New Roots

A lively mix of antiques and contemporary furnishings gives this Neel Reid Georgian Revival residence reimagined by HEATHER DEWBERRY and JONATHAN LACROSSE a new lease on life

When a cosmopolitan couple based in New York City decided to return to their native Atlanta to raise their children, they likewise embraced the city’s history, acquiring a nearly 100-year-old Georgian Revival in Buckhead by famed architect Neel Reid.

Seeking to put their own stamp on the home while honoring its heritage, the couple embarked on an extensive renovation with architect Jonathan LaCrosse and interior designer Heather Dewberry. “The home felt a little dark, so our goal was to lighten and brighten it throughout,” explains Dewberry.

To that end, LaCrosse added French doors and new windows in key areas, flooding the interior with natural daylight. And Dewberry selected an ethereal palette that accentuates the original millwork while creating a serene backdrop for a lively mix of contemporary and antique furnishings. “[The wife] claimed to have ‘old-lady taste,’ which to us actually means being raised with great style,” says Dewberry.

In the formal living room, for example, antique bouillotte side tables flank a plush sofa underneath a 17th-century American rococo mirror. Taking the design in a more contemporary direction, a linear shagreen bench with a tufted seat divides the space into two distinct seating areas “much like you’d see in a New York apartment,” says Dewberry. “We wanted to take their years in New York City and translate that experience into their new setting.”

The mix can also be found in the first-floor mudroom of the newly created coach house, where a contemporary brass chandelier coexists easily with shiplap walls, colorful old oyster plates and an antique French bench. “Shiplap is very popular now, but it’s still traditional,” says LaCrosse. “I tried to get into the mind of the original architect.”

LaCrosse divided the formerly raw space above the garage into an airy family room, a bedroom and a bunk room. “It’s more like a suite in a boutique hotel,” says Dewberry, noting the family also makes use of the space for children’s sleepovers and to watch sporting events. “This couple is witty, fun and they entertain often, truly using all of the rooms in the house.”

Indeed, the owners are so thrilled with the outcome that they have asked both architect and interior designer to reunite for further renovations. “The design process was easy, they always chose our favorite options and we were on the same page,” explains Dewberry. “We all look forward to continuing to work together to bring this beauty even more into the 21st century.”

INTERIOR DESIGN Heather Dewberry, Huff-Dewberry, Inc., (404) 355-7600; ARCHITECT Jonathan LaCrosse, J. W. LaCrosse Architect, (404) 723-1844;