California-style contemporary in rural Serenbe

Moving from Manhattan presented an opportunity for Heath Daughtrey to spend more time with his young sons, and he had known about Serenbe since 2006.

The idyllic countryside setting and abundance of trails attracted him to first rent in the community south of Atlanta, then to build a contemporary-style home that still fit in with cottages and bungalows in Serenbe.

“The beauty of Serenbe is that I think it’s all about diversity,” he said. “It’s diversity across the people, but it’s also diversity across the style of homes and ultimately the architecture of homes.”


Residents: Heath Daughtrey and Sunny Whang, who are getting married in Serenbe in early November. Daughtrey previously worked at a hedge fund in Westport, Conn.; Whang works for a biotech company.

Location: Serenbe, Chattahoochee Hills. The EarthCraft-certified home in Serenbe's Grange community is located across the street from Serenbe Farms, a certified organic farm, and backs up to a 6-acre lake.

Size: About 2,700 square feet, four bedrooms, four baths

Year built/bought: 2012

Builder: Martin Dodson

Architectural style: Contemporary. "I had lived previously in San Francisco," he said. "My utopia is to create Marin County (California) in the countryside of Chattahoochee Hills in Georgia."

Favorite architectural features: It starts with the exterior, which has fairly straight lines and a flat roof. Three materials are used — cedar siding (in a horizontal layout), Texas limestone and mahogany for the door and surround (in a vertical layout). "I agonized over the stone," he said. "I didn't want a stacked stone. I didn't want it to become contemporary toward the end of industrial. I didn't want it to go in that direction."

Interior design style: Contemporary

Favorite interior design features: Clean, sleek lines marked by solid colors (predominantly muted neutrals). Most of the furniture sits lower to the ground with straight legs. Graphic elements are used in artwork or as accents to incorporate colors into the home.

Favorite outdoor features: Main patio, roof garden and entry fountain. Landscaping is by Atlanta-based New Moon Gardens.

Favorite artwork: Daughtrey's art collection includes a Robert Rauschenberg black-and-white piece created in 1979, on display in the living room. In the master bedroom, there is a print by artist and textile designer Susan Hable (purchased at Bungalow Classic in Atlanta) and an oil painting by Geoffrey Johnson (purchased at Principle Gallery in Alexandria, Va.).

Resources: Furniture and accessories from Bungalow Classic (Atlanta) and ABC Carpet & Home (New York City).

Decor tip: Simplify design and furnishings. "Buy what you love, not necessarily just what fits the home," he said. For example, the original Milo Baughman leather and chrome club chairs in the living room were purchased during a visit to Napa, Calif. "They work in the home, but we didn't buy them with that in mind," he said. "It's what we loved."