Above & Beyond
Filled with verve and vigor, designer Keith Arnold’s high-rise condo sets the standard for a new generation of stylemakers
Interior designer Keith Arnold doesn’t discriminate when it comes to shopping. The pieces in his home, which he shares with Marc Ferguson, come from here, there and everywhere—from trade-only design showrooms to flea markets and even parking lot liquidation sales. No shop is too fancy, nor any sale too lowbrow. And it’s Arnold’s keen eye for good design that propels their high-rise residence to new design heights.
Ensconced in their new home for just over a year, the couple’s choice to leave their Virginia-Highland cottage for a high-rise condominium wasn’t a hard-wrought, hand-wringing decision. “We both travel a lot for our work, and the house and yard was a lot of upkeep. It was just too much,” says Keith. “Now, being in a high-rise, 14 stories up, I love seeing all the green space around me, but not having to take care of it!”
With a freshly painted, neutral backdrop as their starting point, Arnold and Ferguson brought in their riotous mix of furnishings—from Asian-inspired items to important mid-century pieces—that celebrate the best of high and low design. A table from West Elm is as at home here as a 19th-century fine antique. Punches of color find their way into the mix through art and accessories, including handmade Christopher Spitzmiller lamps and colored mats that surround framed scenes of Pompeii.
With stints at some of the country’s most notable design houses—including Charles Pollack, Nancy Corzine and Martynus-Tripp in Los Angeles, plus Ainsworth-Noah & Associates, and now, Suzanne Kasler Interiors in Atlanta—Arnold also drew upon the knowledge he gained from those top talents. “Every single person I worked for, I learned something from,” says Arnold, who also has an architecture degree from Auburn. “Each one had such a different aesthetic, which opened me up to new ideas and possibilities. You can’t put your finger on it, but I see a little bit of each of them in everything here.”
When Arnold and Ferguson decided to move from Virginia-Highland to Buckhead, neither of them wanted to live anywhere else but Plaza Towers, Atlanta’s landmark condominium building that is well known for its brutalist architecture, as well as for being the city’s first high-rise residence. “Because it has such good architecture, the building lends itself to any sort of style,” says Arnold. “It was a blank canvas for us.” A canvas that no doubt has been filled as artfully as any painting.
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An animal-print carpet from Helios anchors the bedroom. Without taking away from the space’s serene palette, it provides the room’s only real pattern.
The sculptural quality and masculine feeling of the dining room chandelier from Circa Lighting echoes the angularity found in the table’s base.
With floor-to-ceiling windows that surround the condominium’s spaces, curtains help to soften the cold glass walls. A subtle Greek key trim around the curtain’s edges softly frames the high-rise views.
Atop an antique chest, a well-edited collection of vases in various sizes seemingly adds height to the room. Limited to neutral hues, the pieces add interest without distracting the eye.