Jimmy Stanton“s country and city dwellings are more alike than one might expect for homes with such disparate purposes. Namely, both are outfitted entirely in neutrals“mostly rich, warm grays and khakis“shades that Stanton describes as comfortable colors. “I like all neutrals with pops of color,” he explains. “It“s modern, but it still has that really relaxed feel.” Still, each home has its unique grace notes. Where his Madison, Georgia, house leans soft and traditional, his condo at Westside Provisions is much more graphic and modern, with well-placed punches of bright color.
For the living room mantel in Madison, Stanton selected a circa-1880 oil portrait“coincidentally, from the same era as the home“s first addition. In Atlanta, a Helen Durant painting over the roomy leather club sofa, part of the artist“s new wolf series, adds whimsy to the living space.
In the Atlanta home, colorful pillows and art add pop, while an accessible terrace leads the way to amazing city views, especially at night.
In Madison, a fully stocked bar, inspired by that of an old ship and built from reclaimed wood, is prime for entertaining“or just wiling away a lazy spring evening.
Apothecary bottles line the mantels and ample references to nature, such as a vintage bird study chart, abound.
The Madison house caught fire in the late “60s and the back of it burned, causing the wood to petrify and, counter-intuitively, rendering it an even stronger structure than before. Stanton“s renovations to the exterior included the addition of a tin roof, as well as an old-style white picket fence surrounding the property. In true small town form, every exterior change made to a home in Madison“no matter how inconspicuous“must go through the approval of the local historical society.
In Madison, a spacious hallway connects the home“s main rooms.
Stanton warmed up a bare entry wall in his Westside condominium by installing a free-standing fireplace, sourced from Direct Furniture in Atlanta. The equine photography is by artist Ray Hartl, represented at Stanton“s shop.
The designer keeps hundreds of magazines stowed in an old trunk in Madison, but back in Atlanta, most of his books have found a permanent home thanks to roomy shelving in the living room. “We looked at a larger unit, considering all my books“because I have to have them“but they ended up fitting perfectly here,” he says.
Expertly arranged art groupings are found in both of Stanton“s homes. In the hallway of the country house, a moody assortment of pressed botanicals, set on black paper and framed by Soho Myriad, pay tribute to the natural world just outside. All furnishings, artwork and accessories, Stanton Home Furnishings.
The only thing left intact to the original kitchen were the already-gorgeous wood floors. For the rest of the design transformation, Stanton called upon the expertise of Atlanta designer Jamie McPherson, of Hearth & Home Interiors, who helped select elements such as a strong iron window, Viking appliances and the wood paneling spanning the walls. Stanton added rustic submarine lights as unexpected ceiling fixtures, their crackly patina playing up the room“s other rich textures. “We“ve got the super-fancy kitchen, but we don’t cook,” Stanton laughs. “We tell people it makes the best Digiornos!” An antique hutch, at right, stores kitchen essentials.
In the master bathroom in the city, a repurposed scientific scale serves as a clever container for a pair of succulents.
The condominium“s den earned the curious addition of a Sinclair Dino sign.
While the objects Stanton selected for his Madison home reflect the weathered, untamed surroundings, those in his Atlanta condominium read as clean and crisp. Yet nearly all of them were sourced through Stanton Home Furnishings, revealing the versatility of this talented designer“s eye for style. In Atlanta, he painted everything in the kitchen“cabinets, walls, ceiling included“one soft, serene shade of gray.
I have so many collections, and considering our limited space in the city, it was nice to have a place to put all of them in Madison,” Stanton notes. “I have two cabinets full of black-and-white pottery, porcelain and pewter.”
The dining room is one of the most traditional spaces in the Madison home. Its mix of rustic textures and classic lines pays tribute to the sense of history evident throughout, and preserved so avidly in this storied Southern town.
The colors of the blanket on the master bed in the city may look straight out of the groovy “70s, but they harken back to a couple centuries before that. In the 1770s, Stanton explains, fishermen would trade these traditional wool blankets to Native Americans in exchange for furs and other goods. Here, its vivid stripes help temper the deep gray walls and the rustic touches found throughout the space. Rugged platform bed, Stanton Home Furnishings.
In Madison, some of the special pieces inherited from his grandmother include an oval mirror over the bed in the master bedroom, Sheraton-style chairs with original crewelwork fabric and a drop-leaf table in the dining room.
Although Stanton had a treasure trove of inventory available to furnish both homes, he took the opportunity to incorporate a few unique heirlooms into the scheme, as well.
Throughout the house, he has created stylish vignettes and groupings of collections.
The master bedroom in Madison is classically simple, just as you“d expect for a space that Stanton describes as a “forever home.”
The accents Stanton selected for his master bedroom in Madison give the impression that he“s lived there much longer than his three years.
In Atlanta, the guest bathroom packs maximum impact thanks to inky black walls, submarine-light sconces and artwork by Todd Murphy, available through Astolfi Art. In the same unit, the master bathroom is at once sleek and cozy, an inviting hide bench helping to enhance this effect.
The old tub was original to the Madison house when the couple purchased it, but that“s all that remains intact in the master bath.
Several pieces culled from Stanton Home Furnishings, from pressed botanicals to a handwoven rug, help to warm up the space, taking it from basic to brilliant.
Speakers were installed in every room of the house, including the bathrooms and outdoor spaces, where they are built onto the porch and into the trees“one of their trunks outfitted with a tiny remote. “If you“re listening to music or watching a show, the sound carries throughout the house, and it“s so nice,” says Stanton
At the back of the Madison house, where there once stood only a window, Stanton and Greco added French doors, now leading to a welcoming deck. This helped to visually expand the living spaces and, in the process, created a fabulous spot to visit with friends. The landscaping is the handiwork of designers Brooks Garcia, past, and Tripp Pickles, present.
At Westside Provisions, an intimate terrace has more than enough space for soaking up the spring weather. “We formerly had such a big house in Atlanta, and it was just the two of us,” Stanton says. “Both of us work so late, and we wanted a comfortable space to come home to
Their eight-year-old Chihuaha, Terry, gets the run of both stomping grounds.
In a city where commutes can stretch into hours and schedules are appointed to the minute, it’s easy to get lost in the flurry of daily life. But among the here, there and everywhere, for many, remains a constant craving: the clean, quiet, soul-replenishing respite of a small town’s charms.
Jimmy Stanton is one such man constantly on the move, managing his shop, design clients and frequent showhouses with remarkable finesse. Those familiar with the designer’s enormously successful Westside boutique, Stanton Home Furnishings, recognize his knack for re-imagining cast-off objects while curating an inventory that comprises the best of the old and new.
So it may come as no surprise that the country house he and Patrick Greco share in Madison, Georgia, was just as much a labor of love. They bought the home three years ago and have put in as much time fixing it up—rewiring the electrical system, overhauling the kitchen and exploring its many forgotten nooks and crannies—as they have fashioning a classic and comfortable scheme that honors the home’s splendid sense of history.
“We kept finding things like the window above the front door, which was completely painted over,” Stanton recalls. “We just started scraping and, once we punched through, everything instantly looked so much bigger and brighter.”
Built in 1818, the home is the oldest brick structure in town, and comes with a long and checkered history of owners, additions and mishaps, including a fire in the late 1960s. But it has withstood the test of time, and its many unique architectural features—such as staggered ceiling heights and intricate mantels—are proof positive. And the living room, with its soaring 11-foot ceiling, deep khaki walls and bountiful textures, is inherently calming. “There’s just something about this room,” Stanton says. “You get here and you sit down, and you instantly relax. It’s wonderful.”
Located just an hour’s drive from the big city, Madison is not too far off the beaten path, but remote enough to make it a wonderful discovery. “My parents live on Lake Oconee at Reynolds Plantation,” explains Stanton, “and on the way to visit them one weekend, we drove through Madison. We immediately thought, ‘this is incredible.’” With Athens and Reynolds Plantation—and, in turn, The National and The Ritz-Carlton—a convenient 30 minutes away, it was easy to fall head over heels. And because neither Stanton nor Greco work on Mondays, Madison is their favorite place to spend long weekends—their Chihuahua pup, Terry, ever in tow.
In fact, Stanton describes it as a place where time stands still. “Our cell phones don’t work well, and since we’re right on the square, we can walk to all the restaurants, shop at the interiors market and pass by the old graveyard. There are so many wonderful old things to see; we sort of just get up and have our coffee and go.”
The slow pace of things is a nice contrast to their life back in Atlanta, one that couldn’t be more urbane. The two live, work and play in the burgeoning Westside, walking to many of their favorite restaurants—among them Abattoir, JCT Kitchen and West Egg Café—and arriving at work in as few as five minutes. And though their Madison home is the perfect embodiment of the Stanton aesthetic—cozy, intimate and replete with meaningful objects—the couple’s two-bedroom condominium at Westside Provisions, which they moved into just six months ago, demonstrates how the same items can skew sleek and modern.
Here, Stanton’s telltale pieces and palette gain an edge thanks to cool touches like a mod freestanding fireplace in the entryway, a rich black guest bathroom, and a vibrantly colored Hudson’s Bay blanket tempering the dark gray walls of the master bedroom. A smart floor plan and sleek kitchen are just a few of the perks their city space offers, but without all the surplus of their former Atlanta home. Even the master bath, outfitted with subway tiled marble and espresso-toned cabinets, was a breath of fresh air.
“We had just finished doing the bathrooms in Madison, and it can be a nightmare working on old houses,” says Stanton. “When we walked in and saw how nice it was, we said, ‘This is perfect, we’re ready to move in.’” And so it happened; in just one week, they did.
ALL RESOURCES AND INTERIOR DESIGN Stanton Home Furnishings, 1194 Huff Rd. NW, Atlanta 30318. (404) 351-3890; stantonhomefurnishings.com
ART INSTALLATION Taylor Herbik, Design Accents Unlimited Inc., 2792 Benson Dr., Marietta 30062. (770) 565-4237
LANDSCAPE DESIGN (ORIGINAL/PREVIOUS): Brooks Garcia, Atlanta Fine Gardens, 3540 East Ponce de Leon Ave., Scottdale 30079. (404) 499-1779; atlantafinegardens.com
LANDSCAPE DESIGN (CURRENT) Tripp Pickles, Southern Landscape & Design, (706) 474-6175; [email protected]
KITCHEN DESIGN Jamie McPherson, Hearth & Home Interiors, 1194 Huff Rd., Atlanta 30318. (770) 251-2803; hearthandhomeinteriors.com
CONTRACTOR Watkins Builders, P.O. Box 253, Madison 30650. (706) 474-1064; [email protected]