Common Thread

For a 1930s Georgian that was last remodeled in the 1970s, Melanie Turner packs in the punch by leaning into both eras

Limitations often create opportunities, and Melanie Turner’s renovation of a 1930s-era Georgian in Buckhead had its share, including a restricted time line, original floorplan and a relatively small footprint in which to work her design magic.

“Smaller projects like this are an enjoyable creative outlet,” Turner explains, noting that she was actually inspired by the dated decor, which had last been updated decades ago. “The clients are young, so they’re not going to remember the 70s. It just made sense.”

Embracing the living room’s cozy proportions, Turner had the walls, moldings and traditional fireplace mantel painted in an olive green hue, which is accented by mustard draperies, antique green and white pottery and vintage artwork. “It’s layered,” Turner explains.

On one side of the room, a sofa and chair covered in chocolate fabric with white piping surround a a tortoise cocktail table with custom painted screens. On the other, a green velvet sofa settee and a bergère-style chair re-covered in a leopard print fabric create a cozy spot for conversations in front of the window. “There’s nothing prettier than a green velvet sofa,” Turner says.

Pattern also plays a crucial role. The formal dining room’s painted mustard moldings, for example, accent a boisterous floral wallcovering. It’s one of several throughout, including a bright floral pattern on a black background in the powder room, and another floral on a yellow background in the guest bathroom. “Every space has its own personality, but there’s a common thread,” Turner says.

Things are more subdued in the kitchen, which nevertheless underwent one of the most dramatic transformations, its footprint expanded into the former study. A green-painted island with a white Calacatta Gold marble waterfall-style top accents the white perimeter cabinetry and coordinates with the vinyl that Turner selected for the new built-in banquette. In front of the window, a custom brass and glass shelving unit holds plates without obstructing the natural daylight.

“(The husband) is in the restaurant business, so to be able to have the plates right there makes it easy on ‘the chef’,” Turner says.

With the main renovation complete, the homeowners are slowly adding to the interior as they collect unique pieces that reflect them, and Turner praises them for their well-considered approach. “It’s nice to be able to fill in spaces as you live in the house,” she explains. “In a smaller space, each piece should be especially special.” 


INTERIOR DESIGN Melanie Turner, Melanie Turner Interiors, (404) 250-0134; ARCHITECT Kevin J. Maher, Place Maker Design, (404) 549-4499; CONTRACTOR Frank Wickstead, Jones Pierce, (404) 688-1050;