Decorator Phoebe Howard’s work needs no introduction. With rooms so comfortable you’ll want to sit and stay awhile, Howard’s divinely welcoming spaces have become synonymous with modern Southern style.
It’s no wonder then that many clients, like the owners of this classic 1920s home, return to her time and again to capture some of the Mrs. Howard magic. Howard had worked with the couple on their previous homes in Florida and Virginia, and when a job opportunity led them to Atlanta, they reached out to her once again after purchasing an English Tudor home in one of the city’s most picturesque neighborhoods, Brookwood Hills.
“This neighborhood just oozes charm. It’s a place where you can make your way down any street and you think every home is cuter than the next,” says Howard.
While buying a property in this historic district usually involves a renovation (many homes date back to Brookwood Hills’ inception in 1922), the couple was so pleased with the previous homeowners’ thoughtful updates that Howard was able to focus solely on cosmetic changes. The first of which was freshening up the exterior by painting both the brick and trim white for a crisp and clean first impression.
For the interiors, Howard took a cue from several magazine pages the wife had filed away for inspiration. “The common thread among the images was a really pale turquoise color that we began to refer to as ‘duck egg,’” recalls Howard.
She wove the soft hue into the home’s tranquil design scheme, most notably in the dining room, where they “wanted to have a little fun,” says Howard. She enveloped the entire space in the soothing shade, beginning with Farrow & Ball’s whimsical lotus-inspired wallpaper and then applying the color to everything from the woodwork and curtains, down to the rug for a seamless look. “Instead of breaking up the space, we went full force and really saturated it with duck egg,” she explains. “This room proves that even a soft color palette can have impact.”
Howard opted for a more understated approach in personal spaces such as the family room and master bedroom, both of which highlight the layers of softness and serene femininity that have come to distinguish the designer’s work. Given her clients’ demanding work schedules, the rooms offer the couple a relaxing environment to decompress after long days. “Since I’ve had the privilege of working with them before, they trusted that I knew what would work for their lifestyle, which in turn really pushed me to create something beautiful and personal,” says Howard.
“The home was adorable to begin with as it had the charm of an old house, but now with a lighter palette and modern touches, it also feels very fresh,” she adds. “I knew what the end result could be, and them trusting that vision gave me a great goal to work towards. I feel really lucky to have them as clients.”
INTERIOR DESIGN Phoebe Howard, Mrs. Howard and Max & Company, (404) 816-3830; phoebehoward.net