Country Classic

Nestled into the woods of the Chattahoochee Hill Country, the 2014 Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles’ Serenbe Designer Showhouse is a fresh and fashionable ode to its natural surroundings.

Melanie Millner // The Design Atelier // Living Room
Drawing from the hues of the surrounding wooded views, a custom painting by Serenbe’s Thomas Swanston serves as the crown jewel of the living room, whose vast dimensions are divided by extra-comfortable groups of upholstered seating. “This is a place for family and friends to gather, wrap up in a blanket with a good book and put up their feet after a long day,” Millner says. Family members may also enjoy activities at the puzzling table, where a Julie Frith mobile presides. Sage drapes, hung high, pair beautifully with a pair of appropriately scaled chandeliers that reduce the void of the vaulted ceiling. 
Lanah Jackson // Robert Brown Interior Design // Dining Room
“I was so taken by the possibilities of this space,” says Jackson, who invited sophistication, comfort and a sense of collectedness to this graphic black-and-white room. “The Hexagono console by Jean de Merry is a masterpiece in black lacquer, accentuating the minimalism of the home’s architecture.” A long table promotes communal dining, “with long meals that drift late into night,” she adds. “And the carved-stone Sumba heads give the room a bit of rustic intrigue.” Bracketing the scene are a dramatic rug and reclaimed barn wood chandelier from Old Modern Objects, which was hung low to ground the view. 
Yvonne McFadden // Y. Mcfadden LLC // Master Bedroom and Bath
Using a Keiko González oil painting as her inspiration, McFadden adopted a softened version of black and white—charcoal and natural linen—for the master suite. The resulting neutral palette enhances the natural surroundings viewed through the unusual triple French doors. McFadden infused the room with textural interplay, from the ceiling beams and Steve McKenzie’s pinstripe draperies (which have the effect of faux bois), to the Indo-Khotan rug that pulls the scheme together. A multipurpose space for sleeping, relaxing, working and creating, the suite includes an elegant pass-through to the bath, revealing a freestanding tub, an encaustic canvas and custom closets by Holland Interiors.
James Wheeler // j. wheeler designs // Foyer, Powder and Laundry
Despite their highbrow appearance, Wheeler’s three spaces embody remarkable approachability. The opulent, hand-leafed de Gournay wallpaper was his jumping-off point, “interrupting nature in a quiet way,” he says, and carrying the blues, lavenders and grays along a cohesive color story. Doubling as an entertaining space and mudroom, the narrow butler’s pantry boasts a custom bench by Bjork Studio. Covered in a Clay McLaurin textile, it snuggles in neatly, thanks to its slim profile. Other noteworthy design details are the laundry room wallcovering, made of recycled salago and mulberry fibers; original art by Susan Hable and Clay McLaurin; and a feathery, hand-forged brass chandelier. 
Janie Hirsch // J. Hirsch Interior Design // Kitchen
Hirsch’s take on the classic cooking space is “English eclectic” in feeling but offers plenty of color-focused updates. A rich taupe, white and gray palette extends from the gray linen–covered ivory Hickory Chair counter stools to the custom-finished crosscut island created with Kingdom Woodworks. The island offers plenty of surface area for gatherings, while a built-in wine rack indulges oenophilic interests—perhaps for future wine tastings featuring sheep’s milk cheeses from Serenbe’s own Many Fold Farms. Hirsch, who also selected all of the finishes for the Serenbe Designer Showhouse, hand-drew the handsome metal grillwork to coordinate with the trio of lanterns. 
Hope Vanzant // HMS Designs // Rear Porch
Located just outside the kitchen doors, Vanzant’s outdoor space takes full advantage of the community’s lush views. Subtlety was achieved with a weathered color palette, as seen in accents like driftwood-colored wicker, a greige outdoor rug and rugged birdhouse, several of which are antiques. A vertical garden designed by Norcross’s Lynda Bribach displays a lovely variety of plantings, including ferns and lots of herbs and peppers. “You can walk straight from the kitchen to the porch to access what you need to prepare a meal,” says Vanzant. “And to top it off, the aroma is amazing.”
Kerry Howard // KMH interiors // Entry and Stairhall
The entry sets the stage for the entire home, so Howard wanted to offer a warm welcome. A large, overdyed rug provides a plush layer underfoot, while a concave console, flanked by a pair of equine objects, allows ease of movement in this high-traffic space. Above it, an abstract painting by Jules Cozine is bordered by a row of blue-glass bottles. “Serenbe is a place where you could take a stroll on any given evening and come home with a bouquet of wildflowers,” Howard says. “The antique bottles work perfectly as vases for all that Queen Anne’s lace.” An understated, perfectly placed window in the stair hall allows pure light to flow. Its traditional Roman shade is repeated in the stairwell, where a quartet of custom-designed 48-inch square prints of mushroom caps stamped with gold paint mingles with a commanding Currey & Company chandelier featuring a fluid-like drape. 
Karen Ferguson // Harrison Design Associates // Guest Retreat & Bath
This sophisticated yet earthy guest retreat reflects subtle flecks of brown and gray “reminiscent of tree bark,” Ferguson says. Its creamy color brings an overall sense of airiness, with ivory grasscloth wallcovering adding depth. Relaxed and tactile, its raw textures are enhanced by the gauzy draperies and Expressionistic art, which is likewise loose and free-flowing. “Nothing overthought would have worked in this bedroom,” Ferguson adds. The side wings of the extra-wide Hickory Chair headboard—upholstered in flax linen—highlight the antique walnut chest of drawers from Robuck, while the gilt iron-and-glass chandelier above perfectly plays up the delicateness of the space. 
Julie Witzel // j witzel Interior Design // Gentleman’s Office
“I wanted this room to exude rustic elegance,” says Witzel, who immediately imagined the office as the favorite haunt of a sophisticated gentleman. An active, creative and sun-filled second-floor aerie, the room combines exotic artifacts with clean geometry, and feminine flourishes with handsome midcentury pieces—both authentic and inspired. “I think all of us are collectors on some level, and this room tells that story. I see the man who works here as well traveled, adventurous, curious and interested in the world,” Witzel says, noting the vintage camera collection from Martin Nash. Sumptuous draperies counter the room’s hard lines and ample sunlight.
Missy Madden & H. Todd Yeager // Bellwether Landscape Architects // Terrace Landscaping and Hardscaping
A relaxed country courtyard fashioned in true Cotswolds style, Madden and Yeager’s outdoor space was inspired by the soft hues of the surrounding white oaks, which set the tone for a sophisticated landscape and hardscape approach. A variety of textures, densities, scales and tones are represented in the plant palette, establishing balance between the house and woodland canopy. American boxwood is the foundational foliage, while emerald arborvitae, magnolia, limelight hydrangea, lamb’s ears, fig and ferns make prominent appearances, along with a parterre of dwarf mondo grass and blue star creeper. 
Niki Papadopoulos // Mark Williams Design Associates // Terrace Artist’s retreat
Nearly every painting in this cozy, terrace-level escape is a creation of Serenbe resident Gail Foster, a prolific artist known for her diversity and tactility. “I wanted to make the space look as though it evolved over time rather than in a matter of months,” Papadopoulos says. A painting by the designer’s father tops a stalwart Spanish drafting table, along with several tomes from Noah J. & Co. Smartly swathed in fabrics from Jim Thompson, the concealed closet wall serves as a striking backdrop for a midcentury-style chandelier by Grey Furniture, a contemporary iron easel and a round black-painted grasscloth table from Noah J. & Co.
Melanie Davis // Melanie Davis Design // Terrace Family Room and Office
A collaboration with Robuck, Davis’s design for the terrace-level living room is decidedly British in inspiration. Antique equestrian accoutrements capture this sentiment—with a splash of safari. “I imagined the owner to be a leisure seeker, a cross between Ralph Lauren and Robert Redford,” says the designer. “He would use this space to read and write letters.” A diamond theme is strong throughout the space, from antique trunks and desks to vintage rugs and Kuba cloth pillows. The room’s calling card is its signature iron fixture by artisan Eloise Pickard, who took her cues from horse-riding stirrups.
Edwin Rhinehart & Robert Pulliam // Rhinehart Pulliam & Co. // Architecture & Design
Atlanta-based Rhinehart and Pulliam designed not only this stately three-story home, but also the entire Swann Ridge community at Serenbe. Inspired in large part by the English Cotswolds, Swann Ridge exudes the feeling of an antiquated European town, thanks to lantern-lined pedestrian pathways and tiny cobblestone streets. This Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Serenbe Designer showhouse, built by John Bynum, holds one of the most prominent positions in its neighborhood. While the floor plan is modern (and modest), its exterior salutes authenticity with simple and graceful massing, enhanced by details such as a steep pitched roof, stained cypress windows, heavy timber rafters, custom mahogany doors, cedar shingles, lime-washed local brick and mortarless stacked Tennessee fieldstone that forms an iconic façade. Its position on the property affords the owners ample privacy, but because the walking bridge runs along the length of its public spaces, visitors can be spotted before they approach the drive—making it a community residence above all.