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Hotel Experience Hits Home
By Jaime Lin Weinstein | Photo: by Sarah Dorio | January 25, 2018
With a modern-glam-meets-family-friendly feel, interior designer Traci Rhoads creates a luxe setting that complements the owner’s career.
As someone born into the hospitality industry who currently oversees the development and renovations of upscale hotels, homeowner Mitul Patel brought uncommon insight when it came to creating a modern amenity-rich environment for his own abode. Who else would insist on having USB ports built into bedsides and in the cup holders of the home theater seating? Or install an air curtain above the door to the patio to keep flying insects from entering the house?
“He doesn’t miss one detail,” says Traci Rhoads, the designer he and his wife, Rakhi Patel, tapped to craft the interiors of their new 8,900-square-foot residence in Sandy Springs, just around the corner from Chastain Park. This was the couple’s first custom build, so they turned to Rhoads to execute their vision for a transitional family home; with two young children, comfort was also key.
The result is a mix of serious glamour and sensibility. There’s the dining room, where antique glass mirrors line the wall, providing the backdrop for a glittering rectangle chandelier, and in the great room, USB and plugs built into the custom-designed sofa console allow for easy accessibility. (“He loves navy,” Rhoads says of Mitul, and kept the hue central to the color palette throughout.) But then there’s the kitchen, where a custom glass backsplash lines the walls—and under-cabinet outlets allow the chevron motif to shine, uninterrupted—but open shelving was also devised to allow the busy family convenient access to their everyday dishes and flatware. Arresting design elements are balanced by practical considerations.
For the family room, Rhoads designed a custom ottoman with inset tray, avoiding the sharp edges of a traditional coffee table while providing a stable surface for glassware. With its wood ceiling and stone fireplace, the room distinguishes itself from the kitchen in the open-concept space while emphasizing an indoor-outdoor fluidity; a windowed wall reveals the outdoor living space, which gives way to a summer kitchen and swimming pool. It also pays homage to the lodgelike environment the owners love. “The lodge component, for us, feels comfortable and gives us the North Georgia mountain feeling we enjoy,” Patel says.
Rhoads has a background in the hospitality industry too, as it turns out, which taught her good design should be both beautiful and enduring. To wit: The designer had the great room sectional’s plush velvet fabric knit-backed, which helps hold the fibers tighter together to make it more durable. “I don’t want my client calling me in a year and saying that something is worn out. ... I feel like it’s my responsibility to make sure I’m very thoughtful with the materials I choose and where they’re going,” she says. Hence the easy-to-wipe-down leather fabric used for the banquette in the eat-in area of the kitchen and the seats of the barstools at the island.
Like the owner, Rhoads has a knack for details as well, and selected every bit of hardware for each room, from the crocodile leather pulls on the dressers in the master closet to the crystal handles on the faucet of the vanity in the powder room. “Top to bottom—I picked the doorknobs, everything. ... Mitul had an opinion, but he also let me do my thing. It was really collaborative,” Rhoads shares. “And he kept me in check! ‘Traci, did you make sure to tell them what edge we wanted on the countertop?’” the designer adds with a laugh.
Traci Rhoads, owner/designer
Traci Rhoads Interiors
Alan Avery Art Company
Sharon Weiner artwork outside great room
Custom bench in foyer
Fabric on side chairs in dining room
Sectional in family room
Vanity in powder room
Marmi Natural Stone
Marble countertops in kitchen
Fabric on head chairs in dining room and lounge chairs in great room
Spacemakers of atlanta
Specialty Tile Products
Tile, marble backsplashes and baths
Stanton Home Furnishings
Bernhardt counter stools in kitchen; Visual Comfort chandeliers in master bedroom, master bath and eat-in kitchen area, and pendants above kitchen island
Traci Rhoads Interiors
Custom chandelier in foyer, dining table, desk in study and credenza in master bedroom