Historic Ansley Park Home Gets an Elegant Update
Since it was first developed in 1904, Ansley Park has been an urban oasis in the midst of the bustling city of Atlanta. Under a canopy of trees, the wide winding streets and beautiful parks make it an ideal neighborhood for families desiring an in-town location with the charm of an historic neighborhood.
Atlanta interior designer Courtney Giles Decker jumped at the chance to work with a family who had moved from a small bungalow to a four-bedroom home built in 1911. Although it had been preserved with great care, the home needed to be updated for their young family. They began working together in 2008, focusing on the rooms where the family spent the majority of their time. After a trusting design rapport had been established, the owners gave Courtney free rein with the rest of the home.
The designer elaborates, “I knew I had her trust when she told me she wanted her dining room to resemble the face of a ladies’ watch…mixed metals, mother of pearl and diamonds. She gave me that description and told me to have fun with it!”
Taking this direction in stride, Courtney selected a crystal chandelier that reflects light off of the ceiling lined with Chinese pewter tea paper. Three watercolors by New Orleans artist Alexis Walter adorn one side of the dining room, and a painting by the homeowner decorates the mantel. The dining chairs are upholstered in silk on the front and cut velvet on the back. Silk drapes dress the windows while a custom silk rug finishes the room beautifully.
The palette of neutral grays and metallics is carried throughout the first floor of the home. The color scheme is punctuated with bursts of color and shimmer in artwork, light fixtures and accent pieces. Foregoing a traditional seating arrangement in the living room, the designer created separate groupings that are conducive to cocktails and conversation. A grand piano anchors one corner of the room, and a drop arm chaise covered in mohair commands attention floating in the center of the room. Chinoiserie wallpaper provides an elegant backdrop for the silhouettes of a French club chair, klismos chairs and mirrored coffee table. The overall effect is serene, sophisticated and timeless with a modern touch.
Adjacent to the living room is the study, which provides a dramatic contrast to the lighter tones on the first floor. Dark gray painted walls and window treatments appliqued with a Greek key motif envelop the room, and jolts of yellow are found in the pillows, accent fabrics and artwork. The vibrant horse painting over the mantel is by Melissa Mason through TEW Galleries. A sleek coffee table and custom wool rug add the finishing touches to the space.
The family room and kitchen design scheme was derived from a large horse painting which is prominently displayed on an easel where the family spends most of their time. The pops of orange and warm brown hues are repeated in the pillows, barstools and wood finishes selected for the space. Sheer draperies allow light to flood the family room which overlooks the lush green backyard.
A serene palette continues onto the second floor where Courtney assisted with a major renovation for the master bath and closet. One of the bedrooms was combined with the existing master bath to create his and her spaces separated by a mirrored door with custom fretwork. Mirrored doors also conceal a gorgeous dressing area/closet with lacquered cabinetry, exquisite window treatments and a curved window seat. In the master bath, a large scale abstract painting from Anne Irwin Fine Art, a freestanding nickel tub and mother of pearl tile shimmer beneath a crystal chandelier. The combination of textures, finishes and nuanced neutrals is sublime.
Aqua and cream tones in the master bedroom provide a restful atmosphere. The space consists of a small bedroom and a roomy sunporch that functions as a seating area. To make the bedroom appear larger, furnishings were kept to a minimum including a custom headboard, Asian inspired nightstands and a built-in window seat. A painting by Pascal Bouterin hangs above the mantel.
Throughout the interiors, Courtney uses many unexpected design elements that have become her trademark. Incorporating her client’s contemporary art adds an edge to the otherwise traditional architecture. Courtney’s mastery of blending textures, colors and materials, as well as her impeccable attention to detail, has enabled her to work in a variety of different design styles. Gaining the client’s trust is of utmost importance to the designer. Once that is established, she can nudge them out of their comfort zone which allows for maximum creativity in her projects.