Blank Canvas

Complete with sleek silhouettes and pops of color, designer CHRIS HOLT infuses fresh character into a Buckhead dwelling for a young family of five

DESIGNER CHRIS HOLT had previously worked with his clients—a young couple with three energetic boys—on their Lake Keowee home in South Carolina, before they tapped him again to revamp their new primary residence in Buckhead. Having recently been renovated by architecture firm McAlpine, the home’s refresh provided Holt a clean, graceful backdrop to perfectly tailor each space to the active family’s needs. “[The couple] loved what I did with their lake house, so they really gave me free rein to get creative on this project,” says Holt. “It was a perfect and beautiful blank canvas.” 

Immediately upon entering, a sprawling staircase makes a grand statement in the foyer, where an oversize brass lantern suspends overhead illuminating a 17th-century Italian walnut commode. Pops of green on the ottomans and muted tones of blue and beige in the rug complement the foliage just steps from the front door. 

The color palette continues throughout the home, including in the family room, where a commissioned Kiki Slaughter painting anchors the space while neutral upholstery with punchy pillows enhance the furniture’s curvaceous silhouettes. Floor-to-ceiling windows and doors flood the room with natural light, dressing the space in a layer of sophistication and supporting Holt’s classic, yet fresh signature aesthetic. “I consider my style as light and clean with a nod to traditional,” says Holt.

And that holds true in the dining room, where a delicate seating arrangement invites the feel of al fresco dining indoors. Subtle blue floral hints were sprinkled throughout the space—like in the lush artwork by Paule Marrot or the patterned fabric on the settee’s pillows—while a circular dining table allows every guest to be part of the conversation. “I used a slightly more modern set of chairs with a contrast cream finish on all of the legs so it’s not too stuffy,” says Holt.

Continuing with a more modern approach, the kitchen serves fresh, streamlined style without feeling too stark. Hardworking elements, including the refrigerator and pantry, are camouflaged behind panels while fluted detailing on the cabinetry and island elevates the fashionable, yet functional space. 

Indeed, form and function were top of mind for Holt throughout the home, including in the boys’ bedrooms. The designer met with each one individually to brainstorm animated yet polished spaces they could call their own. “I wanted to make sure their rooms were a little more grown-up and not so juvenile,” says Holt. “Something that they could grow into.” 

As for the homeowners, the primary bedroom lends a serene spot for the parents to retreat to after a long day. “I wanted their space to be ethereal and feminine compared to its counterparts,” says Holt.

And in its entirety, the home’s finished result directly reflects the spirit of the family. “Throughout this process we have become great friends,” says Holt. “I was able to start the project with a clean palette, not having to work with past design implements which allowed me to fully execute every aspect of my plan.”

INTERIOR DESIGN Chris Holt, Holt Interiors, (404) 351-5682;
ARCHITECT McAlpine, (404) 501-9200;