The 2023 Southeastern Designer Showhouse Trends Report
From historical nods to artful elegance, here are some of the top trends you’ll find at the 2023 Southeastern Designer Showhouse and Gardens.
Written & Produced by Jennifer Boles
The 2023 Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens, located on Normandy Drive in Buckhead, is always an eagerly anticipated event, thanks in large part to the impressive roster of talent that participates every year. Developed by Benecki Homes, this year’s showhouse was designed by architectural firm William T. Baker & Associates, whose design melded classic styles with minimalist ornamentation. Inside the house, Venetian plaster, French oak hardwood floors, and veined stone finishes, all specified by SOURCE, enrich the interiors, while outside landscaping was designed by Land Plus. Although the designers who participated in this year’s showhouse offered up an enticing mix of different styles and viewpoints, collectively, some trends emerged.
One unique aspect of this year’s showhouse is its striking architectural blend of early-20th-century design styles, including Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and Streamline Moderne. Although Art Deco linearity appears in the stepped insets and reliefs that accent some doors and ceilings, it’s the soft architectural curve that is more prominent. In the home’s salon, a rounded, column-like fireplace inspired Michael Habachy to design the space in yet another early-twentieth-century style: Egyptian Revival, which he says that he chose because it is compatible with the home’s architecture and also reflects his family’s heritage. “I felt a calling to reinterpret it and make it softer and more livable. I took my inspiration from age-old ruins and weathered temples.” Egyptian-inspired elements include a sandy color palette, which stems from the Sahara Desert, and custom-designed drapery rods and fire screen that incorporate papyrus details.
Purple, burgundy, and gold are the showhouse color headliners, in part because Calacatta Viola and gold-toned stone finishes were used throughout the house. Some designers opted to introduce purple accents to their rooms, such as Whitney Ray, who chose upholstered chairs in the regal hue for the dining room. Kelly Wolf-Anthony, on the other hand, worked with amber shades to offset the dusty pink walls and brass details of the study. “We wanted the space to feel unexpected,” explains the designer, who took the confident step of hanging an amber-colored, rope-wrapped chandelier in the room. “We wanted the light fixture to represent a natural element in the space against the lavender high-gloss walls. It’s the yin to the yang.”
Seemingly everywhere one looks, art appears in inventive and sometimes plentiful ways. For the primary bedroom, Melanie Turner boldly wrapped the space in a wallpaper mural that features a hand-painted jungle landscape. “The wallcovering emits a welcoming glow to the primary suite. It’s punchy and whimsical, bringing instant art to the space.” The trend continues upstairs, where designers André Hilton and Michele Johnson both hung gallery-style art groupings in their respective spaces, while Evan Millárd made over a large linen closet into an artist’s studio, replete with canvases and painter’s tools.
Nature inspired a host of interior details, including the primary bathroom’s shower surround, which was tiled to look like a mosaic of leafy branches, and the foyer’s metal butterfly wall sconces, which were selected by Wolf-Anthony. In the lower lounge, designed by Jessica Kain Barton, the natural world in its myriad forms is on full display, with living plants and flowers ensconced alongside framed botanical prints and porcelain fruits, flowers and vegetables.
Other highlights to look for inside: brass finishes, sculptural light fixtures, black accent pieces, and geometrically-patterned rugs and tile floors. The Southeastern Designer Showhouse is open for tours through June 4. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit southeasternshowhouse.com.