Leap of Faith
Layered like a living inspiration board, the home of two local style arbiters takes the holidays to new heights.
For interior designer Caryn Grossman and fine art photographer Chris Buxbaum, every day is a celebration. The highly aesthetic couple, set to wed on their rooftop in March, live in an awe-inspiring two-story loft at Atlanta’s historic Telephone Factory, where they’ve layered all the pretty of a Parisian pied-à-terre and all the edge of an L.A. gallery. Both owned retail stores in the past, so every corner reflects a stylist’s touch. Meaningful objects move about as often as color palettes shift, and Buxbaum—who loves to cook—serves meals by candlelight every night. The pair often dines “full-service,” gazing at art projected on a blank wall while listening to a custom playlist of tunes to suit the theme. So naturally, during the holidays, Buxbaum wanted to turn up the volume.
“In Jewish households, we’re not so much about decor as we are about inner faith,” explains Grossman, who was always content to celebrate Hanukkah with a simple menorah. But Buxbaum, who hails from London, has an affection for Christmas customs that’s intoxicating. He goes to great lengths to have traditional English Christmas crackers, roast beef and flamed plum pudding each holiday season.
All that festivity has rubbed off on Grossman. The couple has had a ball filling their loft with all manner of festive trinkets—even, in a nod to their retail days, adorning chairs with oversize ornaments purchased from a wholesale prop store. A laser-cut acrylic lace table is wrapped with Christmas lights, then accented with a miniature Christmas tree. Upon a painted French pharmacy cabinet—topped with a slab of marble—is Grossman’s holiday gift from Buxbaum, a 1960s Japanese pachinko machine. It’s met with modern lamps, disco balls and Tiffany-blue bottles sourced from their friend Tim Hobby’s former Space-Modern storehouse. A Kartell La Marie Chair, hand-stenciled by Atlanta artist John Tindel, sidles up to a folkloric wood-block collage by artist Lynn Whipple, welcoming whimsy. All mix masterfully with glamorous black Venetian mirrors, sparkling crystal vessels and a velveteen wing chair, while 14-foot-long silk curtains spill luxuriously into puddles on the concrete floor.
“I like things that have an edge to them. But I also really love the contrast between clean, modern design and salvaged pieces,” Grossman says. Treasures such as a turn-of-the-century carousel horse, a cherubic church pedestal and a 17th-century saint figure—all sourced from Love Train Antiques—guard the living space in all seasons of the year, serving as excellent foils to the graffiti partition by Atlanta artist Samuel Parker.
“The holidays provide us yet another layer for expression,” Grossman explains. “For both of us, home is really an irresistible canvas on which to play.”