Atlanta design duo brings sense of humor to job

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Atlanta design duo brings sense of humor to job

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Using an elephant grey and cream palette, Atlanta-based Reiner White Design Studio created a sophisticated and restful master suite in this Miami home. The lavish headboard, nightstands and tufted sofa are custom pieces (from ModShop). Contributed by Robin Hill

Jennifer Reiner and Robert White are serious about creating unique spaces for their residential and corporate clients throughout the South. But along with their design know-how, they bring a sense of humor to every job.

The company: Atlanta-based Reiner White Design Studio was founded in 2009 after the design duo were introduced at a bar and realized they had found their professional soulmate. RWDS offers full-scale design services, ranging from new construction planning and renovations to furnishings.

First design job: Universal Diamonds corporate office and showroom buildout at Sovereign building in Buckhead.

Big break: 2010’s Brookhaven Hideaway project. We gutted three floors of an upscale residence and rethought the entire house from studs-in — and gained clients for life.

Current obsessions: Matthew Quinn and his new kitchen book; Miles Redd for Schumacher fabrics; Black Label from Zinc and Romo fabrics, Bernhardt’s latest line; Sarah Atkinson for Grey Furniture; and anything that Kelly Wearstler breathes on.

Pet peeves: Jewel tones; under-scaled lighting; anything that reclines; poly-fill pillows; Jennifer’s coined “PandaLeopardTigerBear” interiors (where there is too much and too many different things fighting). Also, the color Sage; drapery that doesn’t function; fan-light combos; and fake vintage signs.

New (or re-emerging) looks we like: Satin brass; over-scaled hardware; modern shiplap; graphic painted concrete tile; 40-inch high countertops; acrylic canopy beds; burl wood on anything; graphic wallcovering; channel-tufted banquettes; velvet; large light fixtures; campaign chest corners; and Benjamin Moore’s “Pale Oak” in a matte finish.

… and looks we are glad to see go: Satin nickel; pewter; accent walls; and the color tan.

Most unusual request: A single client told us: “I want people to walk in and be completely impressed, and then say, ‘I so want to be naked in here.”’

Our biggest design mistake: Overdesigning. Also, under designing.

… and biggest mistake homeowners make: Costly revisions to an existing plan and assuming they can make a House Beautiful cover happen over a weekend for $5.

Designer challenges: Clients without vision; keeping track of hourly billing; their own homes; being a life coach-personal shopper-best friend-drinking buddy-marriage counselor and still keeping it together professionally.

Favorite design tricks: Using huge floor mirrors; fresh down throw pillows; an over-scaled chair; an almost too-large light fixture; a massive piece of art (notice a scale trend here?); or simply adding an Hermes Avalon blanket to the back of a sofa. Also, “turning a room on its head” by reversing or rethinking a furniture layout, creating a focal point and redirecting the eye with a bookcase or large case piece. Then painting a ceiling black and adding modular ottoman seating.

Favorite room to design: Bedrooms. They should be intimate and reflective, goal-driven and sexy – and always comfortable.

… and hardest room: A kid’s room. Because next week he’ll want to be a pirate.

Favorites

Atlanta-area home/design stores: R Hughes; Martin Nash; Walker Zanger; Bradley Hughes; FLOR; Jonathan Adler; Mitchell Gold; and Circa Lighting.

Blogs/websitesFlynnside Out and ModShop.

Instagram: Kelly Wearstler; Nate Berkus; Kerry Howard; Mary McDonald (our hero); Bobby McAlpine; Kim Kardashian; and Mid-Century Atlanta (on facebook).

Magazines: Modern Luxury; The Atlantan; Veranda; Elle Décor; Luxe; Dwell; and Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles.

Places for unusual (or great finds): Westside Market; The Merchant; Homegoods (you’d be shocked); Chamblee Antique Row; Paris on Ponce; Highland Row Antiques; and small-town consignment shops.

About us

Our home style:

RW: Distinctively masculine, leaning more toward a balance of rustic, industrial pieces and traditional furnishings with modern textural fabrics.

JR: My surroundings reflect a breezy, streamlined, “deco loft modern” feel mixed with warm, vintage-inspired finds and layers of cozy texture. We both have extremely, extremely stocked bars.

Household issues we are fussy about: Making beds and re-fluffing pillows when you rise from a sofa.

Favorite pieces in our office: A pair of vintage gold and Mongolian fur bar stools that adorn the lobby.

… and in our homesRW: My “Cher Chair,” a custom fabricated tufted velvet club chair with floor-length leather fringe trim. JR: My closet. Also a framed female nude sketch in my foyer, signed and dedicated to me by actor Peter Falk.

Can’t stop buying: Pillows, candles, sunglasses and Tom Ford scents.

Latest projects: Designing a 14,000-square-foot house in Sandy Springs from the foundation up with Harrison Architects. Also gutting and renovating a West Paces mid-century home and designing a waterfront luxury estate in Fort Lauderdale beach.

Up next: A midtown pied-a-terre condominium; designing and building a modern masterpiece house for one of Atlanta’s top real estate moguls; launching a line of distinctively bespoke and outrageous pillows; and expanding our south Florida presence.

Where to find Reiner White:

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