When Kristin Kong received an unexpected email from Singapore inquiring about her interior design services, she assumed it was a spam message. Little did she know the correspondence would lead to a bright and playful project for Bill and Georgia Wharton, a pair of expats returning to the States after more than a decade abroad.
“During our first conversation, they shared that they loved wallpaper and color, making it a fun project from day one,” Kong says. The 4,000-square-foot Peachtree Battle home had great interior bones, so Kong, who spent a decade in commercial design, joyfully jumped headfirst into furnishing its wide-open spaces. She selected unique wallcoverings and a spirited color palette for each room, making them feel fluid while keeping each distinct.
The home’s entry boasts vantage points of the living room and kitchen, so Kong embraced its white shiplap-sided stairwell and pale gray walls (painted Benjamin Moore’s Pale Oak) as a launching point for the pattern-fueled rooms throughout the house.
The living room is electrifying, thanks to Zoffany’s amethyst-hued Umi wallpaper that resembles waves of watercolors. The bold print is balanced by a neutral velvet BSC Coco sofa and Bernhardt’s Jet Set coffee table with a sleek brass-plated finish. The space also includes treasures from the Whartons’ extensive art collection, including the pop painting Lick My Ear, featuring the Queen of England on a stamp by English artist Piers Bourke, whom the Whartons met while living in Singapore.
The open floor plan allows the living room to seamlessly transition into the dining room, where Harlequin’s geometric ivory-and-mustard-hued Sumi pattern covers the walls. To keep the space elegant yet eclectic, Potocco’s Grace chairs were upholstered in Beacon Hill’s lively Annina silk/linen print and Duralee velvet.
The home’s fluid layout extends into the light-filled kitchen. Once again, pattern was crucial, so Kong chose a modern wallcovering, Phillip Jeffries’ Zephyr. The contemporary print pairs well with a Lee Industries Apartment Sofa upholstered in Beacon Hill’s dreamy Soo Locks fabric.
“I love mixing the geometric print from the walls with the expressionist-like fabric on the couch,” Kong says about the kitchen nook. “The juxtaposition of pattern is key.”
The personalities of the home’s occupants continue to stand out. The library, which used to sport uninspiring brown paneling, was painted a semigloss blue (Benjamin Moore’s Patriot Blue) to create a loungelike library for Bill, complete with books, records and antique mirrors. Even 11-year-old son Kipp had a style vision for his bedroom, which is anchored with a custom map wallcovering.
“The family was really interested in design and brought their own perspectives and worldliness to the project,” Kong says. “That’s the secret to style: The home should reflect the personality of the people who live there.”
INTERIOR DESIGN Kristin Kong, K Kong Designs. (404) 953-5537; kkongdesigns.com