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She's a Natural
By Kate Abney | Photo: by J. Ashley Photography | April 10, 2017
Thanks to on-the-rise interior designer Dana Lynch and a dream team of collaborators, a concept home in Serenbe’s newest community is as gorgeous as it is health- and eco-conscious.
Dana Lynch may not be a household name— even within Atlanta’s design community—but it’s safe to say she soon will be. The former big-firm attorney, who’s been quietly growing her design repertoire for the past 15 years, has been building and selling luxurious well-considered residences alongside her husband. So far, the budding interior designer’s collaborators have included such industry stars as architect Bill Baker. And her clients? The likes of CNN heavyweights and film-industry insiders, for starters. Not too shabby for something that started as a hobby.
“[My husband] has always had a strong interest in real estate. We build; we sell; we build again; we sell again,” Lynch explains. “People have always been supercomplimentary of the work that we’ve done. It’s so common for them to say, ‘Can you help me with my house?’”
That was pretty much how the conversation went when execs from Serenbe, Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia’s luxury lifestyle community “in the trees,” approached Lynch to design the Organic Life House in her own neighborhood, Mado, a sophisticated new satellite community slated to be completed at Serenbe by summer.
Originally conceived as a show home for Rodale’s now-defunct lifestyle publication of the same name, the arts-and-crafts-inspired residence was designed with modern advancements in mind—meaning solar electricity, geothermal water heating, excellent insulation against the elements and even a passive style of construction. Air circulates freely, while windows are positioned to block scorching summer rays and harness the warm winter sun.
Even from blueprint stages, Lynch worked with acclaimed Curran & Co. Architects and BCC Builders principal Bobby Webb (whose high-end hallmarks, like bullnose edges, add charm throughout the house) to select the home’s overarching interior design details. Even the sculptural three-story staircase reflects Lynch’s input, which also extends to the lot of plumbing fixtures, finishes, marble, tile and even the reclaimed-wood beams bringing dimension to the ceiling in the ethereal, open-format living room.
Despite the arts and crafts influences on the exterior, the home’s interiors could be interpreted as Belgian, Scandinavian modern or wabi-sabi; in truth, it was designed in no single vernacular—just clean, calm and chic.
“It’s a very honest house. Everything is what it is. There’s concrete, stone, wood; it’s a very textural home, with iron, glass, beautiful marble slabs in the kitchen,” Lynch notes. “I’m all about patina. I am in love with wood and hardware, antique shutters, plasters and limestones, and the way things wear.” In lieu of ornamentation, Lynch let the materials speak for themselves. Largely unadorned windows let in natural light and reveal glimpses of the lush green space surrounding. In every room, contrast was a high priority, so Lynch alternated light and dark components to achieve the ideal balance throughout the home. In the kitchen, that means an iron hanging rack, creamy cabinetry, honed Verona white marble and a custom concrete island countertop—an ultradark brown.
The designated dining area was situated squarely between the cooking space and the living room, but Lynch was loath to install a trio of ceiling fixtures—“It would have looked like a lighting showroom,” she counters—so she opted instead to delineate the space with a herringbone pattern on the white-oak floor… a la French château. Adding to the effect was a matte-white wash of Rubio Monocoat, which offers that coveted antique look without the centuries-long wait. “It’s not just beautiful, but totally eco-friendly,” Lynch explains. “When you walk into the house, it smells like beeswax, not six coats of poly that will be off-gassing for 10 years.”
Other floors received stunning tile selections, mostly from Renaissance Tile & Bath. We’re partial to the Moroccan-esque tiles in the upstairs Jack and Jill bathroom, but the showstopping slab of Cafe Argento marble in the master shower may just be the home’s pièce de résistance. “It has a leathered finish, so it’s superyummy when you run your hand over it,” Lynch says. Add to that all the top-notch plumbing hardware from Newport Brass, Watermark Designs and DXV (a huge donor for the house), and you have the very picture of luxury.
Lynch admits she largely prefers perfecting the “box” of a house to decorating, but the Organic Life House could have been just that—an empty box—if not for Jillian Pritchard Cooke’s exceptional finishing touches. An interior designer herself (principal of decade-old firm DES-SYN), the project’s fourth major collaborator liaised with Lynch early on before ultimately furnishing and styling the residence (right down to the midcentury-inspired ceiling fixtures) entirely with products from BEE, her health-conscious Buckhead boutique. Working alongside one of her directors of design, Jessica Garcia, and BEE store manager Sloane Dobrin, she selected everything from the perspective of her Wellness Within Your Walls initiative. Everything in this residence, including the lavishly layered bed linens, the master bedside artwork by Serenbe resident Rebekah Hudes, the time-weathered oyster sticks serving as sculpture in the kitchen, the beautifully painted mirrors and carved case pieces, the chic upholstery (some vintage, some new), is supremely tactile, textural and natural. Fine art was furnished almost entirely from Bill Lowe.
While it’s not hard to fall head over heels with Cooke’s aesthetic, we were just as happy to hear that Lynch is currently spearheading two multimillion-dollar custom residences at Mado, for which she’s working with Webb to design everything—“from plan to pillow.”
Turns out the Organic Life House was just the beginning for new-kid-on-the-block Dana Lynch, and with 12 additional spec homes on her 2017 agenda, the only
way is up.
Curran & Co. Architects
Bobby Webb, principal BCC Builders
Dana Lynch, owner and designer Dana Lynch Design
Jillian Pritchard Cooke, principal DES-SYN
Jillian Pritchard Cooke, owner; Jessica Garcia, director of design BEE
CERTIFICATION & DESIGN
Jillian Pritchard Cooke, founder; Katie Kitchens, interior specifier; Sloan Dobrin, consumer relations Wellness Within Your Walls
Jessica Garcia, director of design DES-SYN
All textiles, lighting, furnishings, rugs and accessories
RENAISSANCE TILE & BATH
Tiled floors in master and guest baths
Marble in master bath
FARMER D ORGANICS
Plantings in backyard