Midtown condo befits designer and Decatur Book Festival director

Philip Rafshoon, program director for the AJC Decatur Book Festival, appreciates the story behind the Midtown Atlanta building where he and architectural designer Robert Gaul live.

“I like to be in an historic building,” Rafshoon said. “This building really is unique in that it was the Social Security Administration building in Georgia. It was a draft office during the Vietnam War for many years. The building itself just has a lot of character and interesting people that live here.”

They originally purchased a studio condo in the Peachtree Street building in 2001. In 2014, they bought and renovated a larger unit next door. In addition to gutting the bathrooms, they turned the master bedroom into a shared home office with views. A smaller room with no windows became their bedroom. They embraced the darkness by painting the walls navy.

“It is very quiet, very peaceful, very dark,” Rafshoon said. “You can get some good sleep in there.”


Residents: Robert Gaul and Philip Rafshoon. Gaul is an architectural designer; Rafshoon is program director for the AJC Decatur Book Festival.

Location: Midtown Atlanta

Size: Two bedrooms, two baths and 1,600 square feet.

Year built/bought: 1951/2014

Architectural style: Boutique loft space

Favorite architectural elements: Exposed coffered concrete ceilings, concrete columns, expansive windows and balcony doors overlooking the pool area.

Renovations: They demolished existing partitions and built-ins and relocated walls and doors. Both bathrooms were gutted and renovated, creating separate bathrooms and walk-in closets with luxury design selections such as Bianco Dolomiti marble tile and natural quartzite. They refinished the wood floors throughout, installed new baseboards and casings, and electrical and lighting, and repainted. The renovations took about two months.

Interior design style: Comfortable eclectic contemporary

Favorite interior design elements: Vintage lighting, contemporary artwork and furniture that includes pieces custom designed by Gaul and vintage items. An antique Japanese Tansu Cabinet in the dining room displays rich aesthetic beauty, hand-crafted quality and use of simple and exotic woods, Gaul said. Rafshoon also enjoys their pair of classic A. Rudin swivel chairs, which are comfortable when holding conversations, reading or watching TV and movies. “Robert will know instantly whether it’s something that will fit in here well and where it would go. He’s got such a great eye,” Rafshoon said.

Decor tip: Select artwork that is specific to you and will give your home individual character. Their art collection is juxtaposed in groupings around the condo.

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