Transitional twist for designer’s Sandy Springs townhome

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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