A Bespoke Touch
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This high-rise condominium couldn’t be more “fitting” of its owner—it’s well tailored down to the last detail, as impeccably dressed as the man who calls it home.
“My client is so chic and sophisticated that, when I pitched the whole idea of designing around an Armani suit, he was on board immediately,” recalls designer Robert Brown, himself a former fashion executive. “He just lit up; it was perfect for him.”
In fact, an aura of suave sophistication is evident from the moment you walk in the door. Walnut veneer wraps the foyer walls, creating “kind of a quiet moment before you go into a living space that is light and bright and open to the world,” says the designer. “We actually paneled the walls in a modern way; not at all like a typical room with raised paneling. The sheets of walnut veneer attached to the walls really warm it up.”
In the main living area, though, it’s breathtaking vistas that take center stage. Furnishings with a certain nod to menswear—from the gray flannel sofa and alligator-embossed brown leather dining chairs to the gray tweed rug—in no way compete with the views beyond; instead, they’re quietly complementary. “It’s all about not blocking the view,” Brown says. “We kept the sofa low and didn’t place a lot of lamps around the sofa.” Instead, he used lighting with slim silhouettes—a sculptural bronze twig floor lamp in one corner, and a pharmacy lamp in another.
Meanwhile, see-through pieces appear barely there, but still function in a big way. A whimsical glass chair by Spectrum, for instance, floats in the space “so the room doesn’t feel stuffy,” Brown explains. “You see right through it but, when you really study it, it’s incredibly interesting.” Likewise, a pair of glass-and-steel bookshelves flanks a column in one corner, providing plenty of room for coffee table books as well as wine storage below.
It was important to the designer that everything flowed in this small space. Thus, the same gray flannel found in the living room is also prevalent in the master bedroom; not only are draperies made of the same fabric, but also the walls are upholstered in it. And, yes, brown leather finds a home here, too. “The room is very straightforward,” Brown says. “There’s a simple platform bed with a headboard that stretches the length of the wall, even behind the two Baker side tables by Barbara Barry. But the Missoni carpet really is the focal point. The gradation from gray to white almost makes you feel like you’re stepping into ripples. It’s very interesting from an optical point of view.”
In fact, it’s that straightforward approach that gives this high-rise its glamour. “It’s all about editing with something this understated,” Brown says. “When you think you have completely edited it, you come back the next day and take out a few more things. You want it as simple as possible without being cold.”
INTERIOR DESIGN Robert Brown, Robert Brown Interior Design, 349 Peachtree Hills Ave. Suite A5B, Atlanta 30305. (404) 917-1333; robertbrowninteriordesign.com