Subtle changes can often yield great results—not every floor plan needs to be totally reconfigured or every wall torn down for a successful renovation. An English cottage in the heart of Buckhead displays this sentiment at every lovely turn.
Architect Yong Pak and interior designer Carter Kay inherited a project with innate charm that required some detailing here and there to suit the needs of the new owner. “We really wanted this house to be like a jewel box inside and out,” says Kay. “Changes were made to make the house more customized for our client and to set the stage for her antiques.” With that view, a box-shaped bay window added to the dining room creates the perfect alcove for a beloved sideboard and allows more natural light into the space. “We added other architectural elements such as plasterwork and a coved ceiling in the kitchen,” says Pak. “We created an arched opening in the living room to mirror an adjacent bookcase, added beams and designed a new mantel to make that space more distinctive.” Other changes included updating the master bath and dressing room and creating a chic vestibule from the living room to the kitchen with a hidden pantry and silver storage.
When it came to choices for the interiors, letting go was part of the process. Kay helped her client pare down possessions, and then find ideal locations for the remainder in the scheme of the new rooms. “All the rugs and most of the furniture came from her prior house, so it was more about placement and refreshing,” says Kay.
“We painted almost the entire house a neutral white which allows the furnishings, collectibles and beautiful Oriental rugs to be the stars in each room.” Wallpaper dresses the powder bath, a new French-style Ferrell Mittman sofa shines in the living room along with two bergère chairs re-covered in a muted leopard print. “The living room now gives off the air of old mid-century Paris,” says Kay.
One joyful task for both designer and client involved deciding where to place a vast collection of art and objects of all types. Meissen porcelain stands out on the dining room sideboard; a floral oil still life graces the updated mantel; and a grouping of smaller works of art adds elegance to the powder bath. All these special pieces come to life in the renovated house, drawing the eye around each room. The spaces feel curated and sophisticated, but with room to breathe. Every detail is considered—just like a made-to-measure haute couture gown—and accomplished what everyone hoped for.