A number of qualities go into creating well-appointed interiors, but a truly successful relationship between client and designer may be at the top of that list. And like a good marriage, it’s a collaboration that can last throughout the years even as styles change and tastes evolve. “When you have clients that really enjoy the process and appreciate design, it is more like a partnership,” says interior designer Carole Weaks.
“Carole instinctively understands how we live, anticipates our needs and updates things accordingly,” adds homeowner Lisa Hills. For both, the relationship has blossomed into a friendship as well. Weaks began working with Lisa and her husband, Jim, in their Buckhead home more than 14 years ago, when the emphasis was country French with a palette heavy in yellow tones, red accents, and lots of pattern. (In fact, their home was originally featured in the May 2003 issue of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles.) The rooms were refined over the years, but eventually it was time for a more substantial refurbishment, but not from scratch. “I always advise clients to purchase pieces that will last, and not some fad that will be over in 15 minutes,” says Weaks. “I instinctively know what will be short-lived, and I steer them away from that towards more classic styles.”
The makeover began with an overall lightening of the spaces, with walls painted or wallpapered in neutrals instead of the yellows of before. Even the library’s dark wood paneling was painted, giving the room a whole new attitude. “The room was very traditional and clublike with plaid chairs,” says Lisa. “It was time to go in a totally different direction.” In the living room, two consoles were repainted to accommodate the less yellow, more taupe look, and all the furniture in the family room was reupholstered, a testament to buying high-quality pieces from the start.
The marriage of old and new continues in the master bedroom. The toile is gone, replaced by a sea of creams, while the carved upholstered bed and midcentury bedside tables remain. A new work of art over the bed sets the stage. “A painting can be that one piece that makes everything else work together in a room,” says Weaks.
“Working together” is a key phrase in this home. “I think it’s an interesting evolution how a client’s taste can evolve over the years, and as designers, we walk that path with them,” says Weaks. “You can appreciate the progression in a project where the client actually works with the designer to keep things fresh and updated.” Adds Lisa: “We have grown up with Carole, and it continues to get better. I like to remind her that we only have a few more years to go before we can start all over again.”
INTERIOR DESIGN Carole Weaks, C. Weaks Interiors, Inc., 349 Peachtree Hills Ave NE, Atlanta. (404) 233-6040; cweaksint.com