Tristan Harstan and Jonathan Lacrosse turn a dreary Atlanta loft into a colorful bachelor pad

A grandmother's gift to her recently graduated grandson, this Atlanta loft is the perfect starter home for a young professional

College graduation is worth celebrating. For some, that means receiving a wristwatch, a leather technology accessory, or a set of new luggage. For others, the congratulatory gift is a bit larger and a pinch more permanent, which was the case for a recent Tristan Harstan client. A doting grandmother hired Harstan to find, renovate, and design a condo for her grandson. With Harstan’s help, she was able to pull off the ultimate ruse: a saturated, sophisticated bachelor pad for her grandson’s first home. “He thought I was working on her apartment, not his. It was an unusual situation and a lot of fun,”he says.

Working alongside architect Jonathan LaCrosse, Harstan directed the renovation of the two-bedroom, two-bathroom Buckhead loft, beginning by eliminating mechanical and industrial details and adding walls for privacy. Neutral fabrics and window coverings frame the large windows and emphasize the Buckhead views.

To add a happy hue throughout, Harstan chose mustard colors for pillows, lamps, and drapery. “I wanted the loft to feel warmer, which is one of the reasons I steered the artwork to yellow. It’s much more lively,” he says. A pair of poppy silkscreens by artist Donald Sultan inspired the home’s overall color palette. “What the client loved about Donald Sultan was that the artist uses industrial materials when creating his originals,” says Harstan. As a result, the limited edition pieces were a natural fit in the space.

The guest room levels up the bold color saturation and is draped with indigo wallpaper, which Harstan designed when he was the creative director at Peter Fasano. “The pattern originally came from a piece of mud cloth. I did the dry texture to give it a naturalistic feel, and then I blew it up,” he says. The geometric repeat is a surprising, interesting element that allows the room’s artwork, a framed University of Alabama football jersey, to shine. “Coach Saban handpicked the client to play football for the University of Alabama. This piece was his 2020 National Championship jersey from the game against Ohio State.” The view from the living room highlights the sentimental memorabilia.

The loft is the client’s first adult home, so Harstan chose furniture that could grow with him as he moves from one place to the next. “There’s nothing too specific, and there’s nothing disposable. It all has longevity. Nothing will look tired or dated; it can fit anywhere,” he says.

As for the surprise, Harstan says there was one piece of furniture that allowed reality to set in. “I did this beautiful zebra-finished bar cabinet from Bungalow Classic, because his grandmother told me he loves entertaining his football buddies and has a bourbon collection. [When he spotted his bottles], he turned around, looked at his grandmother, and asked, ‘Since when did you start drinking bourbon?’ She started laughing, and he was rendered speechless. It was beautiful.”

INTERIOR DESIGN Tristan Harstan, Tristan Harstan & Company Design, (646) 831-8000; ARCHITECT Jonathan Lacrosse, J.W. Lacrosse Architect, (404) 723-1844;