Exotic Influence

Shayelyn Woodbery’s modern take on Moroccan design yields a home steeped in worldly charm.

This beautifully appointed family home on a quiet Atlanta street didn’t start out as Shayelyn Woodbery’s dream home. The turnkey house was being built as a business project between Shayelyn, an interior designer, and her husband, David, a developer and founder of The Woodbery Group. Eventually overcome by the charms of the neighborhood and the lot’s lush one-acre setting, the couple decided midconstruction to turn the house into a personalized home for their family of four.

Now tasked with creating a more meaningful space, Shayelyn knew just where to look for ideas. Having recently traveled to Morocco for her and David’s wedding anniversary, she began to pore over photos from their visit to the exotic destination. “I was really moved on the trip, almost in a spiritual manner,” she recalls. “People often associate Morocco with vibrant, punchy color, but I was more taken by all the ancestral patterns. There’s a wonderful simplicity to them.”

Pulling from this inspiration, Shayelyn incorporated layers of pattern in each room, from a graphic spades fabric in her daughter’s bedroom to the geometric lace-patterned tile in the master bath. In the family room, custom cabinet panels are accented with traditional eight-pointed Moroccan stars. The designer also took a cue from the region’s architecture, adding radius corners to the tops of the entryways. Originally intended to be square, the archways now add to the home’s worldly sophistication.

In Shayelyn’s interpretation of Moroccan design, she used a pared-down palette of light grays, soft whites, camels and golds, effectively allowing the patterns to take the spotlight. “I’ve always been drawn to neutral colors,” says the designer. “To me, intense color can be distracting, whereas soft and simple colors create a sense of calm while allowing a room’s more interesting elements to shine.”

However, Shayelyn certainly wasn’t afraid to play up the drama of bolder color when appropriate. To augment the dining room’s small and intimate proportions, she selected a deep, rich gray for the walls that was custom matched to the Jim Thompson drapery fabric, resulting in a cozy, cocoonlike effect. Similarly, a dusky agate-inspired Kelly Wearstler fabric repeated throughout David’s home office makes for an ultra-handsome space.

“I wanted this home to have a vibe of elegance with a little sexy,” says Shayelyn. “We’ve moved a lot, and people often ask me if all of our homes have looked the same, but my style continues to evolve as I get older. I’m now in my mid-40s, and this home is a reflection of that.

“But I think I go through a style revival every seven years. Plus, my husband is a developer,” she teases, leaving the door open for another dream home in the future.

INTERIOR DESIGN Shayelyn Woodbery, Shayelyn Woodbery Interiors, LLC. shayelyn.com.