Master Class

Originally designed by Neel Reid, designer CAROLE WEAKS and architect YONG PAK bring their educated eye and good taste to a renovation of one of Atlanta’s most iconic houses

Celebrated Atlanta interior designer Carole Weaks and esteemed architect Yong Pak are no strangers to having worked on some of the city’s most admired residences over the years.

The two were recently brought together to collaborate on the restoration and renovation of their clients’ 1922 Neel Reid-designed Georgian Revival estate, a home that is considered a crown jewel along one of Buckhead’s most coveted streets. And although the home’s exterior evokes a distinct air of formality, it’s not stiff or stuffy; a gracious elegance exudes from its facade.

Working on the project required more than mere decoration from Weaks and Pak. Because the family’s lifestyle is nothing of the sort of family who may have lived there in the early 1900s, the two design professionals had to rethink much of the 100-year-old home to bring it up to 21st-century standards. Additionally, in its previous incarnation, many of the fixed items—from plumbing fixtures to lighting—were either ornate or heavily adorned (or both). Simplifying became Weaks’ mantra. “I was always trying to balance the formality with livability,” she says.

Outside, the home benefited from a beautiful landscape, particularly the pool area. However, the back of the residence felt completely disconnected to the exteriors, so Pak devised two new symmetrical additions—a new family room as well as a covered porch—that creates a U-shape that embraces the outdoors like never before. When embarking on renovating older homes, Pak always asks: What was the original design? What was the architect’s original intent? Answers to those questions often guide his design direction.

“You really can’t tell from the street that we did anything to the house from the front,” says Pak. “Typically, with historic homes, you try not to mess with the front if it’s done well. It’s usually the back of the house that we reorganize to create a modern lifestyle.”

Back inside, Weaks devised sumptuous interiors using a soft, hushed palette. “The wife loves blush, so we really stayed away from strong colors,” she says. Along with pinks, soft corals, blues and teals are interspersed throughout. The cornflower blue living room was inspired by a room that the couple saw in France, and Weaks was able to match it as closely as possible.

And with historic projects like this, Weaks strives to get the mix just right. “We were able to really bring a traditional feel to the house which was appropriate,” says Weaks, “but in a younger, fresher way.”

INTERIOR DESIGN Carole Weaks, C. Weaks Interiors, (404) 233-6040; ARCHITECT Yong Pak, Pak Heydt & Associates, (404) 231-3195; BUILDER & CONTRACTOR Ladisic Fine Homes, Inc., (404) 495-0708;