Bon Maison

A heady mix of artwork, strong color and contemporary French style elevates this renovated 1940s-era home in Buckhead

Rather than jump right into a massive renovation, the new owners of a 1940s-era French Provincial-style Buckhead residence settled in for a couple of years while they envisioned the changes they might want to make. While they appreciated the gracious architecture, they soon realized that the interior floor plan didn’t quite meet their needs.

Ultimately, they hired interior designer Anna Booth to craft a space that better reflected them. She immediately took note of their extensive art collection, existing heirloom furnishings and love of color. “That was a great springboard,” she says.

Embarking on a down-to-the-studs renovation, Booth and her team reworked the floor plan with the clients in pursuit of a better flow and redesigned the cabinetry and moldings throughout the interior. The home’s mansard roof and traditional architectural details inspired many of their decisions.

Reclaimed French oak flooring laid in a herringbone pattern, for example, fosters an old-world charm in the formal dining room, which is furnished with an antique table and painted chairs that harken back to a late 19th-century French design. Overhead, the neutral-toned lacquered ceiling reflects the abundant natural light that streams in.

Another example can be found in the powder room, where a quintessentially French floral wallcovering inspired by an 18th century antique chinoiserie screen is a lush backdrop for a custom black marble vanity sink and vintage mirror. “It brings a completely unexpected mood,” she says. That sentiment holds true for the new laundry room’s walls, which are covered in a joyful lemon-tree pattern that plays off the light green cabinetry.

Dark wall colors have also been employed to foster a sense of drama and intimacy. The deep teal walls and built-in bookshelves in the library create a rich backdrop for a game table surrounded by velvet-covered chairs. And dark blue walls add a moment of drama in a cozy bar between the breakfast room and the formal living room. “It’s moody and a bit more masculine than the rest of the home,” says Booth.

The main living areas, by contrast, are rendered in a pleasing array of neutral hues punctuated by pops of color inspired by the artwork. New floor-to-ceiling windows enhance the sense of airiness in the formal living room, which includes plush furnishings, a game table and chairs and an antique console that has been passed down through the generations. “The juxtaposition of something old and something new feels poetic—and very French,” she says.

 The mix can also be found in the primary bathroom suites, which were relocated in the renovation to optimize the flow of the primary suite. In the wife’s bathroom, an antique French table and a vintage painting coexist easily with the classic white cabinetry and a spa-like soaker tub. Meanwhile, a handsome fluted vanity accented with quartzite countertops creates a more contemporary, masculine milieu in the husband’s bathroom.

On site almost every day during the nearly two-year renovation, the homeowners felt delighted as Booth’s design came together. “It feels like the clients, so our work remained honest,” she says. “That’s always our goal.”

INTERIOR DESIGN Anna Booth, Anna Booth Interiors, (404) 944-0473; LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT Bill Caldwell, BCLA Design, LLC; BUILDER Paces Builder Group, (404) 698-3898;