A house recently came on the market in Atlanta, and the style really speaks to me. The whole house, inside and out, was designed in an elegant and restrained style that is my ideal in architecture and decor – nothing is overdone, and everything is of exquisite quality with clean lines and form.
The house was clearly inspired by French architecture, with its mellow hardcoat stucco exterior, hip roof, floor to ceiling windows, and charming shutters in the perfect shade of blue that nicely contrast with the subtle ochre tones in the stucco. Even the tiny window above the front door has trim painted in the same beautiful shade of blue.
Note how the door surround appears to be carved into the stucco. The owner of the house said that the traditional way to create walls in Europe is with masonry, which creates very thick walls with recessed windows, and wonderful shadow lines as a result. The owner wanted to achieve the same look, and accomplished this by doubling up the exterior walls and recessing the windows. As a result, the exterior walls are 12” thick, and the house is incredibly well insulated as well as beautiful. The landscaping perfectly complements the house, and is also elegant and restrained in the French tradition. (All photos are by Blaine Beacham, and are used with permission).
The main stairs in the home are to the side of the entry; there is a powder room tucked under the stairs. I appreciate the beauty of these stairs, as I like to have stairs tucked to the side or in a more private area. Another one of my favorite design elements is a dramatic window on the stairs, as seen in this picture.
The home has an open and casually elegant plan that reminds me a bit of pictures I have seen of French country homes. I love how the beams on the ceiling and the trim on the door are painted in gray; this really emphasizes the architecture of the house. I also love the tone of the wood floors – they are dark, but it is a warm, rich brown that beautifully contrasts with the airy light decor.
This end of the great room has two slip-covered sofas, and a pretty rustic armoire used for the TV. The great room is its own defined space, but opens to the kitchen through a doorway.
On the other side of the room, a great arrangement of chairs is perfectly positioned for a conversation grouping. The limestone fireplace surround and the herringbone pattern in the firebox are two of my favorite design elements in a French style home.
A study is tucked off to the side, near the living area. These kind of rooms are very popular in Atlanta – they can be used as studies or offices, and are often positioned around a corner or off to the side for privacy and quiet. This one has beautiful wood paneling that gives the room a warm feel that contrasts nicely with the light and airy feel of the living area.
A farmhouse table in the home’s dining room emphasizes the elegant casual vibe of this home – this is what the owners have chosen to use, but the architectural bones are very pure and I could see a new owner going in a different direction with equally stunning results. Note the pretty ceiling in this room. All of the ceiling heights on the main floor are 11 feet, and the owner used different ceiling treatments to give the rooms individuality and flair. I also love that the rooms in this house open up into each other – instead of using halls, the rooms themselves are used as the passageways, which makes a house and all of its rooms more animated. I believe this is called enfilade style, and the doors are usually aligned with one another.
I love the colors in the kitchen, and the huge window over the sink that lets the natural light into the space. The cabinets look like that perfect shade of gray that picks up on the tones in the marble.
The master bedroom continues the serenely elegant feel to this home. The vaulted ceiling gives the room a special feel and makes a perfect spot for a chandelier. I appreciate all of the natural light that fills this home; clearly it was designed with light in mind.
In the basement, there is ample room for entertaining casually – the perfect place for a bar and small kitchen. I love the three TVs along the wall – sometimes I wish I had this set up when refereeing my kids on the weekend!
A media room with stadium seating. Notice how the entire room is painted out in the same rich color – the perfect treatment for a room like this.
A wine cellar with a pretty ceiling treatment, and brick floors.
Finally, a flat walk out back yard, which is not too common in Atlanta and highly desirable because so many of the lots in Atlanta are hilly and sloped.
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