Thursday, August 13, 2009

New on the market: a Buckhead home with 'celebrity' connections

There is a quiet street in the heart of Buckhead that I consider to be one of the most charming and beautiful in all of Atlanta. I love to walk my dog in this area; if this area is called 'the jewel box of Atlanta', then this street is one of the crown jewels. There are several homes on this street that are currently for sale; a sign of the times, perhaps, because homes on this street usually sell before a sign can even be put into the yard.


One of the homes that is for sale really caught my eye (pictured above). It is owned by one of the premiere luxury home builders in Atlanta, Stan Benecki, and his wife Melanie Turner Benecki of Turner Davis Interiors. Melanie was named as the Southeastern Designer of the Year 2009, a very prestigious award. The home was designed by an architect from Dallas, and inspired by a home there; the style has both French and Californian influences.


Melanie's signature style combines light and dark elements, along with exquisite architectural details. The floors in this room are intricate and really stunning. Throughout the house, Melanie uses yellow as an accent color. Note the band on the edge of the curtains and the backs of the chairs are in the same fabric, which ties the room together. The chandelier was made in California; I suspect it is by Dennis & Leen. The art on the wall is by Todd Murphy, a nationally known artist based in Atlanta.


Recognizing that kitchens are one of the rooms in a home that become dated rather quickly, Melanie made this kitchen classic and streamlined. Some of the trendier elements - such as the island lighting and the barstools - can easily be changed out at a future point. I really love the look of this kitchen - it has my favorite feature, a wall of windows, and my favorite shape, square. The vent was custom designed and has a European feel to it. Although it can't be seen in this picture, some of the cabinets have a woven nickel inlay which is reminiscent of chicken wire, but in a much more elegant form.


The family room, which is open to the kitchen, also has the touches of yellow as well as gray - a popular combination. I love how the tv is somewhat disguised by the mural-like diptych on the wall. To me, this is a very functional and comfortable family room arrangement. Image via AJC, photography by Joey Ivansco.


The casual dining area opens to the family room and the kitchen, with a door leading to the screened in porch. This room brings in the gray of the sectional in the family room. It looks like the ceiling is curved - I would not be surprised, this house had the highest end architectural and decorative details.


Generally I am not a huge fan of screened in porches, but this one is exceptional. It overlooks the pool, and has a generous scale in the lighting, seating, and ceiling height. I love the architectural details too - the shiplap ceiling, the stone fireplace. According to a recent article in the Atlanta paper, which profiled the home, when the weather is nice the owners open all of the doors in the screened in porch to get a true indoor/outdoor feel.


This room was perhaps my favorite room in the house - inspired by 1970s Hermes, it is a charming and cozy room with pecky cypress walls (I am starting to see this more and more in newly designed homes), a rug from Pottery Barn, and overscale floor lamps.


The living room is filled with light (notice the light on two sides of the room) and serenely beautiful. There are two seating areas, and centered in the room is a round table that Melanie designed herself. A capiz shell chandelier brings in a deliberate element that is less casual, to balance the room.


The master bedroom is on the second floor, and also features art by Todd Murphy. The bed floats away from the wall, with an extra wide wrap around headboard, which allows for maximum light from the large window. The chandelier is a reproduction of a French antique; it looks like one of the new chandeliers from Suzanne Kasler's line for Visual Comfort.


The daughter's bedroom is beautiful - a fresh take on a blue bedroom with its accents of kelly green. I love the valance on the curtains - beautiful details like this really make a room. Image via AJC, photography by Joey Ivansco.


Another bedroom in the house has a rich masculine feel to it. Image via AJC, photography by Joey Ivansco.


The home also features a luxe media room in the full basement, as well as a drive under four car garage.


The back yard is absolutely stunning - simple, but sculptural. The landscape architecture was designed by one of my favorite firms, LandPlus.

I have thought about posting this home on my blog for some time now, but never followed through. However, when reading my People magazine this week, there was a picture of the 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' cast that really captured my eye, and inspired me to do this post. The picture, seen below, shows the cast of this season's show, photographed in a 'Atlanta mansion'. As soon as I saw the picture, I knew exactly which home they had posed in - it was one and the same as the home I had long admired on one of my favorite streets in Buckhead.

Apparently the home is used for photo shoots - it was used for both Bloomingdales and Ralph Lauren campaigns. It is also a well known secret that two A list celebrities rented the home for a few months earlier this year, and used it as their base while one of them was shooting a movie in town.


Here is a picture of the living room again. There is the blue-gray stool (one of the housewives is sitting on it), the modern sunburst style mirror over the mantle, the sculpture on the Oly Studios chest in front of the window.

I hope you enjoyed this tour of a lovely and beautifully designed Buckhead home! It is currently on the market. For more information, please see the real estate listing. All images, except as noted, came from the real estate listing.