A weekend retreat east of Atlanta offers respite for two of the Atlanta design community’s top tastemakers
As the owners of Design Galleria Kitchen and Bath Studio, Ric Parrish and Matthew Quinn are frequently on the go. Based in Atlanta, the company’s tentacles of influence spread throughout the U.S. and as far afield as Europe and Asia, with the firm’s interiors projects, as well as an assortment of luxury product lines, including a lauded decorative hardware collection.
While their primary residence, a serene penthouse overlooking Piedmont Park, offers a certain aura of urban tranquility, Parrish had been stealthily searching for a getaway property for six months or so when he proposed the idea to Quinn that a weekend retreat might be the perfect tonic to their hectic schedules. The requirements were clear: As both are avid skeet shooters, Parrish had set out looking for expansive properties with at least 20 acres within a short drive of Atlanta (ideally, less than an hour and a half away). The addition of lake or water access could cinch the deal.
At the second property they viewed, which would become their new getaway, the allure was so strong that Quinn immediately launched into creating new renderings for the existing rustic hunt cabin. And within just a few hours, his transformative vision for the place was complete: raising roofs, rearranging porches, adding a guest house—all the while giving the getaway an undeniable contemporary vigor. Shortly after, Parrish took the reigns to oversee the interior design; in the meantime, “every wall, wire and pipe on the inside of the house was replaced,” says Quinn. “We knew it would be easier to start from scratch.”
The two also got to work clearing brush and removing trees to open up the overgrown site and create new vistas to the private, spring-fed lake. The addition of a 30-foot-tall recirculating waterfall looks so authentic that longtime neighbors and first-time guests alike think it’s a natural phenomenon.
While the visual design of the property certainly wows, Quinn and Parrish note that it’s the feeling guests experience that is most lasting. They readily admit that the lack of cell service and internet can be an initial shock to the system for city folk. “People freak out,” Parrish admits with a laugh. But within a few hours, they find that guests have soon forgotten about their social media feeds, and find themselves participating in one of the property’s many activities: fishing, gathering around the firepit, paddleboarding or wandering the 112-acre site. What makes everyone so at ease? “Nothing is sacred,” says Parrish. “Dogs can come in with mud. It’s not precious.”
For these creatives and serial entrepreneurs, the need for this place of repose will become even more important later this year, as the two take on even more high-profile projects. Quinn and Parrish are co-owners of the new 45,000-square-foot Nashville Design Collective set to open in Tennessee this fall, and the publication of Quintessential Kitchens and Spaces, the follow-up volume to Quinn’s first book, will debut in September.
“I have always been able to relax as soon as I see the ocean,” says Quinn, who grew up in Key West, Florida. “This place has a similar effect; it absolutely relaxes me. Even mentally preparing to escape there, I feel my heartbeat start to slow and relax.”
Matthew Quinn and Ric Parrish, Design Galleria Kitchen and Bath Studio, (404) 261-0111; designgalleria.net