Interior Motives

Key architectural changes, bold pops of color and bespoke dressmaker details foster the comfortable yet sophisticated abode its new owner envisioned

With her children grown, a stylish Atlanta resident downsized into a charming English Tudor-style cottage in Tuxedo Park originally designed by Summerour Architects. Envisioning a home that combines sophistication and comfort, she commissioned architect Amanda Orr of Amanda Orr Architects and interior designer Whitney Ray of Wyeth Ray Interiors to redesign the interior. “I call her the queen of entertaining,” says Ray. “We created a space that was intimate and comfortable for her on a day-to-day basis and grand enough for the large parties she hosts.”

Enhancing the sense of flow was a key part of the design. Among her changes, Orr transformed a first-floor bedroom into a more spacious formal dining room, converted small his-and-her bathrooms into a spa-like primary bathroom and capped the formerly vaulted ceiling in the family room, allowing her to create a new bedroom above it. “I’ve admired this house for years, and helping transform it to meet our client’s specific needs was a rewarding process,” she says.

In contrast to the rhythm of red hues in the client’s former abode, Ray wove a green thread throughout the main rooms. An emerald velvet sofa, for example, creates a high-drama moment in the formal living room, which Ray rendered in a soothing palette of neutrals exemplified by an antiqued mirror-like wallcovering. The new bar that Orr and Ray designed for the wood-paneled study, by contrast, is rendered in a brighter green hue accented by a white marble countertop and backsplash. “It energized that space and gave it purpose,” says Orr.

And lacquered in a deep forest green, the reflective ceiling in the formal dining room coordinates perfectly with the drapery, upholstered dining chairs and lush, hand-painted wallcovering. “Working with a client who loved color was so fun and refreshing,” says Ray. “It put me on a different trajectory and really opened my eyes to so many different options.”

Burgundy draperies and an upholstered headboard enliven the graphic black and white fabric walls in the primary bedroom. Red patterned draperies likewise play off the upholstered ottoman and throw pillows in the keeping room. The kitchen, by contrast, is outfitted with a mix of white and ebony-stained cabinetry by Kingdom Woodworks and accented by veined quartzite countertops. “It’s an updated take on a classic black and white kitchen,” says Ray.

 The homeowner is thrilled with the home’s transformation, enjoying both quiet evenings at home and the posh soirées for which she is so well-known. “It walks the line between comfort and chic sophistication,” says Ray. “Most people that visit feel it’s a true reflection of her and her personality, which is the best compliment I could get.”

INTERIOR DESIGN Whitney Ray, Wyeth Ray Interiors, (404) 591-2324; ARCHITECT Amanda Orr, Amanda Orr Architects, (404) 550-7494; BUILDER The Berndsen Company, (404) 303-7272;