The Next Best Thing

Harnessing the power of soft hues, treasured antiques and choice fabrics, Courtney Giles crafts a fresh attitude for empty-nesters eyeing sophisticated comfort for their next chapter

Moving into a new home presents the ideal opportunity to reevaluate your lifestyle and take into consideration what will bring you pleasure as you embrace a new chapter. Interior designer Courtney Giles’ long-term clients turned to her to aide in their transition to a smaller residence in Buckhead. “The children were grown, so they approached the interiors with a ‘grown-up’ thought process while still anticipating a crowd on occasion. The overall feel we aimed for was updated rooms that were not too formal, inviting but still elegant,” says Giles. 

Though keen on comfort, the couple was not willing to sacrifice sophistication, and also desired to include their prized antiques. “There was furniture that was kid-oriented in their prior home, so we left that behind and incorporated choice pieces in the new scheme,” says Giles. New upholstery on chairs and custom headboards infuses a sense of comfortable elegance, along with layered rugs throughout.

A move also allows a reconsideration of the primary palette that you once may have loved, but perhaps has lost its charms or feels a bit tired. In that regard, Giles introduced a calmer color approach as a departure from the more vibrant one in their former family home. “We pulled the colors from nature—a mix of blues and greens grounded in a creamy neutral base with accents in flax tone,” says Giles. To keep the color scheme fresh, Giles sprinkled pretty prints throughout by way of window treatments, pillows and accent pieces such as blue-and-white garden stools and a collection of porcelain. 

When you enter the front door of the home, the living room is front and center, so Giles wanted to make sure the message of relaxed and pretty was presented from the start. Generous upholstery in a calming blue and a subtle stripe beckons you to make yourself at home while a collection of hand-painted antique Italian crests draws your interest to the opposite wall. A striking Oushak rug layered over a larger neutral carpet brings the colors together, adding a welcoming softness. 

In the dining room, Giles chose a warm neutral grasscloth wallpaper to envelop the space and incorporated her client’s patinaed trumeau mirror as well as her dining room and chairs, adding fresh slipcovers. Existing draperies—fortuitously hung in a wonderful blue and white print—were given dressmaker details with the addition of a trim on the leading edge. The master bedroom presents the green side of the color story with a tufted upholstered headboard and accent prints along with antique French plaques over the bed. The entire house feels like an inviting fresh breeze has swept through the rooms and come in to stay. Mission accomplished.

INTERIOR DESIGN Courtney Giles, Courtney Giles Interiors, LLC. (404) 791-3404; ARCHITECT Keith Summerour, Summerour Architects. (404) 603-8585;