Going Up

After their youngest son left for college, a fashionable Atlanta couple traded their single-family home for an 18th-floor apartment in a luxurious Buckhead high-rise

Turning the page on a new chapter can be thrilling, and so it was for an urbane couple who traded their traditional single-family home for a far more modern dwelling on the 18th floor of The Charles, a high-rise condominium in the heart of Buckhead.

Eager to start a new chapter, the empty nesters sold nearly all their furnishings and hired designer Courtney Giles Decker to create a whole new milieu. “It’s a lot of fun to start from scratch,” says Giles Decker. “We took them in a totally different direction.”

Rendered in a palette of neutral hues accented with pops of blue, the space is a warm, sophisticated retreat that emphasizes both the expansive urban vistas and the couple’s collection of art. 

In the entry, for example, a colorful abstract painting by local artist Leslie Irvine coordinates well with the tufted blue velvet bench underneath it. And the walls in the nearby study are covered in a dark blue grasscloth, creating a relaxing backdrop for a camel-colored corduroy sofa and a cocktail table with a faux ostrich-skin finish. “All the texture makes it feel a little cozier,” explains Giles Decker. 

Cozy also describes the open living room, where matching velvet sofas and a pair of swivel chairs covered in a nubby wool fabric create a spot to enjoy the fireplace. Custom black metal flowers surround the firebox, adding a touch of whimsy. “They wanted a little edge,” says Giles Decker.

Indeed, while the open kitchen’s perimeter cabinetry is contemporary in form, its visible wood grain juxtaposes the lacquered base of the gleaming white quartz waterfall-style island. 

The mix also characterizes the master suite, which is furnished with a mohair-covered headboard flanked by painted side tables underneath a tiered rock crystal chandelier. “It has some bling but with an earthy texture,” says Giles Decker. “Dressy but not flashy.”

There’s a bit of flash, however, in the guest bathroom, its floral wallcovering providing a soft contrast to the vanity’s visible wood grain and sleek surfaces. “It’s a fresh take on a classic pattern,” says Giles Decker, noting it’s one of her favorites. 

Because it was under construction during the design process, Decker kept everything in her own warehouse as it arrived, furnishing the space just days before her clients moved in and unveiling the design in a grand reveal. Needless to say, they were overjoyed with the result.

“It fits their personality—cool and contemporary but warm and inviting,” says Giles Decker. “I think we balanced it very well.”

INTERIOR DESIGN Courtney Giles Decker, Courtney Giles Interiors, (404) 791-3404; courtneygiles.com