In this spellbinding 1920s-era abode updated by Melanie Turner Interiors, whimsy and bold style go hand in hand

Tantalizingly located down a long drive surrounded by thick groves of trees, there’s something magical about the 1920s-era brick-and-stone home that Melanie Turner decorated for a young family with three children, who returned to Atlanta after years in the Bay area. “It’s a fairytale setting, and the house was asking for an influx of life, vibrancy and joy,” she says. “We wanted it to feel collected and special.”

Inspired by the bosky surroundings, a hand-painted wallcovering featuring lush trees, colorful flowers and meaningful quotes and sayings creates an enchanting first impression in the front foyer—a whimsical backdrop for an oil painting of a bear dressed in formal attire. “Their son was born in California,” says Turner, noting the grizzly is the state’s official animal. “Humor is important in design.”

That sense of humor can also be found in the adjacent salon, where a brass giraffe sculpture stands next to a console table-turned-wet bar. Designed for entertaining, the space features several distinct seating areas, including a serpentine sofa and chairs next to the fireplace and a velvet sectional underneath a large, round antiqued mirror emblazoned with baby butterflies. “There’s a constant push and pull of traditional and modern,” explains Turner. 

An ornate green Murano glass chandelier, for example, illuminates a round wooden table surrounded by blue velvet chairs in the formal dining room, playing off the green velvet draperies. The palette is echoed in the more contemporary great room, where a green velvet sectional sofa wraps around a plush blue velvet ottoman. “A common design thread runs throughout and generates a sense of style,” says Turner.

By contrast, the owner’s bedroom and bathroom feature serene light blue and lavender hues punctuated by crimson accents. And the walls and ceiling in the nearby library are painted in a dark green-black hue juxtaposed by a light area rug and plush, curvaceous club chairs covered in sumptuous shearing. “They feel like sitting in an Ugg boot,” the designer says. “This room felt like it needed to be a place to cocoon.”

That was certainly the idea when the owners moved into their new abode in the summer of 2020—smack dab in the middle of a global pandemic. “It was the perfect time to hunker down, and it’s working out really well for them,” explains Turner, noting they trusted her to take their aesthetic to the next level. “This project was a lot of fun.”

INTERIOR DESIGN Melanie Turner, Melanie Turner Interiors, (404) 250-0134; melanieturnerinteriors.com
BUILDER Frank Wicksteadt