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Kate Abney | Photo: Mali Azima | August 27, 2013
A harmonious designer-client relationship pushes the definition of chic with soft, glam and timeless results.
When Leslie Turner—a high-level legal advisor for The Hershey Company and former lead attorney of The Coca-Cola Company North America—first walked into designer Bryan Kirkland’s former Westside boutique, Maison Atlanta, she felt an instant click. After searching high and low for the perfect interior designer, she was immediately romanced by his showroom’s ethereal Hollywood Regency style—and equally impressed with Kirkland’s attention to detail and customer service. “From the very beginning, Bryan focused on what was most important to me,” she explains of the Atlanta native, whose career trajectory includes interior design gigs at Bloomingdale’s and Lewis & Sheron Textiles. “There was also so much diversity in his design sense; he had a really strong set of instincts.”
Kirkland, likewise, was just as impressed with Turner. “Leslie is a very beautiful woman, striking in appearance. She always walks in looking like a million bucks,” he explains. “She has developed a strong sense of personal style… and we essentially developed the style of her home, too, updating her aesthetic in a more modern way.”
That said, Turner did come to the project with one requirement: “I wanted a house that felt beautiful and elegant, but also comfortable—a place my friends could kick up their feet and feel at home,” she says.
To that end, the Bryan Alan Kirkland Designs team delivered tenfold, completely recasting and even gutting parts of Turner’s five-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath Vinings home, completing the work in 2012. The designers embraced the free-flowing floor plan by letting colors and textures spill from one room to the next. While the predominantly blue-gray dining room is peppered with pops of buttery yellow, Turner’s lemony living room is tempered by cool, steely shades. In the master suite, Kirkland chose calming mauves and lavenders—with a touch of yellow reappearing in a custom Moattar rug. “This is a very private space, and I wanted it to be very calm, serene and spa-like,” says Turner. “Bryan certainly achieved that.” He also met the glam quotient with the help of a custom mirrored bed from CR Currin, a curvaceous Christopher Guy bench and femme vanities surrounded by tufted seating and travertine tile. For Kirkland, every step of this process was pure fun.
“Leslie is always traveling all over the world for work. She doesn’t have time to think about decorating, so she gave us carte blanche,” Kirkland recounts. “We bought everything: new china, mattresses, towels, sheets. It was completely turnkey.”
BAK Designs, now located in Buckhead, took care of even the tiniest details, including outfitting the basement-level entertaining space with new barware. Their selections gleam from the backlit mirrored shelves, with gray python barstools pulled up to enjoy a libation or two. Turner’s friends and family adore this room, so it’s turned out to be the space she uses most.
“My home feels so comfortable and lovely,” says Turner. “I’ve had many friends over for casual gatherings and elegant dinner parties; it works well for both. I love the flexibility of this house, and I owe it all to Bryan. It’s one of those relationships I’ll never let go!”