Thursday, July 23, 2009

New on the Market: a French Style Home Featured in Veranda

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In 2006, one of the most beautiful homes in Atlanta graced the cover of Veranda magazine. I always try to catch a glimpse of the house when I walk or drive by, no easy task given that the landscaping and topography of the lot make the house virtually hidden from view when at street level.
The house is described as 'hôtel particulier' style, which is defined as a French townhouse of considerable grandeur. According to Wikipedia, a hôtel particulier was often free standing (quite a luxury in a European city); by the 18th century, a hôtel particulier usually stood between an entrance court (like the one in this home) and the garden behind. The house was designed by Yong Pak of Pak Heydt and Associates; Pak Heydt are truly among the finest classical architects in the Southeast. The original owner of the house was Ginny Magher, an interior designer, and the home graced the cover of Veranda in the March/April 2006 issue (more on that later).
I am always thrilled when a beautiful house comes on the market in Atlanta, particularly one that has been published. It is even more interesting to see how a new owner has made their mark on the house. In this case, anyone who buys a house that is so clearly French in style probably has a love of all things French, including French interior design. The new owners did a wonderful job making the interiors their own, yet complimenting the beauty of the French style of the home. Let's take a look inside!
The dining room - look at those beautiful floors! This is quite a large dining room, and is one of the largest rooms in the house.
I love the soft feel of this formal living room, definitely designed for a lot of entertaining with its two seating areas. If I were to guess, I would say that this room is along the front of the house based on the fact that the iron grillwork can be seen in front of the French door (which can be seen in the front of the house).
The kitchen, which is quite elegant with its crystal chandeliers. I love the look of this kitchen; it has very few overhead cabinets, an arched window over the sink, and look at the glass front refrigerator to the left of the sink! Do you think the freezer is to the right of the sink? Although I really like wood on the floor of a kitchen, I also like the look of antique hexagon shaped terracotta tiles.
The arched windows and doors are definitely something that catches my eye when I look through this house, although looking at the other pictures, not every door or every window has an arch. This is the family room, adjacent to the kitchen (the table and chairs can also be seen in the kitchen picture), and it strikes me as overall formal (due to the crystal chandelier, ornate rug, and chairs), but the informal nature of the large scale check fabric on the curtains, chairs, and sofa helps balance out the room. I suspect that this room is one of the wings off the back, although I would need a floor plan expert like Joni to weigh in with her opinion!
This looks like a library. Truthfully, I have no idea where this is in the home. Perhaps on one side off the entry? The window looks like it could be one of the front windows/French doors.
The master bedroom, very French in feel with the built in trumeau above the fireplace, the settee, French commode as a side table, and of course the fabric and wallpaper (or perhaps, fabric on the walls). Even the duvet cover has this fabric. I think this is a wing off the back of the house.
A beautiful and very feminine 'hers' bathroom.
The requisite wine cellar, in the basement.
A media room, also in the basement - but I like how this one is decorated in French style as well! Also, note the paneling on the walls. Only the finest of homes finish the basement to such a high standard.
The downstairs office and exercise room, also finished with paneling and hard wood floors.
This must be one of the rooms upstairs! Although this is not my style, it is very French, no?
My favorite kind of back elevation - two wings that make a courtyard. In Atlanta, flat walk out back yards are very desirable, but not that common given our hilly terrain. This back yard is absolutely beautiful with 8 sets of French doors opening to the back. How I would love to actually go in this house in person - I wonder which room is along the back of the house? I am beginning to think that it might be the dining room, which would mean that the left wing is the family room, the right wing is the master bedroom.
A little pavilion, which houses the garage on the other side, sits at the end of the yard.02707056_12
The pavilion has an outdoor entertainment area.
One of the best landscape firms in Atlanta helped to create the sculpted garden in the back. I just noticed the Versailles planters in the back yard - I love those!
This home graced the cover of Veranda in March/April 2006, and provides more clues to the layout as well as additional pictures of the beautiful interior. The home was photographed when designer Ginny Magher lived there; just a few months after publication, the home was sold to the new owners. What a great marketing brochure for the home - to have it on the market as a Veranda cover story! Even now, with the new listing, the fact that this home was on the cover of Veranda is a major marketing point. The cover featured the dining room - and I think my theory about the dining room spanning the back of the house was correct. The dining room doors open onto an expanse of green, which almost certainly is the manicured lawn of the back yard. A closer view of the floors can be seen, and the intricate molding in the walls.
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Here is a side by side comparison. Interesting, it looks like the table and chairs might have been sold with the house - the chairs are the same. It looks like the window treatments stayed as well. The new owners (on the right) put an antique mirror on the wall, as well as a rug on the floor. The trumeau over the fireplace was probably built in.
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On the left, the living room as it was when Magher lived there; there are two seating areas, but Magher seems to have filled the room with more accessories and such. On the right, the current real estate listing. Some of the furnishings seem the same - the slipper chairs and some of the other seating, as well as the window treatments. The new owners have certainly stayed true to the French feel of the house, but in a more streamlined way. It does make me wonder whether they used Magher to help them decorate the home when they moved in.
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Here is the library/study - it looks like some of this furniture stayed with the house as well. The loveseats are certainly the same (the photographer for the real estate listing clearly modeled his shot off the Veranda spread). Again, the new owners have pared down the furnishings and accessories - even the loveseat is pared down, with just one pillow instead of four. As much as I admire both rooms, I do like the more pared down look that is going on.
veranda7 02707056_04
The family room has gone through quite a change. No longer is it lavender, and the curtains have been changed to the check instead of the toile. Again, fewer furniture pieces makes the room a bit less 'full'. I wonder if that painting on the wall (on the left) hid a TV? The TV is out in full view now, but I like how the new owners recessed it into the wall.
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The bedroom as it appeared in Veranda, with a dramatic canopy covered with the same material used on the walls and the curtains. I adore those large scale monograms on the shams on the bed. To the right, the room as the current owners have it decorated - again, using the same foundations, but in a more streamlined way. The new owner clearly has a love for Oriental rugs, which appear in most of the rooms now. The trumeau was either built in, or came with the house! Even the little bench in front of the fireplace seems to be the same.
veranda6 02707056_07
On the left, the bathroom as it appeared when Magher lived in the home. On the right, the more streamlined style of the new owners. I like how the new owners hung their own plates above the vanity; unusual in a bathroom, but such a lovely touch. It is also nice to see the beautiful stairs. When I saw the Veranda spread, I assumed that they were tucked to the side of the house. But now I think they might be right when you enter the house, based on the window on the landing. Does this mean that you have to go up to the main level - kind of like a split level home? I wonder.
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The Veranda spread shows a small picture of the kitchen, which is a bit less formal with the plaid shades over the island. Peeking through the door to the right, it looks like these are the double doors that lead out of the library. To the left - perhaps a big pantry and/or small kitchen office? Looking at the outdoor pavilion, it looks like the outdoor furniture stayed with the house, as it is the same as in the real estate listing.

Sometimes I wonder why I am interested in this kind of stuff. But I do like to see how two different owners decorate the same house, particularly when it is a house that was published in a national magazine! I like that the home is decorated in such a beautiful way, really in tune with the French style of the house. For more information on this home, please see the real estate listing.

All images via Veranda Magazine and the real estate listing.
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  1. I particularly love the little doric pavilion in a small photo. Whereas the house is over-decorated for my taste it is stunningly beautiful. The photographer caught our Southern light perfectly. Great post.

  2. Gorgeous! The floors in the dining room are magnificent.

  3. I love this! thank you for the glimpse inside. I am particularly captivated by the outdoor area, kitchen, and bath. Love how the new owners used the french style- but toned down a bit (to me).

  4. This house actually went on the market about a month ago, but it took AGES for the photos for the listing to be added! I faithfully checked every few days, as I knew this would make a great post - plus, this is pure eye candy for a house voyeur like me!

  5. This is such a pretty home! The detail work is so hard to find these days. I am in awe of the paneled basement - I have never seen such a thing! Do you happen to know the listing price?

  6. What a beautiful home! I love the outdoor living areas, they are spectular. You did a great job comparing the different styles of the owners. I am also very interested to see how different people decorate the same house, so please keep posts like these coming. Thank you for all the thought and time you put into this post.

  7. Yes, this home can be yours for $6.975 million! It is on one of the most prestigious streets in Atlanta, on a 1.2 acre lot.

  8. Thanks for your efforts! I really like that kitchen.

  9. The architecture is so perfect. Once the bones of a house are right, it seems that the design portion falls into place. I really like the second owner's vision for the home, more 21st century and seemingly more livable. Thanks for your persistence in getting the second set of photos.

  10. I love that you compared it to a split level home -which is essentially what it is! I think europeans and the architect would probably call it a piano nobile style home which sepeartes the main living quarters from street level for noise and safety. Thats pretty typical for grand houses in paris and other european cities from I've seen (and i'll get to see it in person soon enough in paris!).

  11. AD, you always round out the architectural aspects of my posts so well - thank you! I recently was in a split level home built in the 70s, which is why that term was so fresh on my mind. It makes perfect sense why a home like this would have been designed that way in its original environs - Paris or some other European city. I was wondering why the house appeared so tall, and now I know why.

    Have a wonderful trip to Paris!

  12. This house is breathtaking! Thank you for sharing one of my favorite magazines....that I have not purchased in a while! Beautiful post, beautiful home.

  13. I would love to move in, what a dreamy home. Great comparison of the different (um I mean similar) decorating of the interior spaces. You are not alone, seeing what is done by different owners intrigues many of us and I love that you did this post for us types to see and enjoy. I look forward to others just like it. :)

  14. I'm using the bing.com bird's eye view to find the 4 chimneys and try to place them with the interiors. I think you've got it right.

    The facade is beautiful, so well proportioned and it's relatively compact size hide how huge the house really is. The hugeness is concealed from the backyard too which seem confortable. Yong Pak deserves these great commissions.

  15. * What alot of time/research & patience to put this interesting blog together! I particularly liked the kitchen & wine "cellar"... "family rm" & study caught my eye, too...

    I MUST ask you please, if you might know... was there ever a POOL in back??? (Something just TELLS ME me there WAS~~~~ you know, it just "FEELS" like it to me!).

    MANY THANKS, and I sure wish I had entered for the book ~ (I THOUGHT I'd just buy it at Barnes & Noble, having no idea that was impossible! Oh, "COWCHIPS"!!!)~~~

    Blessings n' thanks again,
    Linda in AZ *

  16. Totally gorge! You should contact the real estate agent and ask to see it to provide additional coverage on your blog. Hey - they have a product to sell and a property like that has value on the national market.

    I adore the back yard courtyard as well!

  17. Thank you! You just sent me on the most fabulous home tour in my pj's and with my morning coffee! Thanks!

  18. I always kills me that Ginny creates these exquisite places and then leaves them!!! Naturally for me, I do prefer the rooms as she had them, especially missing those lavender walls! Beautiful!

  19. It's possible that the new owners removed some of their stuff for the listing pictures -- realtors are always suggesting that furniture/accessories get removed to emphasize the size of a room.

    I love the exterior of this home as well as the kitchen, but otherwise it's a bit too formal/French for my tastes. I prefer a less literal interpretation of French style when it's done in modern American construction. Just seems less out of place.

  20. $6.975 million is the list price


    Come by for my GIVE-A-WAY this week by 10 pm Fri.
    and then check out our newest addition.


  22. Loving that rug in the red room...

  23. The piazza or what have you is lovely - though the rest of the house is and was a bit over the top for my taste... you can't please everyone, right?

  24. I remember this gorgeous house from when it was featured in Veranda. I believe I still have the article saved in one of my "house folders." So nice to see that the second owner took as much care in decorating as the first. The new owner will have lots inpiration to draw from when making their decorating choices.

  25. oh my God! I have died and gone to heaven. I always loved this house! ok - so much of the furniture stayed, but I do love ginny's living room better and the bedroom. but I like the kitchen and the den now better! oh - I can't stand it! I wish this was in Houston -I would have loved to study the pictures and all. you did an excellent job!!!!!!!!!!! This might just be my favorite post of yours ever. Yep, i think so!!

  26. Great post! Love the split screen so we can do a direct comparison. I just kept ooohing and ahhhing over all the chandeliers! Definitely like the Master bedroom before...the wallpaper or wall fabric seems to overwhelm without the gorgeous canopy (if that's what it's called) in the room. It was so nice seeing it reflected in the mirror, too...much better than just seeing the wallpaper. Thanks for the tour...going back to drool some more! :-) Susan

  27. Unbelievable. I'm linkingg to this. What a stunner. I didn't know Atlanta was hilly! So lovely to see a part of your world. :)

  28. Oh dear. I'm just back from holidays and am HATING my house and then I turn to this!!!! Beautiful from every angle. My favourite is the banquet seating at the kitchen table. Very cleverly done.The hexagonal tiles on the kitchen floor remind me of a little house we rented for a week in Provence so maybe that is the authentic look. Back to scrubbing and rearranging my place.

  29. Holly!! This post is Amazing!!! Argh!!! This house is truly one of my all time favourites!! If I had 7 mill I wouldn't buy that one but I would build an exact replica in Australia :)

    Thank you for all the effort and research you put in this post. It's perfect!

    Anna :)

  30. Thanks for checking out my blog! Yours is lovely. That courtyard is to die for!

  31. Great tour. There are some seriously gorgeous carpets in this house.

  32. ohh I'm loving the yard and outdoor pavilion. The courtyard created on the back elevation is gorgeous!

  33. Gorgeous! I love the her's bath and courtyard.


  34. Stunning!

    I love how they managed to keep the French style going in the media room. That is good.

    Have a great Friday!

    Becky K
    Hospitality Lane

  35. Wow, that's an impressive house!! The decor is really in keeping with the style and grandeur of the house.

    The comparisons of the "before" and "after" shots are so interesting. Thanks for taking the time to do that -- it really helps to recognize and appreciate what the new owners have done to make the house their own.

    Love all the chandeliers, and the wood floors are gorgeous!! If it was my house, I wouldn't cover them up with carpets!!

    The courtyard is beautiful. I wonder how long it takes to trim the hedges just right?!

    Kelly @ DesignTies

  36. That kitchen! And the bath!! Oh, my heart. ;) Stunning! Visiting from Julia's party. :)

  37. Hmmm. Emptying out the change jar now.

    We *might* be able to swing it.

  38. I don't think there are any adjectives remaining out of all these comments to describe this home and the blog any better than everyone has already done. All I can say is Ditto .... Ditto .... Ditto .... to everyones comments.

  39. Loveee it!

    Feel free to check out my brand new craft blog at http://www.oopsicraftmypants.blogspot.com.

  40. Wow! This is my ultimate dream-style home. Love the symmetry of the entire space. Thanks for the great post!!

  41. Mouth open..pool on desk. Only 7 million...I have that between the sofa cushions.
    Its a bit too much in certain rooms but thats what price negotiation is all about. I bet even the red room would tone down w/o the furnishings, rug & drapes as they are with the wall paper kept.

  42. Love you posting the double axis shot of the backyard.

    Seeing the first shot, benches-lawn-pond I thought, Not too great in summer. Who wants to sit in the humid Southern sun with mosquitoes? Then you posted the summer house.

    Ha, that's why the benches-lawn-pond needed no trees.

    Of course, sometimes the owner only wants a garden to look at, not to use.

    And I adore how the stones were laid in the front parking court.

    Who was the landscape company? They did a great job.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  43. Visiting from Julia's...

    I think this would be my dream house in an alternate life. I LOVE the house but the "Victorianesque" decor is not me. I am practical = if it is there it has a purpose. But in a former childless version of myself I could see me strolling the courtyard with a parasol.

    Thanks for sharing!

  44. This is a dream home, I would have guessed it was in the countryside of France if I hadn't seen the listing.

  45. This is a beautiful home. Some of the rooms are a bit too matchy-matchy for my taste, but I still appreciate them. The architecture is just perfect and I also love the outdoor living area. Thank you for sharing this!

  46. Thank you for the comments, everyone! It is always fun to see the 'dream' houses. I love to do the side by side comparisons of the homes with two different owners - possible by making my blog format wide (which I did a few weeks ago).

    It looks like the landscaping is what is drawing some people in to the post and the house. I have been paying more attention to landscaping after reading a great article in Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles and Southern Accents. Of course, I will do a post on my inspirations! Coming soon...

  47. Loved seeing the comparisions. I liked the second owner look, with fewer items in the house.

  48. Gorgeous! It just screams "Veranda" to me, so I'm not surprised it was in the magazine. So fun to see the mag pics next to the real estate photos and compare the too. Loved this post--thanks! :-)

  49. These homes are phenomenal. Thanks for sharing with us!!

  50. Le Sigh--beautiful.

    Coming from NY, my $$ perspective is so off!! Wow. Stunning.

  51. I still have this issue! I saved it because of this house.

  52. who did the landscape design?

  53. This is such a beautiful house. Thank you for featuring it! I absolutely love traditional exteriors, and although I don't necessarily like traditional interiors, I can't get past the beautiful details in each room!

    I'd say you're correct in assuming this to be a "split level". You can tell almost immediately from the exterior photo of the front; the front door sits halfway between the main floor and the lower floor. That's always a dead giveaway to a split. (Here in New England, they're so common!) I agree with ArchitectDesign that some would call it "piano nobile", I didn't think of calling it that because usually when I hear piano nobile, I think of NYC brownstones or Italian palazzos, where you would walk up the stairs (exterior and interior, respectively) to the main level, or piano nobile, but you would definitely not define those as splits.

    Another observation: The backyard steps out directly from the main floor, which means the site is most likely sloped from back to front, or there are retaining walls somewhere on the sides of the house.

    Thanks again for another great post!

  54. Do you know what the address of this house is?
    Thanks for your help!

  55. Any floorplans available for this house? I am in love with it!

  56. Holly somehow through one of my many Sunday night google searches I came along this post...WOW oh WOW, is this perfection or what! I am madly in love with this home, the decor is so up my alley.....just incredibly beautiful every square inch. Going right back up and going to go through it very slowly once again. Fabulous! So glad to have found it!!

  57. Been a follower for a while, but missed this post. Tina was right....awesome post! She included one of mine, too...isn't she the sweetest? I'm a new follower. Hope you'll stop by sometime. Very excited to get to know your blog!

  58. Been a follower for a while, but missed this post....Tina was right....awesome post! She included one of mine, too...isn't she the sweetest? Hope you'll stop by sometime. Very excited to get to know your blog!

  59. I think the dining table at the top of the page is my favorite piece as it is classic shabby chic! It's one of them pieces that looks like 'cheap french home style' but elegant!


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