Classic Cool

A clean-lined, cozy home by designer Brian Watford and architect Yong Pak channels chic coastal sensibilities amid the bustle of Buckhead

While their new home would feature a Buckhead address, a couple with two young children knew they wanted their soon-to-be dream home to channel the chic, coastal design qualities of their favorite destinations, Alys Beach and the Hamptons.

 “They didn’t want a typical house you’d see in Buckhead with white painted brick,” explains interior designer Brian Watford. Instead the couple turned to Watford and architect Yong Pak to create a modern space with strong, yet edited architectural details, a trademark of Alys Beach, combined with the sophisticated breeziness that permeates homes in the Hamptons.

 “We had to keep asking ourselves, ‘How can we make it feel like you’re at the beach as much as possible, despite being right in the middle of Buckhead,’” muses Watford.

 The design team delivered on this idea with an airy, open-concept layout complete with 12-foot ceilings. Most rooms open onto the generous outdoor spaces that are tucked along the home’s unique L-shape structure overlooking a linear, Hamptons-style pool. While this makes entertaining a fun indoor-outdoor experience on the ground level, it also offers the wife a serene spot to relax on a custom outdoor hanging bed located on the second-floor master bedroom balcony.  

Watford knew materials would also play an important role in offering the illusion of a beachside oasis. The kitchen is wrapped in driftwood from floor to ceiling, and all of the inner workings are concealed behind flush cabinetry. “They didn’t want it to look like a kitchen, which is really reminiscent of an Alys Beach aesthetic,” says Watford. “It’s clean and minimal, but warm and bright.”

 While the home undoubtedly resonates with a modern coastal feel, Watford encouraged an appropriately moodier palette in more intimate spaces. The husband’s home office is enveloped in navy for a cocoonlike effect, and the dining room features a gray cloudlike motif wallcovering. But regardless of a room’s chosen color scheme, unique lighting was an instrumental design component. From the handblown glass pendant in the foyer to a trio of sculptural fixtures in the breakfast room, the accents become a work of art in the minimalist spaces. “Many people liken hardware as jewelry to a cabinet. Similarly, I think light fixtures are like jewelry to a room,” says Watford. “Generally, furniture is always going to look the same. For example, you can customize a sofa, but in the end, a sofa is a sofa. But there are so many possibilities with light fixtures and it lets you add something unique to the space that not everyone else is going to have.”

 It’s this commitment to thinking outside the box—from Watford and Pak to landscape architect Rick Anderson—that allows the couple and their children feel transported to the beach amid the bustle of daily life. “It’s beyond what they thought it was going to be,” says Watford. “When I saw the plans of this house for the first time, I was ecstatic. This was a really good one that came along, and I’m really proud to be a part of bringing it to life.”


INTERIOR DESIGN Brian Watford, Brian Watford Interiors, (404) 409-5532;
ARCHITECT Yong Pak, Pak Heydt & Associates, (404) 231-3195;
BUILDER Mike Hammersmith, Mike Hammersmith Inc., (404) 351-5227;
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT Rick Anderson, Richard Anderson Landscape Architect, (404) 892-1788;