Suite Addition

The need for more closet space was all the excuse these homeowners needed to create a glamorous new master bedroom

If there’s one thing Chad Holman and Keith Traxler’s home in Buckhead had no shortage of when they purchased it, it was character. The home was originally designed and built by an architect in 1949 as his own home, and it still retained much of its traditional and mid-century design features when Holman and Traxler moved in.

But there was something the home certainly was missing: closet space. “We were fortunate because the house had three bedrooms and they all had their own baths,” explains Holman, vice president and general manager at Jim Thompson Silk Fabric. “But the closets were all very small.”

After discussing the dilemma with an architect friend, Holman and Traxler realized it made the most sense to add on a master suite that would include a bedroom with fireplace, modern bath, new entry hall and staircase and not one, but two closets. “We wanted this addition to change the way we live in the house,” Holman says. “But what was most important to us was staying true to the original architecture.”

And they took painstaking measures to do just that. All of the new doors are custom-made copies of the home’s original doors, and the molding was created to match the molding in the existing living room and study that connect to the new bedroom. “We even bought vintage hardware to match the original,” Holman says. “The last thing we wanted was for this [addition] to feel out of date in 10 years. We wanted it to look like it was originally part of the home.”

In keeping with some of the home’s mid-century design features, Holman selected a classic chocolate brown for the walls and trim that is complemented by a palette of soft blues on the love seat and the luxurious bedspread. Over the fireplace he hung an enormous mirror that reaches from the mantel all the way to the crown molding.

But other design touches give the bedroom a truly glamorous quality, including a very dramatic headboard. “It’s a screen from the ’50s or ’60s that I purchased from a consignment shop,” Holman explains. “It’s almost 9 feet tall and I’ve never had the right place to use it as a screen, so we decided to hang it and use it as a headboard instead.”

The new bath is equally luxurious, and includes a simple soaker tub framed in black granite, plus a pair of black sinks that flank the room’s most striking element: a root cut walnut bachelor’s chest. “Originally we designed built-in cabinets for the space, but then saw this piece and loved it,” Holman explains. “It functions perfectly for the room.”

Another unusual element in the bath is the custom-designed granite floor. The black and white granite tiles are all cut on the diagonal to create a herringbone pattern. “I’d always wanted to re-create a floor I’d seen in a home designed by architect David Adler and this was my chance, so I did it,” Holman says.

But of course the entire reason for this renovation was to increase closet space, and they did. Holman designed the suite to have two closets connected by a hallway. Both spaces have ample drawers, shelves and hanging space to accommodate everything, right down to their shoes, handkerchiefs and tie tacks. “I have been a neat freak my entire life,” Holman says. “I’m very organized, and this new space is completely functional. Everything now has its place and we love it.”