The French Connection

French antiques commingle with contemporary artwork and current accessories in this residence by interior designer Courtney Giles

“The mix of old and new makes this home feel younger, hipper and more current,” interior designer Courtney Giles explains of the stucco-clad, French-inspired manse in Buckhead that she decorated for empty nesters with a large collection of antiques gathered through the decades. 

A runner with an animal print, for example, accents the serpentine open stairway in the front foyer, perfectly balancing the reclaimed stone flooring and intricate antique chest. A vibrant abstract painting also strikes a more modern note, establishing the palette of aqua, blue and blush tones that can be found throughout the interior. “The foyer is very clean and crisp, and that’s how the rest of the house feels,” Giles says.

It faces the formal living room, a light-filled space with a pair of striking black metal-and-glass doors that lead out to the backyard patio. In between them, a contemporary painting over an antique black marble fireplace mantel creates a powerful focal point for a sofa, antique French chairs and a curvaceous upholstered chair with a scalloped skirt. “It shimmers,” Giles says, referring to the metallic stripe in the fabric.

A large abstract painting likewise commands attention in the elegant formal dining room, where an antique chandelier illuminates a glass-topped pedestal table and chairs atop a traditional wool rug. There’s a more casual eating area in the adjacent kitchen, which has traditional white cabinetry and Imperial Danby marble counters. Along the far wall, a custom plaster hood on a floor-to-ceiling marble backsplash gives the space “a modern edge,” Giles says. 

Lacquering the paneled walls in blue does the same for the husband’s den. Giles took the hue directly from a piece of contemporary art, which she reframed and placed above a plush mohair-covered sofa flanked by a pair of skirted chairs covered in a handsome plaid fabric—an ideal spot to watch football with the grandchildren.

The bedrooms, by contrast, feel softer, more feminine. In one of the guest suites, patterned wall-to-wall carpeting and complementary draperies pay homage to the wife’s blue-and-white pottery collection. And in the master bedroom, light pink walls and light carpeting create a soft and serene backdrop for a blend of new and antique furnishings. “This color reflects really beautifully on everyone that walks in the room,” Giles says. 

Completed over the course of three years, the house is exactly what the owners envisioned, an elegant spot to entertain yet comfortable and family friendly. “This has been a dream project,” Giles says. “We’ve created a space that they are happy and proud of, and that’s the best feeling.”


INTERIOR DESIGN Courtney Giles, Courtney Giles Interiors. (404) 791-3404; ARCHITECTURE Duane Stone, Duane Stone & Associates. (404) 325-4907 BUILDER Dallas Denny, Holland Renovation and Restoration (404) 557-9492;