Fire engine red walls in the bathrooms signaled an emergency when Melanie Serra purchased her Sandy Springs townhome.
The interior designer still desired walls that wowed people but in a less “racing-to-the-fire” way. So she muted the color palette with grays and metallic paint. Hand-painted Chinoiserie walls added exotic and delicate details to the master bathroom. Down came the geometric, black-and-white wallpaper in the entryway; up went metallic gold and white wallpaper with visual appeal.
Once the walls were repainted and recovered, Serra used upholstery to add another one of her design dos: leopard print.
“Leopard could go in any room with any style,” she said. “I just think it’s another classic pattern that is timeless.”
Residents: Hugh Pugsley and Melanie Serra, owner of Melanie Serra Interior Revivals, their cat, Sophia, and their dog, Cooper
Location: Sandy Springs
Size: 3,000 square feet, four bedrooms, four baths
Year built: 1985
Year bought: 2002
Architectural style: French Normandy
Favorite architectural elements: Millwork and arches, which are original to the home.
Renovations: Cosmetic changes in the kitchen included subbing out the existing countertops for granite, painting the cabinets and adding corbels, beadboard and subway tile. A marble medallion adds interest to the entryway, while new light fixtures were installed throughout. A faux treatment around the fireplace in the living room created the look of limestone, with an oval glass tile inlay. “It took me a long time to find the right tile. I just found that last year. That added a finishing touch to the fireplace,” she said.
Interior design style: Continental with a transitional twist.
Favorite interior design elements: Mixing items found at antique stores, thrift and consignment shops, and estate sales with new pieces from showrooms and stores in Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
Favorite outdoor features: Boxwoods in herringbone, or zigzag, pattern, which adds personality and movement to the exterior, she said. She also loves the angel statuary.
Resources: Furniture, lighting and accessories from Antiques & Beyond, Basset Furniture, Kravet Fabrics, Forsyth Fabrics, Lewis and Sheron Textiles, Drexel Heritage, Ballard Designs, Z Gallerie and HomeGoods.
Design consultants: Artist Ruth Morelli of Mark on the Wall in Roswell, Window Visions in Cumming, Interior Tailors in Roswell, Wallpaper & Stuff in Smyrna.
Paint colors: Benjamin Moore custom color metallic pewter (master bedrooms and bath); Sherwin-Williams’ Intellectual Gray (dining room); Sherwin-Williams’ Amazing Gray (kitchen walls); Sherwin-Williams’ Divine White (cabinets).
Decor tip: Adding texture by layering can make a home beautiful. In the living room, a rough sisal rug from Myers Carpet is on top of the hardwood floors, then overlaid with a white shag rug. “The polar opposites really make it attractive,” she said.
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