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By Stephanie Smith | Photo: Chris Little | October 17, 2016
With the help of designer Janie Hirsch, one couple’s vision of a Buckhead dream house becomes reality.
It’s not a new story. An old, rundown house in Buckhead somehow caught the couple’s eye from the street. The possibilities and promises of what could be the dream home—the one only they could see—spoke to them from somewhere deep inside. So they tore it down and built an entirely new house from the ground up with custom luxury homebuilder Matt Joel of Joel Construction Company. Now who could execute stunning interiors to match the perfect picture in their minds? Enter Janie Hirsch of J. Hirsch Interior Design, who had designed award-winning interiors all across the country.
“My husband had done business with one of the gentlemen,” recalls Hirsch. When the couple told him they were finally going to build their dream house, he said, “You’ve got to talk with my wife, Janie.”
“They interviewed me, along with some others, and quickly said, ‘You’re the one.’” More kismet—now the vision had its visionary.
For two years, Hirsch worked on the five-bedroom, 8,700-square-foot home with the clients, who, in the end, kept only one set of bedroom furniture, some lamps and a few accessories from their previous house. Otherwise, everything going into the home was new. “They didn’t want to use colors from their previous house, which had a lot of gold, yellows and tan neutrals.” Hirsch presented gray as the dominant shade with accents of blues, creams and yellows, and the rest fell into place.
The subdued hue was perfect for anchoring dramatic spaces such as the two-story foyer that welcomes guests after entering through custom arched solid mahogany front doors. The gray marble flooring, which they had honed locally and inlaid with distressed French oak to create the striking pattern, was ordered from Walker Zanger in one enormous piece from Italy.
From there, guests get the same feeling as they move into the formal living room with its 22-foot ceilings and exquisite François & Co. fireplace. The all-iron chandelier from Solária complements the balusters on the stairs nearby. Although the chandelier was new, it was distressed to appear antique—a move that is signature Hirsch. “We didn’t want everything to look brand-new and [we wanted] to have a nice mix of antiques with current pieces,” she explains.
The variety of alcoves, entertaining areas (there’s a man cave downstairs and wine cellar), dual offices (they both work out of the house) and four guest bedrooms (the couple has no children) provided numerous opportunities for Hirsch to change up the smoky palette. For instance, of the incredibly luxe master bathroom, she says, “We wanted white and gray, but not so much gray.”—an effect she achieved by mixing a basket weave pattern of venatino marble like a “rug” in the middle of larger slabs of white venatino on the floor. The kitchen is also more bright and airy than other rooms. Hirsch kept a silvery gray visible only in fixtures, veining in the marble backsplash, countertops and appliances. The effect is cohesiveness throughout the large manse, without everything being matchy-matchy.
“They really let me do what I do,” says Hirsch, who won an ASID award for the project in May. “It was a pleasure to hand it over and see how much they loved it. It was a dream job,” she adds. “The kind we all wish we could have.”
J. Hirsch Interior Design
Joel Construction Company
Living room chandelier
All marble and tile throughout house
Visual Comfort & Co.
Dining room chandeliers, kitchen chandeliers
Living room console table and two chests by fireplace
Hickory Chair Furniture Co.
Living room chairs, office chairs and ottoman, powder-room chest, kitchen bar stools
Rugs throughout the home
Master bathroom painting
PDI Kitchen, Bath and Lighting Showroom
Kitchen and bathroom plumbing fixtures