Original Grandeur

An eclectic mix of antiques, custom upholstered pieces and modern artwork live up to the ornate architecture in this massive renovation of a 1920s-era brick Georgian in Buckhead

Yearning for a home with more natural light and better circulation, a Buckhead couple considered selling the 1920s-era brick Georgian-style abode where they had raised their children. Until, that is, architects Andrew Cogar and David Van Groningen of Historical Concepts showed them how they could transform it into the sort of house they had long envisioned. “It feels fresher and lighter,” says Van Groningen. “[The wife] wanted to keep the spirit of the house but didn’t feel beholden to match everything exactly.”

Relocating the original staircase from the front foyer to an adjoining room, for example, created a larger, brighter, more welcoming entry that connects the front of the house with a newly added conservatory that overlooks the lush backyard. “We were channeling Dumbarton Oaks and classic Georgian orangeries,” says Cogar, pointing to the black-and-white marble flooring and series of arched metal doors across the back. “It’s a little bit more Regency-inspired and European.”

Involved from the beginning, interior designer Jackye Lanham incorporated an eclectic mix of furnishings that includes French, Chinese and English antiques, custom-designed upholstery and the husband’s growing collection of contemporary art. A subdued palette of neutrals “makes the antiques stand out and look more special,” says Lanham, noting that balancing proportions is also crucial. “[The furniture and antiques] feel as though they talk to each other, so your eye goes from one piece to another.”

Furnished salon-style with distinct seating areas, the conservatory includes antiques and upholstered pieces covered in silk, mohair, velvet, linen and leather in calming neutral shades. “It’s luxurious but in a quiet way,” she says, pointing to the textural integral plaster walls. “It’s like a painting. You add a little bit here and there with every stroke.”

When color is used, its impact is undeniable. The wife’s blue-and-white 19th-century Chinese export porcelain, for example, pops against the neutral-print grasscloth wallcovering in the formal dining room, contributing to a heady milieu that includes hand-painted chinoiserie doors, 19th-century gilt mirrors and classic antiques.

And painted in a soft, icy blue, the walls in the primary bedroom create a serene backdrop for a four-poster bed flanked by chinoiserie chests. 

After spending the duration of the project in a rented house, the owners were thrilled to return to the beloved family home, which is functioning just as they had hoped it would. “This project made their home what they’ve always wanted it to be, and they love it,” says Lanham. “Working with the owners and design team and seeing the end result is extremely rewarding.”

INTERIOR DESIGN Jackye Lanham, Jacquelynne P. Lanham Designs, Inc., (404) 364-0472; jackyelanham.com ARCHITECT Andrew Cogar, David VanGroningen and Connor Bingham of Historical Concepts, (678) 325-6665; historicalconcepts.com Builder The Garrett Group, Ltd., (770) 426-6402; garrettgroupatl.com Landscape design Planters, (404) 261-6002; plantersgarden.com Kitchen design Cynthia Ziegler L.L.C., (404) 313-1823; cynthiaziegler.com