This Atlanta home is a lesson in balance. Interior designer Anna Booth was tasked with renovating two rooms, the living and dining, for a couple and their three young daughters. They wanted to forgo the formality of a “proper” living room in favor of a relaxed, comfortable space where the girls could play—yet still maintain a sense of elegance for entertaining friends in the evenings. Anna collaborated with architect Greg Busch, and the result is a blend of light versus dark, and of formal versus family friendly. Anna tells us how she brought it all together.

Tell us about this home. Where is it located?

Traditional in architecture, our client’s home dates to the 40’s and is located on a serene, wooded street in Atlanta. Approximately 6,000 square-feet, the majority of the home is located on the main floor, with two bedrooms located on the second floor.  A carriage house complements the main residence and provides for an additional space to host company.

Tell us about the clients. Who lives here? What were their goals when hiring a designer? 

Our client’s had recently purchased the home from a couple who had raised their now-grown children in the home.  As they (our clients) looked forward to a new beginning of raising their children in this home, they desired to maintain the welcoming family environment that the home already exuded through it’s open layout but lighten the interior architectural elements and decoration proceeding them, that were a bit traditional and austere in nature, to evoke a sense of playfulness and lightness that honestly reflected their being.

How did you blend the relaxed atmosphere they aimed for, while keeping an elegant formality to the space? Any materials you relied on for more ‘family friendly’ finishes?

Proceeding the interior design, we focused on strengthening the interior architecture and quality of light by enlarging windows and doors and removing dated attributes such as a built-in wet bar and austere paneling.  Through the careful selection of interior fabrics and finishes, we upholstered with high-performance fabrics, vinyl, and leather, and opted for no synthetic materials but only natural materials in our selection of tables and floor coverings.

How long did the project take, and what did the client say when they saw the finished space?

The renovation took approximately a year, and when it was complete the client’s expressed that the space felt honest to who they are, and that it changed the way they lived in the home.  A room that they would have never entertained in they now lived in.

You also have a new collection of hand-carved mirrors. What can you tell us about this?

Thank you! In the purest sense, this line was born from a friendship with Mary Holland [of Holland MacRae, a revered Atlanta showroom]. The line is rooted in history, reminiscent of the way paintings were hung in salons in Europe throughout the 17th Century, so each mirror hangs by chain and rod as they did in the salons.  Additionally, with a shared fondness and lineage in England, Mary and I wanted to celebrate the art of craftsmanship that is woven into the fabric of England’s heritage, with every mirror being carved by hand in England.

See more in the slideshow.