Against the Grain
A young collector transforms a white-box interior into a space that's rich in charm and character.
The creative manager for Jamestown Properties, George Krauth oversees aesthetics and branding for commercial real estate nationwide which, locally, includes Ponce City Market and White Provision. But that fine eye for aesthetics serves him well personally, too, attested by his part-time home in MidCity Lofts.
“I’d looked at MidCity 10 years ago after graduating from Georgia Tech,” he recalls. “The design of the building always resonated with me; it was so unlike anything built in this city before. So I jumped at the opportunity when I needed a part-time home in Atlanta.”
Krauth, who has traditionally owned older homes, found the opportunity to live in something relatively new exciting. Specifically, he liked that the modern loft featured vast expanses of glass and epoxied concrete floors, but not the clichéd exposed ductwork.
The first order of business was to paint the backdrop white—the walls, the ceiling, everything. But finding the right white “took forever,” he admits. “I’d paint one wall what I thought was the perfect shade, but it was a cloudy day. Once the sun came out, I realized I needed something different—and so on.” The trial-and-error method paid off, though, resulting in a light space that beautifully showcases his mix of old and new possessions.
“I like the mix of elegance and comfort with a modern palette,” he says, pointing out an English roll-arm sofa as an example. “I think you can have a contemporary space but have a classic sofa to curl up in; it all works as long you choose items throughout that are similar in texture and scale.”
One sweeping glance of this residence makes it clear that the homeowner is a masterful collector. But he modestly deflects the compliment, giving credit instead to his upbringing. “My mother was a writer and an artist, and her mother was a master gardener,” he says. “I think all that creativity had an impact on me.”
From those family members, and others, he’s inherited some meaningful pieces over the years, and relishes grouping those with new finds. “I typically try to avoid a lot of clutter, so I keep many of my favorite things tucked inside an heirloom, 200-year-old chestnut cabinet,” he adds. “Besides the sentimental nature, it is very practical.”
Still, it’s the storied pasts of many an item—be it a newly found piece or a family heirloom—that give this MidCity condo its heart. In the dining area, for instance, a vintage globe was found on eBay, but Krauth drove to Ohio to pick it up rather than take the chance that it wouldn’t arrive in pristine condition. And next to it, a blown-up image of a handwritten letter is by no means random; Krauth found the original letter in a dresser that he inherited from his grandfather. “It was addressed in 1917 by my great-grandmother to her uncle, who just happens to be my namesake,” he explains.
Krauth seems to find creative inspiration at every turn; one can only wonder what he’ll be inspired by next.
KITCHEN: Brass Basket Conran Shop Staghorn Fern Garden, Atlanta Tolix Stools Design Within Reach Azusa Pendants Schoolhouse Electric Co., Portland, Oregon WALL LIGHT Circa Lighting Bar: Hex Bottle Opener The Future Perfect, New York Napkins Aero Studios, New York Living Room: English Roll Arm Sofa Restoration Hardware Pillows Revival, Chattanooga, and ABC Carpet & Home, New York Lampshade Tracery, Rosemary Beach, Florida Dining Room: Custom TableTop Cabeen Originals, Chattanooga Bedroom: Coverlet Utility Canvas, New York Pillowcases Serena & Lily Throw West Elm Arrow Vogtsmith, San Francisco Ashton Chair MItchell Gold + Bob Williams Hallway: Hughes Eight-Drawer Chest Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Bowl Heath Ceramics, Sausalito, California Artwork Richard Haines, Brooklyn, New York