High Profile

Summerour Architects and Westbrook Interiors team up to create a new home with classic detailing on the footprint of a 1980s-era home in Buckhead

While located on a well-known thoroughfare in one of the city’s toniest zip codes, the French pavilion-style abode’s stucco walls conceal a lush private courtyard that belies its central location. 

That sense of quiet serenity inspired a kindhearted local couple to buy the 1980s-era property despite its dated vibe, ultimately commissioning architect Keith Summerour and interior designer Barbara Westbrook to help them make it their own. 

What started out as a down-to-the-studs renovation, however, turned into a total rebuild to address construction problems and severe water damage. 

Summerour used the opportunity to enhance the structure, modifying its design in small but impactful ways. To raise its profile and add a sense of sorely needed grandeur, he elongated the pitch of the mansard roof and clad the front and back exterior with ornate limestone. 

“Because the house is so close to the street, the scale of the building needs to be appropriate and elegant, not only in the materiality but also proportion,” says Summerour, noting it is styled after the weekend country homes Parisians enjoyed in the 17th and 18th centuries.

 That sense of sophistication also informs the oval-shaped, domed front foyer, which has plaster walls accented by limestone detailing and reclaimed parquet wood flooring laid in a custom elongated diamond pattern. 

Steps away is the gracious formal living room, a long salon-style space with two distinct seating areas that complement the room’s unique shape. 

On one side of the French doors to the courtyard, a rolled arm sofa and relaxed skirted chairs, all in white linen, surround an antique brass cocktail table in front of an elegant limestone fireplace mantel.  

“They wanted an elegant home that was refined yet inviting and warm,” says Westbrook, who worked on the project with Elizabeth Hanson. “We selected beautiful, rich materials and incorporated lots of texture.”

Indeed, reclaimed wood beams play off the limestone tile flooring, custom oak cabinetry and dark soapstone countertops in the kitchen. And a small mosaic tile backsplash adds subtle visual texture to the plaster hood, which has an integrated antique carved wooden decorative panel. “Every kitchen should have one or two moments that set it apart,” says Westbrook.

According to the designer, the home’s polished yet comfortable, tranquil milieu perfectly reflects her clients and the way they approached the project.

“They were the warmest, most genteel and generous couple you’d ever want to meet, and there was never a tense moment,” she says, recalling how the wife teared up when talking about the project. “They were so excited about this project and feel so blessed.”

INTERIOR DESIGN Barbara Westbrook and Elizabeth Hanson, Westbrook Interiors, (404) 355-9430; westbrookinteriors.com ARCHITECT Keith Summerour, Summerour Architects, (404) 603-8585; summerour.net LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT Planters, (404) 261-6002; plantersgarden.com