Going Up

Using tailored furnishings and modern art, interior designer SUZANNE KASLER transforms a Buckhead penthouse into a warm and inviting pied-à-terre

A renowned designer of luxurious interiors across the globe, Suzanne Kasler knows how to quickly size up a space, a talent that Frank and Kathy Argenbright observed firsthand when she designed their Sea Island home. “I can’t say enough about how creative Suzanne is,” Kathy says, noting the designer’s long list of accomplishments, which includes authoring gorgeous design books, designing furniture collections and keeping in touch with former clients. “She’s a rare find.”

Naturally, the couple turned to the designer again to make over their two-level pied-à-terre in Buckhead, even asking her to tour the space before they made an offer. While the full-floor unit offered plenty of room and beautiful slatted maple ceilings, its dark wooden cabinetry and thick black moldings made it feel a bit severe, almost commercial. Kasler encouraged them to buy it anyway. “I could see that by making some simple changes, I could create the most beautiful environment,” Kasler says.

Adding a new wall in the front foyer, for example, creates a sense of enclosure and provides a place for a large abstract painting. A custom teal velvet-covered love seat punctuated with vibrant silk pillows likewise adds a splash of color to the newly painted white walls and millwork, a welcoming first impression.

The entrance hall leads into the formal living room, a bright and airy milieu furnished with matching sofas and a pair of clean-lined chairs, all covered in the same rustic white linen. In front of the steel-framed windows, a modern red leather bench offers additional seating without interfering with the treetop views. “The palette is all champagnes and neutrals with accents of gorgeous color,” Kasler says.

Indeed, a lacquered light blue accent wall creates an elegant backdrop for a fine art photograph by Massimo Vitali in the dining room. Above the table, a bespoke brass chandelier commands equal attention. “It’s like sculpture,” says Kasler, who encouraged her clients to check it out in person in New York City before they invested in the heirloom-quality piece.  

While the handsome open kitchen and family room required little work, Kasler brought in woven barstools and incorporated a built-in banquette covered in a warm gray leather alongside a steel table with a marble top. “I like mixing woven, natural materials with all the metal, marble and stone,” Kasler says. “That juxtaposition of texture is so interesting.”

Equally intriguing is how Kasler’s design for the penthouse has changed Frank and Kathy’s perspective on Atlanta, where they spend more time than ever, entertaining friends and family alike, often walking to buzzy nearby restaurants. Of course, the best part is coming back home. “Suzanne’s spaces feel clean-lined and open yet pretty and refreshing,” Kathy says. “This feels right.”

INTERIOR DESIGN Suzanne Kasler, Suzanne Kasler Interiors. (404) 355-1035; suzannekasler.com