Architect D. Stanley Dixon and designer Beth Webb team up to craft an ideal outdoor escape for a Buckhead family
Creating another world right outside in our backyard is something many of us delighted in during childhood; whether we were fairies or soldiers, our imaginations turned the everyday into the extraordinary. For a family in Buckhead, a bit of that childhood magic is still at play. Just a stone’s throw from their home lies the ultimate grown-up escape—an outdoor pavilion with all the trimmings for relaxing or gathering.
“It’s truly a destination—a getaway on their own property,” says architect D. Stanley Dixon, who worked with landscape architect Richard Anderson on the project. Adds interior designer Beth Webb, “It’s a multifunctional space that’s comfortable but still very stylish.”
The architectural design took cues from the main residence, a 1920s classic Buckhead beauty, as well as Neel Reid’s 1918 Peachtree train station near the Brookwood Hills neighborhood. “It’s evocative of the Italianate style of architecture,” says Dixon, “with its rusticated brick corners, arched openings, extended bracketed overhangs and Doric columns.”
The design also includes a focal wall composed of native fieldstone with a fountain at its center. Dixon looked to noted English garden designer Gertrude Jekyll when articulating the wall. Jekyll, who created hundreds of gardens in the late 1800s and early 1900s, would be pleased but also certainly surprised at all the amenities in the pavilion itself—a television hidden behind a Dixon-designed mirror, a fireplace, and a refrigerator and ice maker housed in an eye-catching custom buffet.
When planning the decor, Webb knew that her client’s favorite color, orange, would be an essential part of the mix. “Orange really was the impetus for many of the design decisions,” says Webb, “and we wanted more transitional interiors, which the homeowner was embracing in the primary residence—nothing too fussy and always with an eye on comfort.”
While the furnishings and accessories are mostly shielded from the elements, Webb didn’t want to take any chances. The furniture, rugs, upholstery and pillows are outdoor-friendly but never give away their secret. Other choices were the same as those for an interior room—a dramatic overhead lantern, a pretty pair of lamps on the custom buffet and weighted floor lamps that resemble curving tree branches as a nod to the setting. The pavilion takes a page from childhood pursuits with its liveliness and charm, but it’s buttoned-up and functional enough for any grown-up adventure.