Pushing the Envelope

Inside and outside blend together seamlessly in this modernist brick and limestone Buckhead dwelling 

Clad with brick and limestone with a series of pitched roofs, the sprawling three-level Buckhead abode by Harrison Design and Intown Builders Group speaks the same language as the more traditional neighboring homes. The inside, however, boasts the sort of seamless flow between inside and out that’s more commonly associated with the West Coast. “These clients were willing to push the envelope,” says architect John Albanese. “I appreciated having the opportunity to bend the rules.”

Measuring more than 5 feet wide by 12 feet high, the front door pivots open to a lofty reception area with 24-foot-high coffered ceilings, stone walls and floor-to-ceiling glass overlooking a rear courtyard with an infinity pool and retaining wall planters by King Landscaping. “It’s a mechanism to get the pool into the house,” says Albanese. A bridge over the cavernous space offers a bird’s-eye view of the courtyard, as well as skyline views through the high windows flanking the front door.

Inspired by the jaw-dropping setting, interior designer Tish Mills Kirk eschewed hardwood flooring in favor of Belgian blue stone tile accented by sculptural, jewel-tone furnishings, patterned wallcoverings and bespoke light fixtures. “I love a project like this that wakes me up at night and inspires me to create,” she says.

While dual fireplaces anchor areas for conversation and dining in the grand foyer, the owners can more often be found in a cocoonlike space dubbed “the club,” where a textural horsehair wallcovering plays off the floor-to-ceiling black cabinetry and gold-painted ceiling. A showstopping brass and black marble backsplash heightens the sense of drama. “Just saying the words gold or platinum elicits emotion,” says Mills Kirk, pointing to the metallic hues throughout.

Clad with brass, for example, the kitchen island coordinates with the leaf inlay in the white marble backsplash. It’s a dramatic focal point for the adjacent keeping room, which is flooded with natural light thanks to the 40-foot-long skylight that Mills Kirk suggested, and Albanese wholeheartedly supported. “It’s their own private sanctuary,” he says.

Natural light likewise fills the primary suite, which Mills Kirk outfitted with a tall leather-paneled headboard that takes advantage of the high, pitched ceiling. A supporting role in the primary suite, color takes center stage in an adjacent seating area that’s rendered in peacock blue hues punctuated by an ombré mustard in the sofa fabric.

Pops of color likewise accent the geometric shelving in one of the guest suites. And a vibrant fabric wallcovering creates an aha moment in a powder room with a floating painted vanity and a full-height brass backsplash with an Art Deco motif. Immersed in such saturated colors, Mills Kirk even started dressing in more vibrant hues during the project.

“I tend to obsess about my projects, and this one is special,” she adds. “[The exterior] connects to the city, but once you walk up to the front door, really special things start happening.”

INTERIOR DESIGN Tish Mills Kirk, Tish Mills Interiors, (404) 814-3838; harmoniousliving.net ARCHITECT Harrison Design, (404) 365-7760; harrisondesign.com BUILDER Intown Builders, (770) 605-5922; intownbuildersgroup.com LANDSCAPE DESIGN King Landscaping, (678) 262-7117; kinglandscapingatl.com