Striking a Balance

Designer Brian Watford puts a mid-century modern spin on a craftsman-style home.

Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles: This whole house is stunning, from start to finish. but did it originate as a whole-house undertaking? Or was it a “let’s just do one room” project that grew? Brian Watford: The challenge was unique for several reasons. This was my first client after starting my own business. I had a general understanding of the business side of this industry but it was now my responsibility to promote my business, to interview potential clients, to develop a fee structure for each project. All on top of creating beautiful, unique interiors! I was hired to do the whole house for this couple; they’re young and, at the time, were starting their family. They needed everything because they were still living with college furniture.

What were the goals set forth by the owners in terms of style, color and function? As we got involved in the design process, it became apparent that my personal style was very similar to theirs—streamlined with a mid-century modern edge. The rooms needed to be warm with an overall neutral palette and pops of color inviting you into each space. Obviously, the house needed to be very family-friendly. But it was equally important to them that we not sacrifice the integrity of the design because of the kids. A big challenge was to keep the kids’ toys from taking over every room of the house, which happens way too often. The
solution was to turn the study on the main level into the kids’ playroom. This is their space to play with their toys and watch movies and, at the end of the day, everything is put back in that room. This designated space allows the rest of the house to function best for the family’s needs.

It sounds like you struck a beautiful balance, which isn’t always easy. This was a dream job for me because my clients and I have very similar tastes, so balancing my aesthetic with the client’s was easy. They saw this as an investment and wanted good-quality pieces, and they were willing to pay for them. When I find pieces that are unbelievably beautiful—perfect for an interior I’m working on but pretty expensive—I always present the client with options of similar pieces that are less
expensive. That gives them an opportunity to be part of the decision process although they often, as with this job, purchase the original piece. My goal with any interior is to help my clients create a lifestyle that is timeless with modern sensibilities, and the best interpretation of their
personal style.

MAN OF DESIGN   Brian Watford’s Favorite Things

CAR: 1955 BMW 507
ARTIST: Cy Twombly
CHAIR: Klismos; it’s classic with modern sensibility
KITCHEN GADGET: Folder of take-out menus (I never cook)
COFFEE TABLE BOOK: Life and Work: Malene Birger’s Life in Pictures
COMFORT FOOD: I’m from the South, so I love homemade biscuits and sausage gravy
WALLPAPER: Phillip Jefferies Rivets: Silver on Elephant Manila Hemp
WATCH: Michael Kors Oversized PU Chronograph Watch in white or black
PAINT COLOR: Pratt & Lambert Half-Tone 29-25
COCKTAIL: Dewar’s Scotch and water, no ice
MOVIE: Schindler’s List
CHARITY: Jerusalem House
WAY TO ENTERTAIN: Small, intimate gatherings in an outdoor space
TV SHOW: Mad Men

 INTERIOR DESIGN Brian Watford, Brian Watford Interior Design, (404) 898-0660;