‘I was thrilled to take on the project and viewed it as an exciting challenge!’

Several designers had already turned down this Lawrenceville project — a Georgia home in need of a “spooky, dark, and bold” aesthetic — but for Leah Atkins Design, one of Atlanta’s top interior design firms, it made for a unique opportunity.

“This client had actually met with several designers that had turned down her project simply because of her design style,” Founder Leah Atkins told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “She used the words spooky, dark, and bold to describe her aesthetic. While this is certainly different than what we are used to hearing from clients, I was thrilled to take on the project and viewed it as an exciting challenge!”

At 2,471 square feet, the home features four bedrooms and four bathrooms’ worth of challenges. And those challenges went far beyond bold aesthetics.

Credit: Deborah Whitalw Llewellyn

Credit: Deborah Whitalw Llewellyn

ExploreA historic Roswell farmhouse from 1835 is finally getting a face-lift

“I wanted this home to evoke a sense of wonder while at the same time intertwining the feelings of inquisition and being welcomed home,” she said. “We wanted original art on the walls that would invite conversation and depict Black people in non-African environments. The client wanted to be sure that her children had people that represented them on the walls of their own home. As a white person, I didn’t realize how difficult of a request this would be. Almost all art (especially non-original art) featuring Black people shows them wearing African clothing.

“It definitely gave me a quick gut punch regarding my privilege again. I love that this project not only allowed me to look outwards as all interior design projects do, but it also pushed me to look inwards at my privilege. I hope that every white person that walks into this home feels that same push.”

To help reach her vision, Atkins stuck true to her client’s instructions — she designed boldly.

“I actually spotted these statues on Facebook marketplace and immediately sent a picture to the client!” Atkins said. “We didn’t even have a place in mind for them, but we knew she had to have them. They were originally made for a book tour and followed the author around the country. I love how strikingly beautiful they are as well as the statement they make. Especially during this time, when we are past the civil rights movement but Black people are still having to fight for their rights in this country every single day, they hold such powerful meaning and evoke strong emotions.”

Credit: Deborah Whitalw Llewellyn

Credit: Deborah Whitalw Llewellyn

ExploreFormer Atlanta Hawks player sells $8m ‘Sweet Sugar Land Castle’

To Atkins, the vision for the home was best realized in the living room — a space full of evocative artistry.

“The formal living room is without a doubt my favorite room in this home,” she said. “I love when I’m able to paint a room black, and this was the perfect opportunity to do so. The original painting hung above the sofa is one of my favorite statement pieces in the home, as well as the chandelier. The bold colors in this space mixed with the luxe velvets definitely give off the spooky vibe the client requested.”

To any Atlanta homeowners that feel inspired by the project, Atkins suggested being true to yourself.

“Don’t be afraid to be different!” she said. “Whatever your style is, it can be done in a chic way that feels put together.”