When interior designer Jessica Davis first got the call from her husband Scott in late 2018, she was living in a big Victorian house in South Orange, New Jersey, with their two young kids. Scott had been commuting between New Jersey and Atlanta for work, and had just stumbled upon a home in Buckhead that he wanted her to expedite a flight out to see.
Though Jessica says the couple was only casually researching neighborhoods in Atlanta at that point, the ‘60s-era post and beam house — one of Atlanta architect Jerry Cooper’s first projects out of Georgia Tech — had exactly the kind of modern design she was looking for.
“The indoor/outdoor connection is amazing. It’s on two acres of land in the middle of the woods, but in Buckhead close to tons of stuff. So we just felt that we had to jump on the opportunity,” she says.
The couple quickly made a deal, closed on the home in November of 2018 for $950,000, and started renovations in January of the following year. One of the biggest transformations in this 3,000-square-foot space involved knocking down some walls to open up the kitchen so there was ample light filtering through the house from the entry to the back. A hallway leading to the children’s quarters, along with her daughter Lucy’s bedroom, was created out of what was once a carport turned family room.
Embracing the core architectural elements of the home — from the magnolia wood paneling in the den to the tongue and groove ceilings — Jessica sought out fresh color treatments (like the black forest green color on the exterior walls and interior ceiling beams) that would enhance the midcentury bones of the house, while keeping everything fresh and modern. She also minimized costs by rounding out the rooms with thoughtful budget pieces from places like Ikea, Amazon, Etsy, Target, and World Market.
Jessica’s own personal touches include her original artwork and custom designs featured throughout the house, plus modern hardware on the cabinets through her company Nest Studio. An impressive collection of her art amassed over the past decade from estate sales, local artists, and online also pepper the walls.
Other creative surprises up her sleeve — to the delight of her two children Lucy, 7, and Bryan, 10 — include a secret passageway leading to Lucy’s bedroom, plus some custom beds and forts that Jessica built for their bedrooms.
Her kids even had a hand in making some of the artwork in the house, and were key decision-makers in design schemes for their bedrooms. “I mocked up what things could look like and gave them some choices, then pinned up wallpaper options so they could make selections,” Jessica says. “I’m always trying to design spaces that are family- and kid-friendly.”
Residents: Jessica and Scott Davis, their kids Bryan and Lucy, and their poodle Cheerio
Resident occupations: Jessica Davis (interior designer, founder of design firm Atelier Davis and hardware company Nest Studio) and Scott Davis (management consultant at North Highland Group)
Square feet: 3,000 square feet
Bedrooms/baths: 4 bedrooms, 3 baths
Year built: 1960
Year bought: 2018
Architectural style: midcentury modern
Favorite architectural elements: The ceilings, from the beams to the bleached tongue and groove panels
Type of renovations: Complete kitchen overhaul, addition of a hallway to the children’s quarters plus a new kid’s bedroom, guest bathroom remodeling, new floors, added windows
Cost of renovations: $175,000
Builder: Jerry Cooper
Architect: David Obuchowski
Contractors: Randy Guyton of Guyton Design Homes
Favorite room: The kitchen
Favorite piece of furniture: The Nychair in the main bedroom
Favorite outdoor feature: Definitely the hardscaping
Decor tip: Don’t be afraid to mix colors and styles, especially when it comes to artwork. Artwork can stand on its own apart from the style of the interior, so you can use modern art in a traditional space or vice versa.
Resources: Furniture and decor from Ikea, Chairish, Etsy, Target, Amazon, CB2, West Elm, Furbish Studio, Innovation Living, Hay; kitchen counters from Dekton; kitchen appliances from AJ Madison; kitchen skylight from Velux; lighting from Worley’s Lighting and Koncept; wallpaper from Spoonflower; hardware from Nest Studio.
If you have a beautifully designed home in the Atlanta area, we’d love to feature you! Email Lori Keong at email@example.com for more info.