An interior designer balanced this Buckhead cottage with a wide array of modern and sentimental favorites

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Interior designer Whitney Durham was drawn to the cottage-style architecture of this Buckhead home. “I like to set the scene with our blue front door,” she says. “Blue was already my favorite color and, living in a house full of boys, blue is a natural color throughout our house as well. “

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

Whitney Durham loves architecture with a history, but she also has a soft spot for contemporary art and 60s Lucite. As part of her design philosophy, she is not inclined to buy furniture from a large retail chain; instead, it revolves around anything that is inherited, reused, or personalized. “I love that every room has at least one thing that’s vintage or antique,” ​​says the interior designer, who grew up in Marietta. “I like anything that has a sentimental history.”

The circa 1932 cottage that Whitney and her husband Nathan found in Buckhead had the kind of character she appreciates: stonework on the front façade, with a Gothic-shaped front door painted in cheerful blue. She added six beveled glass windows to the front door to lighten the look, just the kind of small but significant changes that have continued inside.

Whitney durham
“We never used our formal dining room, so I decided to convert it into a playroom and living room,” says Whitney. She painted this abstract herself.

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

Whitney durham
“Art and color obviously play an important role in our home,” explains the decorator. Navy, aquamarine, and light blue fill the living room, which also reflects her preference for layered rugs.

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

Whitney durham
Whitney brightened up the kitchen by painting the existing cabinetry and ceiling beams with Benjamin Moore “White Dove”. She also updated with brass hardware and a sink faucet. The decorator considered remaking the island, but said, “When I found the vintage Lucite and brass bar stools on Craigslist, I liked them so much I kept the height of the bar in the kitchen. to be able to use these bar stools. “

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

“I’m naturally drawn to an Art Deco style, so a 1930s house was perfect for mixing that style throughout our home in an updated way,” says Whitney. A prime example: A vintage light fixture with an Art Deco vibe she found at the Antique Factory now illuminates the original dining room. Whitney turned the space into a living room where the Durhams (Whitney, Nathan and their two boys, Benson and Graham) have a family game night, engaging in competitive games of Pictionary, Monopoly and Uno. The room is a blend of glamor and conviviality: Benjamin Moore’s shiny “Wolf Gray” adds sparkle to the woodwork with colorful artwork on all walls. Four casual swivel chairs, custom-designed with the Ellenburg Chair Company, fit the small profile of the room.

Whitney durham
Benson, 8, and Graham, 6, happily share a bedroom, leaving an extra room upstairs as a playroom. “My boys love to be in the same room and they really are best friends,” says Whitney. The upholstered beds are covered with Ikat fabric that she found at Forsyth Fabrics.

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

Whitney durham
The sofa in the master bedroom once belonged to Whitney’s grandmother, and the four poster bed belonged to her mother when she was a child. “My mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and I all share a love for fine antiques,” says Whitney. “My grandmother worked in a quaint antique store near Marietta Square and I remember visiting her often.”

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

Whitney durham

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

All bedrooms have been refreshed, retaining the original charm. In the lobby, Whitney added grass canvas to the hall’s ceiling as well as a spiked recessed light, and an original telephone niche contains an old rotary telephone. In the breakfast room hangs an oversized light fixture with an antique zinc finish, another play on the past. Throughout the house, Whitney incorporated crisp fabrics and lighter walls to keep the look bright and cheerful. Glass and lucite accessories reinforce that vintage glamor she loves, and their see-through look helps make small spaces appear larger.

Whitney durham
The bluestone patio is a heavily used part of the Durham House, with its flow from the master bedroom wing (which was added by a previous owner), as well as the kitchen and family room.

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

Whitney wisely knew that a cottage of Persian rugs and glass coffee tables might not stand up to two active boys and a chocolate lab, so she and Nathan transformed their rambling garden as well. “We maximized the outdoor space with the fire pit, swings and space to run around,” says Whitney. “The original lot only had a 10 x 10 square foot patch of grass with the rest covered in ivy and brush, most of which was unusable, but after landscaping we spend a lot of time sitting outside watching the boys play in the yard. . Whitney chose cottage-like plants, such as hydrangeas and roses, to create an inviting garden that also seems to match the era of the house. Inside and out, this house pays homage to the past but offers more than a touch of modern habitability.

Whitney durham
A Serena & Lily console and a painting by Georgian artist Elaine Burge anchor a corner of the living room.

Photograph by Laura Negri Childers

Resources
Interiors Whitney Durham, Whitneydurhaminteriors.com
Landscaping Cartwright Landscapes, Inc., 678-873-2052
Service provider Artesian builders, 770-560-4407
Foyer Lighting: Circa Lighting, circalighting.com
Breakfast room Lighting: approx
Food Painting: Elaine Burge, elaineburge.com
Salon Painting: Elaine Burge. Sofas: Ellenburg Chair Company, ellenburgchair.com. Mirror: Bunny Williams, JDouglas, jdouglas.com
Boys room Fabric: Forsyth fabrics, forsythfabrics.com.

This article appeared in our Summer 2018 issue of The home of Atlanta magazine.

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