Gillian and Peter Harper looked past the orange shag carpet, bedroom walls covered in cork and original, outdated drapery to develop a new vision for their window-filled, mid-century modern abode.
Designer wallpaper, marble, terrazzo tiles, oversized furniture and plenty of white are signature elements in the residence, which took two years to renovate and was completed earlier this year.
The couple bought their first property when they were in their early 20s and, like her parents, they renovated previous homes in Australia and the United States.
“It’s always been that creative outlet for me,” said Gillian, a former attorney who is now an entrepreneur. “It’s a way that I get to explore that personal passion without turning it into a day job.”
Residents: Gillian and Peter Harper, daughters Stella and Ophelia, and pets Coco, a ragdoll cat, and Joe, a cockapoo. Gillian is a co-founder of Real Men Buy Flowers and Peter is an international tax attorney and adviser with CST Tax.
Location: Sandy Springs
Size: 4,200 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4 1/2 baths
Year built/bought: 1965/2016
Architectural style: Modern
Favorite architectural elements: Solid granite fireplaces, columns, feature walls, windows and the use of glass. “We love the way the home was built with the natural elements in mind,” she said. “It feels like a tree house with limited boundaries between the outside and inside.”
Renovations: “The house was uninhabitable when purchased. We stripped the house down to the foundations, redesigned the layout and rebuilt the property from the ground up,” Gillian said.
Cost of renovation: More than $500,000
Design consultants: Bizot Architects, LK Renovation (general contractor), Linda Dove with LDK For Home + Garden (interior designer), Core Landscape Architects
Interior design style: Modern
Favorite interior design elements: With modern influences from 1950-2018, the design is disciplined, monochromatic and timeless, Gillian said. Choices, such as the wallpaper and fabrics, were driven by designers and brands she admires, such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Christian Lacroix.
Resources: Poliform kitchen and Corian countertops from Switch Modern; appliances by Miele; lighting from Switch Modern, Masterpiece Lighting and Stickbulb; and bathroom fixtures from Ferguson. Furniture from Switch Modern, RH, Roche Bobois and Design Within Reach.
Design tip: Don’t be afraid of black in interiors, from the walls to lighting. “It’s just so beautiful and classic. Black has a bit of a ard rap, but people don’t realize that black really is a color and adds so much depth,” she said. “It just always looks so elegant.”