One would never guess building the sleek three-story in Atlanta’s hip Ormewood Park neighborhood proved a challenge for builder Joe Brown of In Town Builders and architect Jordache Avery of XMetrical: the 1,761 square-foot three-bedroom, two-bath, double half-bath home feels expansive with floor-to-ceiling windows, a 20-foot foyer and a generous rooftop deck with a city skyline view. “The lot size was small, so we were limited on space,” Jordache says. “We had to be creative.”
The innovative design and materials—the exterior incorporates wood veneer, stucco, and fiber cement—nabbed the home a spot on the 2016 Modern Atlanta Architecture Tour. The only thing missing: interiors to bring it to life. That’s where Cantoni design consultant Mercedes Williams stepped in.
Working solely with architectural renderings, Mercedes envisioned the subject of the story he would tell: that of a Brooklyn, New York, transplant who was drawn to Atlanta’s gritty inner city. “They might have been a writer or worked at a major news station and were used to things that were artsy and edgy, but wanted the quiet of the house’s location—an urban oasis,” he says.
His starting point was “Street Love,” by photographer Thierry Vanhussye, a depiction of a street corner on Plexiglass, which he placed over the living room sofa. “It has illumination, depth of character, that urban vibe and vivid colors,” he says. “I was able to pull those colors, soften them, and use them through the rest of the house.”
He brought in Cantoni’s Bowl walnut cocktail table and Cubist geometric bookcase to nod to wood tones. He kept the bar stools simple in white, but went bold in the breakfast room with distinctive Cattelan Italia Anna H dining chairs in orange and the glossy Round Tulip dining table in black. In the living room, he punched up the cool grey fireplace with the bold orange Pesaro swivel chair and the architectural Caption chair in black.
“Mercedes did a really good job of selecting furniture that went with the design of the house and made the space more functional and feel larger,” Jordache says. “He looked at the drawings, went with his vision, and made it his own.”
As with most of Mercedes’ designs, the end result is calming, collected and has a just-right punch of whimsy. “The completed, finished feeling of the space has that ‘wow’ factor,” he says. “It’s unexpected.”