Time-Honed Treasure

Amy Morris and architect Greg Palmer deliver a home infused with quiet elegance.

When Stefanie and Jim Ellner’s family began to outgrow their ranch-style home on a prime Buckhead plot of land, they had a decision to make—renovate (again) or rebuild? “Ultimately, they concluded that their needs would be best served by tearing down their home and building a new one from scratch on their lot,” recounts Harrison Design architect Greg Palmer, who also oversaw the original renovations.
Once again at the helm, Palmer went to work designing an airy home that fulfilled the homeowners’ desire for large, open rooms with an abundance of natural light. From the exterior, it’s impossible to tell that beyond the front doors lies a spacious home with tall, striking ceilings—and that was exactly to plan. “The home’s roofing and massing was purposefully kept low-profile so that it appears approachable from the street and is respectful of the scale of the surrounding neighbors,” says Palmer.
As their dream home began to take shape, the Ellners reached out to interior designer Amy Morris to complete their vision of a casual yet graceful home fit for both dinner parties and quiet family nights. “They were seeking something warm and inviting since they entertain quite often, but comfort was also a priority. They wanted to be able to put their feet up and relax in any room of the home,” Morris says.
She achieved this with a combination of sophisticated furnishings, rich yet durable fabrics and a serene color palette, a formula thoroughly evident in the great room. “This space is very important because it is directly off the front entry of the home, so everything, from the colors to the textures to the furniture, is an introduction to the casual elegance of the house,” explains the designer. Indeed, layers of intriguing details and statement light fixtures offer guests a taste of the luxurious details to come.
Perhaps the most important element Morris carried throughout the home was a clean and crisp color scheme. Maintaining an all-white palette in the majority of the rooms allowed Palmer’s architectural designs—such as the foyer’s groin vault ceiling—to shine. To keep each space from falling flat, Morris introduced a range of earthy tones through upholstery and accessories. She turned to design houses such as Great Plains, de Le Cuona, Kerry Joyce, Rose Tarlow and Rogers & Goffigon to locate choice fabric colors. “Not all fabric lines have the depth and array of color that these do,” she advises.
It’s this steadfast attention to detail from all three parties—Morris, Palmer and the Ellners—that ultimately infused this residence with character inside and out. “This project was unique in that the vision of the architect, the homeowners and myself was seamless,” says Morris. “Everything came together perfectly.”