It’s a blend of laid-back California cool and Southern elegance.

When Kerry and Ian Phillips saw their soon-to-be-home in Buckhead last year, it was love at first sight. Location was everything for the couple, and the Peachtree Park neighborhood felt like the perfect fit. But the Southern elegance lying within this one-story ranch-style home was what sealed the deal.

“As I pulled up from the outside, I knew I had to have it,” Kerry says. “Plus, it was a really old house, and I loved the dark wood on the floors throughout. It had a lot of charm.”

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Once they closed on the house, the couple only had a month of whirlwind renovations before their move-in date. Working with interior designer Andi Morse of Morse Design, the pair worked to weave in some airy California contemporary accents to the space, as a nod to Kerry’s upbringing in the Golden State, while preserving the original Southern wainscotting.

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“When designing this home, we aimed to strike a balance between Kerry’s California roots with Ian’s Southern charm, [as he’s an Atlanta native],” Morse told us.

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And thankfully Morse’s vision immediately clicked with the couple. “It was so quick and easy since she was able to gather exactly what we were looking for even from our first conversation,” Kerry says.

One of the most transformative changes was updating the lighting throughout the house, which Kerry describes as something straight out of “Beauty and The Beast.” Think “old chandeliers with fake candle wax coming down,” Kerry says. “They dangled really low and made the walls feel really short.” All existing lighting was swapped out for chrome-y modern light fixtures, which made a dramatic difference in bringing the house into the present day, and opened up the small rooms. “That was my favorite part of our renovation,” she adds.

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Plenty of neutrals and textured fabrics were interspersed throughout the house to give it an open, home-y atmosphere, with well-proportioned furniture making the small rooms feel much bigger. Morse also helped push the couple out of their comfort zone and away from matchy-matchy elements toward artful contrast, like the mismatched metals in the main bathroom and the bolder elements in each of the rooms (including the colorful accent pillows, dark picture frames, and black vases throughout the house).

“Hearing the ideas, at first I thought, I would have never picked these pieces to go together ever,” Kerry says. “But seeing them all in the room all at once, I was like, “Wow, it’s perfect.”


Residents: Ian and Kerry Phillips, plus Ivy the dog

Resident occupations: Real estate manager (Kerry) and investment banker (Ian)

Location: Buckhead

Square feet: 1,741 square feet

Bedrooms/baths: 3 beds / 2 baths

Year built: 1941

Year bought: 2021

Architectural style: early American

Favorite architectural elements: Phone nook in hallway, which provides the home with a charming vintage feel, and the wainscotting in the dining room.

Type of renovations: primary suite shower, new light fixtures throughout, roof, backyard refresh (sod, fence, tree removal), attic stabilization, electrical upgrades

Cost of renovations: $50,000

Contractors: Malone Construction

Interior design style: Mixture of California contemporary and traditional Southern accents

Favorite room, and why: Dining space, because it’s open and flows easily to the back porch

Favorite piece of furniture: Leather chairs in front living room

Favorite outdoor feature: Porch with large, flat backyard

Design consultants: Interior decorator Andi Morse of Morse Design

Resources: Furniture and decor from Four Hands, Dovetail Furniture, Target, West Elm, Article, CB2, Pottery Barn, Noir, and Rowe; light fixtures from Rejuvenation and Lamps Plus; drapes and hardware from Restoration Hardware; rugs from Loloi and Jaipur; art from Art Classics and Artfully Walls


If you have a beautifully designed home in the Atlanta area, we’d love to feature you! Email for more info.