Making History

Past and present collide in glorious fashion in this reimagination of a historic Ansley Park home

OFFERING BOTH INTIMATE AND GRAND spaces on a more than 1-acre lot in Ansley Park, the sprawling early-1900s shingle-style abode seemed like an ideal home for a cosmopolitan couple who envisioned themselves hosting fundraisers, galas and large social gatherings when it’s not just the two of them.

Although recently updated with a spacious rear addition by architect Linda MacArthur and Ladisic Fine Homes, the design-minded couple asked interior designers Mark Williams and Niki Papadopoulos to make it feel more like them. “We respected the home’s history and made the whole place live in a modern way,” says Williams.

Indeed, the designers laid new hardwood flooring to better match the updated flooring in the addition, sanding and refinishing the original trim to match. Some details weren’t so sacrosanct: Housed in a segmented arch niche, for example, Saint Laurent marble now clads the fireplace, replacing the more ornate wood detailing. “It adds a bit of grandeur,” says Williams.

That was also the idea in the dining room, where the original fireplace’s forest green tile inspired the color of the hand-painted wallcovering, which has gold ink veining—a nod to the Japanese concept of kintsugi, in which broken pottery is repaired with the still-visible element. “I wanted the walls to speak for themselves,” says Papadopoulos, “elegant, graphic and beautiful.” One of many brass accents, a multiglobe brass chandelier enhances the sense of drama.

Fabric-covered walls likewise establish the mood in the cozy first-floor office, fostering an enveloping milieu for a wall of handcrafted wooden shelving with an integrated desk. And a wood veneer wallcovering creates the illusion of depth in a pantry-turned-luxe bar outfitted with brass-framed glass shelving and cabinetry painted in the same blue hue as the island in the adjacent kitchen.

The palette flows into the family area, where a painterly blue-and-white rug anchors a low-slung Italian sectional and contemporary chairs around a fireplace with a contemporary mantel. “It reflects the blues in the pool and green from the landscaping,” says Papadopoulos.

Indeed, the space opens to a large terrace overlooking a square swimming pool with scalloped corners—one of several outdoor living areas by landscape architect John Howard, who selected a simple plant palette punctuated by strategically placed flowering trees that will add color and fragrance. “It’s a study in greens and textures that’s designed to bloom throughout the year,” says Howard.

While requiring an all-hands-on-deck approach, the designers completed the project in time for the homeowner’s graduation celebration. As requested, however, the place works just as well for quiet nights at home. “They and their pets use and enjoy it,” says Williams. “I’m proud of the fact that they’re so comfortable here.”

INTERIOR DESIGN Mark Williams and Niki Papadopoulos, Mark Williams Design, (678) 539-6886;  BUILDER Malone Construction Company, (404) 351-3991; LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT Howard Design Studio, (404) 876-7051;