Classic & Current
Interior designer Courtney Giles awakens a historic Ansley Park home with her signature blend of color, print and shine.
With a homeowner’s illustrative requests and affection for stylish drama in mind, Atlanta interior designer Courtney Giles was otherwise given carte blanche to transform a lovingly preserved 1911 home from classic to current for its young owners. Having upsized from a tiny bungalow to a four-bedroom house in Atlanta’s historic Ansley Park, the homeowners, together with Giles, approached the design process room by room, which allowed each space to inform the next. “All of the public spaces on the first floor share the same colors and feel,” says Giles, who pulled out her swatch book of grays, metallics and signature shine for the project.
“She wanted the dining room to look like the face of a ladies watch,” says Giles of her jewel-inspired mission. “I gave her metal tones, silver and gold, mother of pearl, diamonds and all.”
The first room Giles tackled was the dining room; she then built off of that room’s glimmering tones and level of formality in the study and living room, by taking its silver tones darker. The gray office, which moonlights as an entertaining hub, boasts a bit of an edge thanks to pops of yellow, Greek key-patterned valances and a cream-painted fireplace. Chinoiserie-style wallpaper envelops the pewter-filled living room, and was designed with the couple’s company in mind. “They weren’t worried about big, heavy upholstered furniture, but more of a pretty space in which to have cocktails and easy flow,” says Giles, who remedied the room’s tight layout with a multiseat furniture arrangement. “The drop-arm chaise is my favorite piece in the house,” she says. “It’s covered in mohair, which I thought was a little daring.”
The local designer has a fondness for including unexpected twists in the rooms she creates, like the lustrous silver, red and black floral wallpaper she hung in the powder room. “It’s kind of dramatic in that small space, but it echoes the shine connection,” says Giles. Whimsical polka-dots on the upholstered banquettes presiding in the spacious foyer create a grand entrance and reaffirm pattern as one of the home’s leading design elements. Adept at symmetry, Giles counteracts each dramatic moment with a serene one. In the master suite, for instance, the homeowner requested an aqua-and-cream palette—cool tones that helped the small room live larger. Attached to a generous sun porch, the bedroom was kept minimal. “We installed a built-in window seat, small yet functional nightstands and an upholstered queen-size headboard,” says Giles, who completed the look with gilded accents. The neutral palette continues into the master bath and his-and-her closets, an expansion created by tearing out a spare bedroom. In the lavish bath, selections such as mother of pearl tile and a sparkling chandelier provided inspiration for a showstopping centerpiece: a nickel tub. The overall effect recalls a stylish bracelet to layer with that ladies watch of a dining room.
The heart of the historic house, of course, is the family room and kitchen, which combine the couple’s passion for color and art. The window-wrapped family room, overlooking the leafy backyard, is an airy space grounded by warm orange and brown hues. “The couple already owned a big horse painting—one of them is from Kentucky—which we displayed on an easel, so that’s where the pops of orange came from,” says Giles of the bright hue that adds a youthful vibe to the space. Elsewhere, eye-catching contemporary art helps establish a fine balance between traditional and modern interiors. “The house is pretty classic with a twist…and not stuffy at all,” she says.
INTERIOR DESIGN Courtney Giles, Courtney Giles Interiors (404) 846-6570 | courtneygiles.com