Winter Renewal

A monochromatic palette and modern simplicity deliver a night-and-day difference in a Vinings renovation by designer Shawn Amtower

The serenity of a bathroom can spark the best ideas, even renovation projects. Designer Shawn Amtower won the trust of her Vinings clients with a luxurious master bath remodel, a past Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Bath of the Year award winner. Once complete, the couple decided, “We’ve got to keep it going,” she says.

Just as in the bathroom, Amtower set out to clear away heavy elements, such as molding, stacked-stone fireplaces and heart pine floors, that lent to the formerly traditional, darker interiors. She replaced small windows in the kitchen, dining, family and living rooms with new iron versions by Forge Fine Steel painted the same white as the walls and trim, instead of the traditional black. 

She leveraged her clients’ appreciation for the bathroom’s creamy whites, soft taupes and pale grays with the palette reset. “I stripped everything down and just like to have it very peaceful, to where everything looks soft and beautiful,” says Amtower, founder of Amtower Interior + Design.

The resulting monochromatic design, accented with charcoals, allows the landscape behind the steel windows to provide natural color. Modern choices and custom furnishings are balanced with rich fabrics, pillows and draperies, including lush alpaca linen on recessed tracks. “It was miles and miles of this fabric,” she says. 

Satin linen fabric draperies and Italian porcelain tile dressed up the expanded master retreat, which features a Victoria + Albert tub and steam shower. There she turned a hallway into a makeup vanity area, and looked for the same design opportunities elsewhere in the home.

Removing the columns between the kitchen and family room made the space feel huge, says Amtower, who worked with Mike Hammersmith General Contracting. Once they reclaimed that space, Amtower turned her attention to one area that she could embellish without distracting from the polo fields outside the windows. She built out the ceilings with trim in a clean, stair-stacked design that gives the kitchen, breakfast area and family room their own identity and a soft, subdued feel when lit. Near the kitchen, she downsized a bathroom into a powder room to carve out a pantry in the breakfast area.

The family room layout, with custom coffee tables at each sofa, keeps the space open so that the sleek white fireplace, which was once stacked stone and now has a plaster surround, takes center stage. “The fire to me is the coolest feature in any room, so I’m all about framing the fire,” she says.

INTERIOR DESIGN Shawn Amtower, Amtower Interior + Design. (404) 272-6323;