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Backyard Bliss

These Atlanta design partners came together to transform an empty yard at a Brookwood Hills home into a glamorous oasis.


The jaw-dropping outdoor expansion at this sleek home in Brookwood Hills is highlighted by a heated saltwater pool and complemented by custom furnishings that are attractive, comfortable and durable.


Easterling and Nash were charged with selecting all of the lighting, accessories, custom furniture and cabinetry, and stone for the outdoor expansion, which included the cabana and steam room. 

Edgy stone and glass were carried from the exterior of the home to the outdoor expansion by the Mathews’ Furniture + Design duo.


One of the most spectacular features of the outdoor improvements to the already unique home is the Neptune Pools hot tub in the backyard; the designers sought to make useful every space of the expansion outside, including the upper deck looking out onto the pool below.


Architect Jim Winer designed a layout that mixed simple materials with modern edginess. The Marmi Natural Stone and the whitewashed brick proved a perfect complement to the glass barriers and large windows.


The pool house echoes a stunning neutral color palette with the Larsen from Cowtan & Tout and cool-toned marble.


The dining nook on the way from the covered portico to the pool area, is perfect for the homeowner’s family dinners during Atlanta’s warmer months. 

For more than 10 years, business partners Don Easterling and Nina Nash have combined their longtime passion for design and vibrant chemistry to create showstopping interiors for the who’s who of Atlanta and beyond—from a chic pied-à-terre in Paris to a rustic hunting lodge in southern Georgia, all the while staying true to their signature styles—he, more traditional; and she, a bit edgier—complete with simple and clean lines, neutral color palettes, pops of color and gorgeous art, accessories and lighting. Now the Mathews’ Furniture + Design duo has paired up yet again, but this time for a stunning indoor-outdoor project at a modern sleek home in the historic neighborhood of Brookwood Hills: Think stone, angles and glass, with plenty of detail and allure
in every corner.

“Don and I met the homeowners by chance at Mathews’ one day, and we made an instant connection,” says Nash. “They have a specific look they like, which is superglam, modern and luxurious. We were able to really bring this concept to life for them and even exceed their expectations.”

The homeowners, Joe and Kit Cottone (he is a managing director for a New York-based private equity firm, and she is a psychiatrist specializing in pediatrics at Emory University) were initially seeking to redesign some individual rooms. Then, a little over a year ago, they enlisted Easterling and Nash’s help with a full outdoor expansion.

“What we love about the Cottones is that they have a specific style, and we’ve come to understand that,” says Easterling. “After working with them for several years, we know just the things they will absolutely love. Joe and Kit were very involved from the start, and we worked together and pooled all our ideas and thoughts to create this fabulous project. They totally trust our judgment and are dream clients.”

For the outdoor expansion, Easterling and Nash chose all of the lighting, accessories and outdoor custom furniture—with a focus on looking fabulous yet comfortable and durable. They also helped select the stone from Marmi Natural Stone (Portuguese Gascogne Blue and Egyptian Sinai Pearl limestone) and the custom cabinetry, and assisted in all design aspects outside as well as in the cabana. The end result? A metamorphosis of a formerly empty backyard into a phenomenal space that can now be used year-round—complete with a ceiling-mounted infrared outdoor heating system, covered seating area, heated saltwater pool, cabana with steam room, custom-cut glass railings and a 14-foot stone fireplace.

“This house already stood out from the other homes in this historic neighborhood because of its strong contemporary design that contrasted with the older, more traditional homes nearby,” says Nash. “That’s what Don and I really loved about this house: It was different and unexpected. The interiors are the ultimate in luxury and glamour, but it’s this new backyard space that really wows. Everyone who walks in the back literally drops their jaws. It really is an amazing sight.”

Single-family residence

Brookwood HillsArchitecture
Jim Winer, architect Make3

Carsten Jensen, owner
Viking Works Inc.

Don Easterling, interior designer; Nina Nash, buyer and interior designer Mathews’ Furniture + Design

John Howard, principal and creative director; Jenn Carr, associate architect
Howard Design Studio LL

Live Oak Manors

Planters in the backyard


Stone on exterior patio and stairs, cabana room, sauna

Faucets and fixtures in kitchen and bathrooms


Furniture, lighting and accessories