exciting.”

Once the repairs were complete, Lauren and Brandon got to work making the house their home. “The moment we painted the walls was the moment I knew this was gonna be ours,” she says. They went with classic hues, of course: white and the same grey Brandon’s mother painted her new home. “It’s cheesy, but that fresh coat of paint and a blank canvas was really exciting.”

Combining their styles for the first time, Lauren and Brandon worked to make sure the overall effect was balanced, with lots of leather touches and light neutrals. That’s especially true for their favorite room, the living room: cool textures, cozy throw pillows, leather accents, and one seriously comfy couch perfect for friends to gather on.

“We’ve had parties and game nights, and it’s been a lot of fun to make this into a space that not just we can enjoy, but that our family and friends can hang out in as well,” Lauren says. “I’m so happy.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My home’s style: Our home is a true representation of both of our styles. Modern. Minimal. Welcoming. Cozy. We used lots of neutrals to create a blank canvas and incorporated different textures and interesting accents to create a personalized space that felt like us. 

Inspiration: I turned to Instagram and Pinterest so a few ideas but also didn’t want to pull too much inspiration. Because this was our first home together, I wanted to get as creative as possible and pull pieces that we were naturally drawn to rather than attempting to “copy” a look and paste it into our space. 

Favorite element of the home: I love the mix of masculine and feminine details. I live with a boy now—eek—so decor was a bit of a challenge at first. I was constantly struggling with how to make the space feel balanced but love how it all turned out in the end. Since we used lots of whites and greys for the major pieces and paint/rug colors, we were able to add touches of brown and black leather for a more masculine feel, paired with textures like faux fur, greenery and gold details. 

Biggest challenge, and how you overcame it: We both got rid of the majority of our furniture from our previous apartments, so we started from scratch to decorate our new space. That was rough. Filling an entire house can get pricey, so we did a lot of research and planning before purchased anything. We ended up finding a ton of great budget-friendly retailers that offered quality pieces and only needed to invest/splurge on a few staple items. 

What friends say about your home: They love it! They also joke about all of the white. 🙂 One of our favorite things about the new house was that we’d be able to entertain and gather all of our friends and family in one space. We love having them over, and it’s definitely a proud moment for us to be able to show off all of our hard work! 

Biggest embarrassment: There are a few things in the house that when you pay close attention to them, you’ll see a few flaws. 🙂 We did most of the assembly ourselves, and in the excitement of getting our new home complete, we definitely made a few mistakes here and there: crooked picture frames, a missing screw, etc. One of the more obvious “mistakes” is the server cabinet in the dining room. I assembled one the pieces completely backwards so all you can see is the raw edge. Oops! 

Proudest DIY: I love the way out map gallery wall turned out. Rather than purchasing $50 framed prints from a boutique retailer, we ordered map files, printed them at home and slid them into cheap frames we scored on Amazon. It was such a fun project and one that we continue adding to every time we travel somewhere new together. 

Biggest indulgence: The TV in the man cave. But it was worth it! We love weekly movie nights in front of our own big screen, and that’s where we watch all of the big games with friends and family. 

Best advice: When it comes to decorating a full home, take it room by room rather than buying items randomly! 


Upstairs hallway: 

  • Paint: Sherwin Williams Repose Gray SW 7015
  • Lighting fixture: Wayfair 
  • Picture frames: Amazon
  • Map prints: Etsy 


  • Globe light: Wayfair 
  • Bookshelf: Target 

Master Bedroom: 

  • Paint: Sherwin Williams Repose Gray SW 7015
  • Dresser: wayfair 
  • Bedframe: wayfair 
  • Rug: All Modern 
  • Brown leather chair: Target 
  • Mirror: Target 
  • Lighting fixture: Wayfair 
  • Side tables: thrifted 

Dining Room: 

  • Server unit: Wayfair 
  • Table: Wayfair
  • Rug: Target 
  • Lighting fixture: Lowe’s
  • Chairs: Target
  • Bar cart (rattan): Pottery Barn 
  • White bar cart: Z Gallery 
  • Wall prints: Shelby Gordon 


Laundry Room: 


Living room:

Thanks, Lauren and Brandon!