It’s rare to find a home that boasts the work of two designers, much less one where the work has been successfully blended. One such example is this sophisticated Newnan, Georgia, farmhouse, which was first decorated by the late Joye Hirsch nearly a decade ago.
Recently, when the husband-and-wife owners decided that the time had come to refresh their home’s interiors, they enlisted the help of an equally talented designer, Stan Topol, who is also their neighbor. An admirer of Hirsch, Topol left much of her work, including the home’s interior finishes, intact, choosing instead to embellish the existing design.
“When a designer is good, you leave things,” says Topol. “I was lucky that someone talented had worked in this house before me.” Referring to his work here as “old-fashioned decorating,” Topol focused his efforts on selecting furniture and accessories that reflected his clients’ easygoing personalities. “Everything has to follow the way the homeowners are,” he says. “If they’re relaxed, everything has to flow the same way.”
This design philosophy is especially evident in the sizable living room, which Topol lavished with comfortable, intimate seating arrangements that allow for both easy conversation and television viewing. “I’m really sensitive about people sitting near each other and being able to talk,” says the designer. And because the couple’s grandchildren are frequent visitors, Topol considered their comfort, too, by giving them their own proper perches: pint-sized versions of a Windsor chair.
Like the children’s chairs, classic American pieces accent the home’s interiors, from provincial art to Nantucket baskets, which the designer admires for the “softness and gentleness” they bring to their surroundings. Perhaps unexpected, though hardly out of place, are more luxurious furnishings from the likes of Rose Tarlow and George Cameron Nash, which coexist alongside the traditional Americana. “I don’t think that because you’re living on a farm that you have to feel like you’re living on a farm,” Topol explains.
Indeed, it’s well-appointed comfort rather than rusticity that defines this farmhouse, which benefited from two designers’ expertise. Topol’s delight in enhancing Hirsch’s work was reaffirmed when the owners’ longtime housekeeper remarked, “You added all this furniture but made the room bigger.” Continuing Hirsch’s legacy, he says, was an opportunity to relish.
Stan Topol, Stan Topol & Associates. (404) 885-9889; stantopol.com.