Fresh Appeal

A designer’s signature style transforms an aging Buckhead residence into a charming family home with modern French flair


If a single adjective could be used to describe Ginny and Paul Williams’ Buckhead home, it would be fresh. At the deft hand of long-time friend and designer Meridy King, a careful selection fabrics and furnishings came together for a light and airy aesthetic in this jewel box of a home. “It’s one of those houses that just feels refreshing as soon as you step in,” says King.

When renovations to her saltbox-style home began, Ginny expressed her desire for a French motif. But with four children and three dogs to accommodate, practical touches helped to give the classic style new appeal. King opted for durable, comfortable fabrics that would hold up to playful antics, but at the same time was careful never to compromise the home’s Parisian charm. “Everything looks really pretty,” she notes, “but just as importantly, everything can be washed.”

Each room in the home effortlessly flows to the next, thanks in large part to the soft and tranquil color scheme—including hues that King considers personal favorites. In fact, designer and client saw eye-to-eye on most everything. “Working with Ginny was a dream. I would show up with a car full of stuff and we would both just say, ‘great, great and great,'” laughs King.

“Every piece Meridy showed me for my home is something she said she would have chosen for her own home,” adds Ginny. “I could not have been happier!”

Contributing to the airy aesthetic throughout the house is beautiful lighting and an open layout. Natural light seeps into every corner of the home, explains King, giving the rich fabrics a bit of a glow.

As for the floor plan, the family room spills right into the breakfast room and kitchen, creating a trio of spaces that provides the family of six plenty of room to unwind after a hectic day of schooling and sports.
“I love everything about Meridy’s style and I’m delighted that this house is a reflection of that,” says Ginny. Indeed, this home resonates with Meridy King’s signature style—at once timeless and youthful.

ALL IN THE MIX “There’s such a yummy mix of pieces in this room!” says designer Meridy King. “There’s a pair of delicate French arm chairs, a nice comfy sofa and even metal benches with soft velvet tops. This space is really a great combination of old and new.”

IN THE NOW “In today’s traditional design, especially when it comes to a young couple, you have to add a contemporary element like this mirrored coffee table from Mrs. Howard.”

THINK PINK “The silk pillow adds a soft pop of color and complements the pink in the dining room, which is important because it’s openly visible across the hall. I love that every room in this house feels like the same space.”

MADE TO LAST “The striped Cowtan & Tout fabric really elongates the arm chairs, and is so durable that the children could probably play football on them and the fabric be perfectly unharmed!”

FREESTANDING “I love the idea of floating pieces, so instead of traditional bookshelves, I thought a pair of cabinets flanking the fireplace would look light and fresh.”

CURTAIN CALL “The ceilings aren’t that high, so I decided to drop the window treatments on the floor a bit and then take them as high as I could go to give the illusion of more height. Vertical lines are so important in shorter spaces.”

TINY TOUCHES “The couple has so many children that I wanted them to have a fun place to sit if there are too many people in the room. These small Chinese prayer benches are perfect for just that.”

WHIMSICAL WONDERLAND “MacKenzie-Childs’ designs are really creative. This adorable garden gate is made from forged wrought iron.”

LIGHT AND DARK “All the light colors in this kitchen really pop against the woods, like the thick black walnut countertop. It’s such a wonderful contrast.”

TIMELESS ART “Those are old clock hands from Scott Antique Market on the hood. They’re really unexpected, but fit in nicely with the space. They complement the rustic light fixture well.”

TUCKED AWAY “It’s kind of a thoroughfare past the center island so I made sure the barstools tucked completely under. They’re actually Ginny’s old barstools. We updated them with a little brown contrast cording.”

DRAMATIC ILLUSION “The cabinets go all the way up to the ceiling, to again give the perception of height. They’re not overwhelming, though, because the linen white paint keeps things light and pretty.”

PEACEFUL PAINTING “This lovely piece of art by Kenson is so calming. And the colors blend perfectly with the home’s palette.”

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST “Slipcovers on these ‘Mouton’ chairs hide what might be the ugliest fabric you’ve ever seen—orange and green stripes. Now they have a clean, chic look to them. But the biggest plus is that they can come right off and get washed, which is important when dining with four children.”

FRESH FINISH “The walls were treated with a lime wash that was shipped from California. They look like real plaster walls now. I was blown away that paint can look this good!”

CRYSTAL CLEAR “Big crystal balls run down the center of the table, picking up the beautiful crystal beads hanging from the rustic chandelier. They really add sparkle to the room.”

FINDING BALANCE “I’m always looking for balance. Since this house is so light and airy, I went a little darker on the window treatments to add an element of weight.”

ON TRACK “This door was a fabulous Angie Tyner [A. Tyner Antiques] find that is very old. It’s in its original state—not even the iron on it has been touched up. But it weighs a ton! So we built a track above it that allows it to easily slide back and forth like a barn door.”

NEW AGAIN “Some of the old chairs from their previous home were recovered to give them fresh appeal. This chair is covered with Norbar linen and accented with a Pierre Frey pillow.”

INNER PEACE “I wanted the bedroom to be the couple’s place of peace. It can get very hectic with four children, so creating a tranquil retreat was important. That was achieved through the soft, quiet color scheme and wonderful Italian matelassé bedding.”

iPURCHASE “Sometimes I joke that I’ve just decorated the whole house off my iPhone! It’s probably the greatest tool I’ve ever had. Ginny purchased this antique painted chest right off my phone.”

CROWNING JEWEL “The antique French canopy is paint and gilt on wood, with gorgeous linen cascading from it. It’s regal, but not over the top; it definitely fits in to the home’s French design.”

TRUST THY DESIGNER “Ginny put a lot of trust in me, so in turn it inspired me to want to make anything I was designing even better. I think that really shows here.”