A yearly pilgrimage is almost a necessity for designers and homeowners looking for the latest trends in home furnishings. Each spring, the Southeastern Designer Show House in Atlanta, Georgia, never fails at bringing to the forefront a great mix of its best local designers and designers of national recognition. With all the southern charm one can possibly absorb, designers play with rooms so that all the rooms are juxtaposed with elegance and a nod to humor. This year's Buckhead beauty was designed in the tradition of English cottage of Sir Edward Lutyens by the well-known Atlanta firm of Harrison Design.
As with many Atlanta homes, this show house is entrenched in classic interior design, but leaning more and more toward transitional to even eclectic interiors with a global appeal. Serious rooms are seemingly a thing of yesterday. Playful color combinations such as lavender and chartreuse play counterpoint to tradition furniture.
PPG paints sponsored most of the wall paint. Gray still resonates in this designer showhouse as the go-to neutral, from Master bathroom walls in "Elephant Gray" to kitchen cabinets and soothing pale shades of gray for the hallways. Another color that stood out for its boldness and versatility was black. Of particular note was "Zombie" used in the upstairs study for its black with insinuations of blue.
Other trends for backgrounds included the use of color on ceilings, from pale rose to mint green and of course, black. To keep your eyes glued on the ceilings, they were wallpapered in textured coverings from raffia, grass cloth and shagreen-like materials trimmed with fabric tapes and decorative nail heads for added layers of detail and va-va-voom!
All the bathrooms of this mansion were peculiarly fitted with curb-less roll-in showers. A detail that was once reserved for hospitals and nursing homes is growing in popularity in high-end residences, because their seamless look is appealing, but also in anticipation of aging family members. Downstairs master suites are another indicator of aging-in-place construction, which is appealing to the ever-increasing retired boomers generation.
Another keenly spotted fashion in the bathroom was dark stainless steel or oil-rubbed bronze plumbing fixtures. I believe it is a nod toward a more urban sophistication, and yet another luxury-type finish that doesn't look store-bought.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't tell you where to get the best shrimp and grits in Atlanta. The honors go to The Sweet Auburn Seafood located in the downtown Auburn District of Atlanta. The restaurant/bar has a great urban hip vibe with red-flocked wallpaper and exposed brick wall, live entertainment daily and a "you can't help but dance in your chair" DJ spinning music at lunch during the weekends.
Atlanta has tons to do: from a walk through the botanical gardens, a visit to the world-class Aquarium or just a leisurely drive through its many neighborhoods. Who cares if every street is named after a tree, take any one and get lost to find the magic and southern charm of one of the greatest American cities.
Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Florida. His website is www.josephpubillones.com. To find out more about Joseph Pubillones, or to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.