In the living room, standout pieces include the massive Stephanus Heidacker painting, Lager der Amazonen, above the sofa, as well as the 1920s Chinese Deco rug, which Katie discovered at her mother“s house in Bermuda. Katie acquired the coffee table, by noted artist Max Kuehne, from dealer Deanne Levison.
A painting by Jean de Botton hangs above a settee in the entry hall.
Mirrors were fashioned out of 19th-century French window frames that Katie found in Charleston. Two vintage Tommi Parzinger lamps from Belvedere sit atop a pair of 19th-century demilunes. The glass console is Italian.
There“s a sense of modernity throughout the house, but its scale and proportion harken to the timeless principles of classic design.
In the living room, a painting by Athens artist Richard Olsen hangs above the fireplace. It is flanked by two oil-on-fabric paintings from the 1920s. The 1930s wood colonial veranda chairs are sculptural in their own right.
A painted Italian vitrine holds Katie“s collection of Lalique figurines, art pottery, Italian marble fruits and jade flowers.
Near the Steinway piano, some of Katie“s favorite art is hung salon style. “My grandmother was a board member of The Metropolitan Museum of Art,” says Katie. “Three of the pieces, including a Renoir and a Picasso, were gifts to her for serving.” The majority of the other art came from Tew Galleries.
With its glittering, Swarovski crystal-adorned chandeliers playing off of a dramatic chocolate-covered backdrop, the dining room is by far the most dramatic space in the house. In fact, Katie jokingly compares it to “the high rollers“ room at the Wynn,” the luxury Las Vegas casino. The painting of Venice is by Adrian Ryan. The torchieres are from Belvedere. The antique table, found at Love Train Antiques, was refinished and surrounded by new custom chairs. The sculpture is by Kimo Minton.
Designed for entertaining, the kitchen is a model of efficiency and is the center of family life at the house. The 12-foot-long kitchen island is topped with Carerra marble and three-inch-thick refinished antique white and red oak timbers. All floral design by Pollen.
Terrazzo floors in the kitchen are inlaid with stones from Southern states. The range is by Viking. The range hood is by Vent-A-Hood. A bird sculpture by Michael Murrell overlooks the breakfast area and rear stairhall below.
A work on paper by Donald Sultan presides over the family room.
Katie devised a rack system similar to those used in museums and galleries to accommodate her expanding collection of art.
The home“s courtyard was inspired by Katie“s grandfather“s house in Jamaica.
The home“s fa�?§ade is covered in smooth coat stucco. The lines of the copper roof are perpendicular to the concrete garden borders below. Italian terra cotta pots are planted with American boxwood.
The backyard“s landscape echoes the angular form of Arthur Shapiro“s painted aluminum sculpture, while climbing “New Dawn” roses and trumpet vine add their own organic interest. The teak outdoor furniture is by Michael Taylor.
While visiting France, Katie bought an entire portfolio of 30 photogravures taken in 1929 by Czechoslovakian artist Frantisek Drtikol. She eventually had some of them framed for the master bedroom. “Even the art has a certain serenity, quietness and elegance about it,” says Katie. Opalescent lamp from Belvedere.
“I“m compelled by the 1920s,” says Katie. “I love the glamour of it.”
The marble-clad master bathroom features custom cabinetry designed by Katie. She had the nickel hardware cast from the drop of an Art Deco chandelier. The vanity chair is by Warren McArthur, a designer whose work helped define the Art Deco era.
There’s a house in Buckhead that defies convention. Located down a long driveway, off one of the area’s leafy traverses, one might expect to find a pseudo-Georgian mansion or English Tudor—like similar abodes in the neighborhood. But visitors to Katie and Ian Walker’s residence find a house that’s at once unique and familiar; its “style” however, is impossible to define.
“In some ways,” says Katie, who built the house 10 years ago, “it’s modern, but it also speaks to traditional style in the thickness of the walls, the stucco façade, the terrazzo and wood floors. They’re pretty classic elements.” Rounding out the checklist of timeless design elements are 14-foot-high ceilings and 24 sets of 10-foot-tall door openings.
For Katie, inspiration came from far away, as well as somewhere near to her heart. “There’s some Frank Lloyd Wright style in the house, but also elements of Italian villas and the more streamlined international style,” she explains. And the Philippe Starck-designed Delano Hotel in South Beach, Miami, as well as the sculpted landscapes of the eastern shore of Long Island, New York, provided a font of ideas for the home’s landscape design.
“My grandfather had a house in Jamaica that was a U-shape like this one,” says Katie. Like that house, she loves this one “because there are multiple sources of light and every room has access to the outside.”
Katie’s quick to point out, too, that she drew inspiration from her professional endeavors as co-owner of TuckerMott, a development and management company whose projects include the Westside Urban Market, a complex along Zonolite Road, and a project in Northeast Harbor, Maine. “The house is a definite reflection of some of the commercial spaces I was doing at the time.”
Taking into account all of these disparate design ideas—and distilling them into a structure that is at once original, but also cohesive—took a team of collaborators. For the exterior and “bones” of the house, Katie called on architects Keith Summerour and Kenneth Garcia. As for the interiors, they’re as much of a reflection of Katie as the structure itself. From high-end gallery and auction purchases to everyday objects that have been given pride of place, collections make up the bulk up the home’s décor. Designer Barbara Westbrook assisted her on some of the home’s furnishings, fabrics and paint colors. But since this is a house defined by the collecting habits of its owner, Katie recently called upon designer Beth Webb to help “edit” some of the things she has acquired over the years.
“I like what I like,” Katie says. “There’s a similar feel in what I collect, but not a similar subject or artist. I’ve always collected in varying degrees, and some treasures have come out of it. I love everything, but when you buy something, you don’t know the value of it. You just buy it because you like it.”
That’s a philosophy that equally defines the house: Build it because you like it.
“The house is so serene,” says Katie. “It could easily have been filled with more austere furnishings, but it’s a much warmer home than what people think of in terms of a modern house.”
Defying convention, indeed.