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Comfortably Chic

With an eye for design, an Atlanta couple creates an inviting family home just outside the city.

In the formal living room, fresh florals complement the home’s clean aesthetic, while metallic accents amp up the chic factor.


An open-concept kitchen, complete with ample storage and quartzite countertops, makes a beautiful yet practical space for entertaining.

A grand chandelier from Lowcountry Originals in the family room inspired much of the design, with other light fixtures playing off of it.

The family dog, a cream-colored Lagotto Romagnolo, fits right in with the chosen color palette.  

Behind the soaking tub is the master bedroom’s massive shower, which has two entrances on either side of the bathroom.

A vanity in the master bathroom adds a touch of elegance to the modern space.


When designing a home from the ground up, it helps to have a clear vision. Such was the case for the homeowners, who selected a small, wooded, gated community in Berkeley Lake for their residence. “The couple wanted a comfortable but chic home,” says interior designer Michelle Doughtie, owner of Schilling & Co. Interior Design. “They’re very organized and really know what they want, which is great because it takes the guesswork out of getting to know your clients’ taste.”

The French provincial-style home offers a welcome respite from the bustle—and traffic—of the metro Atlanta area while keeping the family close to the city’s dining scene for date nights (Downtown is less than an hour’s drive from the pair’s new address). The couple moved from Suwanee to be closer to work in town and their daughter’s school. Using an elevation by architect Lew Oliver, whose projects include sought-after neighborhoods like Avalon and Serenbe, the homeowners enlisted architect and builder Robert Bryde of Capitella Homes to tailor the plan to their lifestyle. Doughtie was brought in early on and helped select finishes, and kitchen and bath fixtures.

“Clean” was the word that was used throughout the creative process. Putting their own spin on the “greige” trend, the homeowners worked with the talented Doughtie to add more warmth to the color palette: Light and dark colors were mixed to give dramatic effect; trim was kept to a minimum; and steel accents were added for a contemporary feel.

Doughtie incorporated some of the couple’s existing furniture, particularly in the master bedroom, formal living room and dining room. But new pieces, including art, a tufted chesterfield sofa and a server, were added to make the rooms feel fresh and current. The energy is centered in the kitchen and family room, an open and inviting area where the couple spends most of their time.

The luxe kitchen is a mix of form and function. Cabinetry by Karpaty Cabinets and the Waterworks backsplash create a beautiful environment for cooking and entertaining; and the quartzite countertop has the appearance of marble, but the durability to withstand family meals. The kitchen and living area flows seamlessly into the backyard, with three sets of French doors leading to the loggia and pool.

For the office, the two wanted a room where they could work together; his-and-hers desks face two walls of windows with views of the pool and woods. Sheer curtains allow sunlight to filter through while enveloping the room in a soft glow. A lacquered finish on the cabinets mixes contemporary with traditional, and acrylic and brass hardware give a dressy feel. “It’s those perfect little details that add so much to a space,” says Doughtie. And those details come together for a home the family can enjoy for years to come.


Single-family home

Berkeley Lake

Lew Oliver, owner/architect
Whole Town Solutions

Robert Bryde, president/builder
Capitella Homes

Interior Design
Michelle Doughtie, owner/designer
Schilling & Co. Interior Design

Tile flooring

Fine linens and master bedroom mattress

Art in foyer stair hall and dining room

Custom cabinetry

Selenite fireplace sculpture in living room

Chandelier in family room

His-and-hers office desks 

Lighting in kitchen, dining and living room; master bath sconces 

Custom handpoured candles