When Liz Godwin engages in a new project, she keeps her catchphrase “luxurious livability” in mind at every turn. And she’s certainly well equipped to accomplish that goal to lovely effect. After interning at Sotheby’s and with design legend Dan Carithers, Godwin worked with noted decorator Jackye Lanham for 14 years before starting her own firm.
She’s not afraid of pairing valuable antiques with more contemporary pieces and doesn’t believe that luxury always means expensive—with smart choices, a little can go a long way in creating chic, approachable rooms. “I actually have a passion for finding ways to save money when we can and enjoy that process,” she explains.
When it comes to color, Godwin generally gravitates towards softer shades. “While working with Dan and Jackye, both masters of the neutral palette, I learned that layering neutrals and mixing multiple textures keeps them from being anything but boring,” she says.
For this Buckhead renovation, Godwin collaborated with architect Amanda Orr and builder Jason Cole. From the start, Godwin sought to bring fresh life to the house with a much-improved floor plan, enlarged kitchen, new back porch and custom accents throughout. “We wanted this to be a family, pet-friendly home that’s comfortable, with entertaining options and timeless, stylish appeal,” says Godwin. Each room shows off the designer’s confident touch in creating that signature luxurious livability.
In the entry, she accomplished this with an Oushak rug, a dramatic Venetian mirror, high gloss–painted paneling and a metallic foil-papered ceiling. In the dining room, she introduced elegant texture and shimmer through grasscloth wallpaper, window panels on gilded rods and a gold-and-crystal chandelier. The former powder room, now a butler’s pantry, is hardworking, but it’s also a little jewel box thanks to the addition of a glamorous, antiqued-mirror wall and an X-pattern design on the glass-front cabinets.
Details matter in Godwin’s presentation—that X-pattern reappears in the adjoining kitchen’s upper cabinets, while the pantry door’s whitewash stain treatment is repeated in the breakfast room’s wall paneling. The home also speaks to her preference for neutrals that also make a statement. “In the breakfast room, I blended the whitewash stain with the rattan of the chairs and the sisal of the rug—all in the same tone—but each texture brings its own personality to the space,” she explains.
However, the designer doesn’t shy away from bolder color strokes when needed to introduce a little drama into a space, such as the teal blue garden seats in the entry and the jewel-toned oriental rug in the butler’s pantry.
“I appreciate everything about the design process,” she says, “and love when my vision and the client’s desires meld together to create interiors that meet their needs and are also beautiful.”