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The Master of Reinvention

The third time’s a charm for one redecorating-prone Buckhead couple, when designer Alice Cramer helps them finally achieve the home of their dreams.

The family room boasts a boarded ceiling with a finish Cramer custom mixed herself. The color coordinates beautifully with the gray upholstery, pale linen window treatments and a geometric accent table by Redefined Home Boutique. This space opens right onto a lovely breakfast area and kitchen, as well as a more formal seating area (next spread) crowned by a statement-making Ro Sham Beaux ceiling fixture.

Counting 25 years in the design industry and a host of loyal and happy clients throughout the Southeast, Alice Cramer—a local champion of restrained yet individualistic residences—has proven her staying power. And perhaps that’s due to her uncanny ability to translate their visions into reality—even if they have difficulty describing exactly what they want.

Such was the case with a couple of empty nesters living in a family-oriented Buckhead neighborhood. After 18 years on the property and two previous redecorating projects, they couldn’t quite put their finger on what they wanted—just that the design attempts of the past were not it.

After meeting Cramer through a small church group and later visiting her home, the couple fell in love with her good taste and confidently tapped her to design their home anew.

“[The lady of the house] loves solids and wanted everything to feel very calm and serene,” says Cramer. “She’s half-Japanese, so I tease that it’s her Zen side coming out,” the designer reveals. Energized by the task, Cramer convinced the couple to tear their dark ranch home down to the foundation and, soon enough, the outlook looked bright.

The neutral living room is accented with pops of blues and antique golds, a scheme tied together with the Made Goods mirror above the fireplace.

A collaboration with architect Caroline Rolader, of Reu Architects (with whom she shares an office space on Bennett Street) drew upon the homeowners’ Francophile inspirations to fashion a facade with a clean countenance, marked by pleasing symmetry and punctuated by a Bevolo lantern and diamond-shaped bracket (custom designed by Calhoun Design & Metalworks) at the entryway.

Post-renovation, the main floor now touts 10-foot ceilings, four bedrooms and four full baths; and the upstairs contains an additional suite, plus unfinished attic space at the ready for additional buildouts. Throughout, the interiors feature a soft neutral scheme that’s made unique through intriguing design details.
“I think anytime you’re doing a monotone home, you have to layer in interesting texture,” adds Cramer who, as it happens, is acquainted with the homeowner’s mother, a seamstress highly regarded in the Atlanta design community for her impeccable decorative pillows. So, naturally, Cramer tapped her talent to fashion the beautiful examples in this residence.

Seeing the handiwork of family around makes it even more enjoyable when the couple’s daughters drop by for a visit. “They joke, ‘Thanks a lot, Mom and Dad, for waiting until we were out of the house to create this beautiful situation,’” Cramer adds with a little laugh. And, who knows? Maybe their homes are next.


Single-family home


Reu Architects
Caroline Rolader

Interior Design
Alice Cramer Interiors
Alice Cramer

Powerhouse Construction 
Tim Powers

Landscape Architecture
Carson McElheney Landscape Architecture & Design

Renaissance Tile & Bath
Kitchen backsplash tile

Made Goods
Chandelier over dining table and mirror over fireplace

Ikat fabric on dining chairs

South of Market
Family room coffee table

Lee Industries
Four slipcovered chairs in formal sitting area

Darnell & Company
Gilt mirror in master bedroom

Area rug in master bedroom

Phillip Jeffries
Wallpaper in powder room

Calhoun Design & Metalworks
Custom iron windows and bracket over front door