Designer Dozen: Southern Talents Create Inspiring Spaces for an Atlanta Showhouse

published Oct 6, 2016
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A great country song, above all else, should tell a good story. The same can be said about southern style, and the 12 design firms selected to dream up 12 spaces, both indoors and out, for Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles‘ 2016 Serenbe Designer Showhouse did just that. Read on to borrow inspiration from the expressive rooms created by some of the South’s brightest design talents.

Located 40 minutes outside of Atlanta in the picturesque and nature-centric community of Serenbe, the dozen designers handpicked by Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazine took over the penthouse apartment of the neighborhood’s Textile Lofts to draft their own decorative tomes, often dreaming up fictional dwellers as inspiration to create their narratives for how said dweller would live in the space. Though each room in the penthouse apartment had its own unique personality, the common thread woven throughout the overall aesthetic plot harked back to the building’s textile origins; for instance, the main hallway is cloaked in handprinted wallpaper, while the great room/kitchen entryway showcases an art installation consisting of framed wooden printing blocks. Get your clicker finger ready, because you’re about to go Pin-happy.

As an artist herself, Susan Hable channeled her inner painter and drawer to outfit the lobby of the Textile Loft’s penthouse. An array of straw hats and a turquoise bench finish the space.

Entry Hall—Steve McKenzie’s

“In my mind, a top talent filming at nearby Pinewood Studios lives here,” says designer Steve McKenzie, who created the apartment’s moody and glam entry hall. “They want to enjoy the beauty of natural Serenbe, but still have a little Hollywood in them.”

Hallway—Cloth & Kind

Given the long and narrow hallway, Krista Nye Nicholas & Tami Ramsay didn’t have much room to include furnishings, so they needed to pack a visual punch via a different route. “Our wallpaper mural was an original piece of art we created in collaboration with Amy Mills of Papermills. It is a modern interpretation of a southern landscape. Aspects of the design included patterns we adore from Turkish textiles, Eastern motifs, as well as abstract interpretations of crops found in the south. We were paying homage to the history of wallpaper, which includes pastoral murals. All of this seemed very fitting for Serenbe, a bucolic community set in the rural south.”

Kitchen—Scout for the Home / Great Room—Wolf Design Group & SWOOX

When you walk into the kitchen and great room area of this penthouse, you’re hit with a sense of complete openness, thanks in great part to the giant windows and high ceilings. Natural woods mingle with posh brasses and marbles in the kitchen by Scout for the Home, while lush textures take center stage in the great room. “I envisioned a very stylish young couple with a love for entertaining when designing this space,” says Kelly Wolf Anthony of Wolf Design Group. “We wanted the feeling of freedom and ‘space’ as you walked into the room and to play up the visual of the trees coming in through the oversized windows. The only color we wanted anyone to feel was green, which we echoed in velvet facing sofas and dining room chairs.”

Office/studio—Melanie Davis Design

“I vicariously created the artist studio I would love to have myself; an art gallery like space,” notes Melanie Davis, who designed the apartment’s office. “I want people to see how objects and collections can be transformed. The individual objects don’t have to be expensive to have a big impact when they become an art installation.” Melanie used fabric hoops to display modern textiles, as well as vintage cameras and wooden spools as a nod to the building’s—and her own—pedigree. “I thought about my grandfather a lot while working on this project, because he worked for the textile mills in Columbus, Georgia, which is about an hour and a half south of Serenbe. In southern style, there is a story to be told, and it’s important to incorporate things into a room’s design that remind us of family. Surround yourself with things that inspire you, that mean something to you.”

Keeping room—Dixon Rye

The designers of Dixon Rye were clearly envisioning a well-travelled client when putting together the Keeping room of the Serenbe Designer Showhouse. Everywhere you look is a different treasure, perfectly layered and displayed, though perhaps the pièce de résistance here is the wall-to-wall custom daybed, perfect for lounging back, sipping iced tea, and reminiscing on past adventures.

Master Suite—Robuck

Adjacent to the keeping room, the traditionally appointment master suite is a lesson in classic decor. The designers at Robuck aimed to create a decadent retreat full of collected antiques, elegant silhouettes and sophisticated accents.

Outdoor dining porch, master bedroom deck & guest bedroom deck—Bjork Studio & Kolo Collection with Sunbrella

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Before you go inside and ascend to the 6th floor of the Textile Lofts, your eye lands on an amazing striped awning with colored tassels, created by Bjork Studio and Kolo Collection, in collaboration with outdoor fabric company Sunbrella. Accessible through the great room, the fun-loving dining porch is definitely a standout of the penthouse apartment. “This is for a sun-loving couple who travel extensively and were inspired to bring a little Old Hollywood glam to the countryside!” says Amy Wikman of Bjork Studio. “In particular, one of their favorite places is among the cabanas of The Beverly Hills Hotel.”