Emily Followill Photographer
Texture and dimension set the foundation for this mid century modern home in Buckhead, Georgia. Large windows and a kitchen skylight deliver natural light. The surrounding trees lend the feeling of a remote getaway, although it’s just a few miles from the bustling Atlanta city center. Jessica Davis, founder of Nest Studio Collection & Atelier Davis preserved much of the original structure yet modernized the space to meet her family's needs.
At first glance, a palette of natural and bold colors provides a comforting contrast. In the kitchen, a red gas range from SMEG is a bold focal point flanked by natural wood floating shelves and balanced with light teal vertical tile bringing the space together. “[I find myself] gravitating toward the same colors and they repeat in various ways, a red range, dining chairs, [pops of] mint, and teal green.” On the other side of the kitchen, reclaimed magnolia wood paneling adorns the pantry and seamlessly hides an integrated Fisher & Paykel refrigerator.
Davis always knew she wanted to design homes but went about it in a circuitous way. She studied Art History at Princeton and developed a fondness for residential architecture and urban planning. She enjoyed studying the evolution of homes over time and movements in the fine art world. She later pursued a master’s in interior design from The New England School of Art and Design.
I asked Davis about designing her own home, and how her approach compared to clients’ projects. “I approach design in the same way, [however] I like so many different styles and eras which can be challenging” Davis adds, “I let the architecture speak”.
Another challenge when designing your own home is a plethora of knowledge of the styles and products out there, some of which are beautiful but also expensive. “You see all the products” said Davis, “but if you’re willing to get your hands dirty and DIY [some parts], then you can splurge elsewhere”.
Davis completed her project in 2019, before the COVID pandemic. Davis mentioned that she was spending more time with her family at home this year, as many families are. I asked about working from home in the new house, and if she would have done anything differently. Her design included a home office, which got a lot of use this year.
She was happy with the outcome of her project. However, she added “it would be nice to have two dishwashers, as there’s more dishwashing happening”. She also mentioned that it’s a great idea for families to invest in a backup fridge in addition to the main refrigerator. For phase two of her project, Davis plans to add a beverage refrigerator near the dining area.
Emily Followill Photographer
With children at home, it’s important to consider their needs. This year parents have had to balance work, childcare, and education. Nobody could have foreseen this in 2019. Looking back “[I would have] carved out more of a space for kids crafts, and if I had known I'd be doing virtual school, I would have carved out more space for learning as well”.
Davis noted that many families are prioritizing outdoor living areas, entertaining spaces, and outdoor kitchens this summer. We noticed a similar trend this year as families can spend time outside, close to home. Davis just finished her outdoor living space. She added a play area for the kids, a fire pit, and updated the swimming pool for the perfect summer staycation.