Carter Kay interiors and Pak Heydt & Associates deliver an elegant living-level renovation for a couple set on creating a light-filled open floor plan.

When a pair of native Atlantans found their way back South after several moves across the Northeast, they set out to make their newly purchased Buckhead house a home with the help of interior designers Carter Kay and Nancy Hooff. Before making any cosmetic changes, Kay suggested bringing architect Yong Pak on board to remedy the unflattering, builder-plan layout. Pak completely overhauled the first floor and presented the homeowners with an open-concept living level primed for Kay’s deft touch.
Although the kitchen, dining room and living room are now all open to one another, creative coffered ceiling configurations delineate each zone, creating intimate pockets within the larger space. However, Kay chose to paint the entire living level–millwork included–a single color for a sense of continuity. “Painting everything one color tied together the fairly distinctive areas. It also helps the space feel bigger,” she says.
It’s special yet subtle details like these that infuse the revamped living level with personality. In the kitchen, the cabinet doors above the refrigeration unit follow the same division of the fridge and freezer for a unique look, while the countertop’s elegant custom edge provides an intriguing counterpoint to the casual Shaker-style cabinetry. In the living room, nothing was happenstance when it came to the furnishings–they were all part of Kay’s master plan. “We placed a beautiful but somewhat busy fabric in the foreground that leads you back to a lighter and airier seating area just in front of the windows, so you’re able to enjoy views of the lovely backyard without distraction,” she explains.
But according to Kay, the singular element that makes this renovation such a standout is the one-of-a-kind Walker Zanger marble kitchen countertop. “Once we found that stone, we immediately knew what design direction we were going to take,” says Kay. “So my advice: Before getting ready to do a major renovation, find one thing that you just love and really make it be the star.”
RESOURCES INTERIOR DESIGN Carter Kay and Nancy Hooff, Carter Kay Interiors ARCHITECTURE Yong Pak, Pak Heydt & Associates GENERAL CONTRACTOR Andrew McCullough, UMC Renovations CABINETRY John Gorrell, Gorrell Woodworking COUNTERTOP AND BACKSPLASH Walker Zanger; fabricated by James L. Stack, Inc. KITCHEN HARDWARE Matthew Quinn Collection COUNTER STOOLS Palecek DINING TABLE AND CHAIRS Provenance Antiques LIVING ROOM DRAPERY Custom hardware and fabrication by Barter & Galambos SOFA AND LOVE SEAT Bungalow Classic ACCENT SEAT Peachtree Battle Antiques & Interiors COFFEE TABLES Arteriors LAMPS Bungalow Classic PILLOWS Terry and Co.