Youthful Fancy

ROBERT BROWN fashions a sophisticated playground fit for children and adults for this social family of five

Even the most intrepid adult might think twice about overhauling the family home while simultaneously parenting three little girls under the age of 3, but not so with one young couple. Having purchased a house for their brood in the Chastain Park area, they turned over the home’s interiors to Robert Brown, essentially giving him carte blanche to design rooms that are both mature and kid-friendly. Selecting a stylish mix of neutral colors and contemporary furniture and art, Brown also had to ensure that any furnishings could withstand the rigors of child’s play. In other words, “the house had to be bulletproof.” 

In contrast to the home’s traditional architecture, Brown took the interiors in the opposite direction, explaining, “We wanted to make the home feel younger by adding some contemporary elements, but without taking it too far.” Having first settled on a soft color palette of muted grays, taupes and even some peach tones, the designer then tackled the furniture, gravitating to unfussy pieces with clean lines and simple shapes.   

But while the furniture may appear uncomplicated, its placement was anything but. Weighing the needs of the family with the occasional design challenge presented by the home’s open spaces, Brown devised well-crafted furniture arrangements that addressed both.  

Take the living room, for example, which has but one wall on which to anchor furniture. His solution? Float much of the furniture in the room’s center, including a daybed which can be accessed on both sides. Then there is the family room, which Brown purposely furnished lightly, giving the children space to play, especially in the room’s middle. Many of the upholstery fabrics were chosen with child’s play in mind, including the durable outdoor fabrics used in the heavily trafficked kitchen and breakfast room.  

The parents are not without their own play spaces. Because they are avid entertainers, Brown designed the living and dining rooms for their use, cultivating sophisticated environments for dinners and cocktail parties while also creating sleek backdrops for the couple’s then-nascent art collection. 

“We laid a background for starting a nice art collection,” said Brown, who in turn guided the homeowners toward abstract, modern pieces in a variety of mediums, including works by artists Auguste Garufi and Sylvia McEwan. The ultimate playground, however, may just be the full-daylight terrace, which Brown transformed into a series of fashion-forward but functional spaces: a living room, wine cellar, bar, pool table and golf simulator.

INTERIOR DESIGN Robert Brown, Robert Brown Interior Design (404) 917-1333; RENOVATIONS Builders II, (404) 812-9401; ORIGINAL ARCHITECTURE Harrison Design, (404) 365-7760; CLOSET, WINE CELLAR AND BAR CABINETRY Cardea Home (404) 295-4453;