a ranch-style home tries trends, nails it

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photography by JEFF HERR
interior design by TERRA COTTA DESIGN BUILD

You can really spot masterful interior design. A hint? It will usually involve the perfect marriage of trendspotting and functionality, without sacrificing an ounce of one for the other. Such is true of this Southern home in Atlanta, Georgia, where a couple lives, functions, and plans in a space that’s as inspiring as it is practical. Crafted by Terra Cotta Design Build, this light-filled, color conscious space is one to bookmark. Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson, Architect & Interior Designer, Luly Melarti, Architect, and Katelyn Rountree, Interior Designer let us peek into their design process a bit, of course teaching us quite a lot in the process!

HOW DID THIS PROJECT COME ABOUT? The homeowners knew of our work through previous clients of ours and when it came time for them to do a renovation they reached out to us immediately.

DID THE FAMILY HAVE SPECIFIC DESIGN GOALS IN MIND OR DID THEY LEAVE EVERYTHING TO YOU? This is a recently married young couple with no children and they had acquired a ranch style home in a great neighborhood. The house was in serious need of updates and the 1950’s layout was not conducive to entertaining and open-plan living, as well as their plans for a future family. We were asked to work within the footprint of the home in order to maximize the budget and allow for a wealth of finishes that suit their style. Our goal was to make the house live large by connecting spaces, streamlining and de-cluttering the finishes, and making functional use of every corner.

HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT PLANNING A PROJECT OF THIS KIND? We always try to work with the architecture of the original structure rather than against it. This yields a product that is a natural extension of the original home and feels appropriate in scale and style. For this ranch home renovation, we emphasized the horizontal lines and the practicality of the era. There is no over detailing, just quality craftsmanship and a restrained simplicity.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY OF WORKING ON THIS HOME? Seeing the excitement in our clients’ faces every time we had a construction meeting on site.

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE? Vaulting the main living space while at the same time eliminating central support walls. But even that was not really a challenge. This was such a great project and they were awesome clients!!

WHAT CURRENT DESIGN TRENDS WERE INCORPORATED INTO THIS SPACE? No upper cabinets in the kitchen with tile to the ceiling and sconce lighting as well as large glass walls the blur the lines between inside and outside living.

THERE ARE SEVERAL STRONG COLOR SELECTIONS THROUGHOUT THE HOME, HOW DID YOU (OR THE FAMILY) COME TO THOSE DECISIONS? First of all, the homeowners have great style, so it was easy to work with them and present different things. We proposed the colors in select locations and in small quantities, which makes them timeless, but still fun. As far as the furniture selections, they were open to bold punches of color with ease.

WHAT IS ONE DESIGN COMPONENT IN THE SPACE WHERE YOU FELT IT WAS SMART TO SPLURGE? The Ann Sacks tile in the master bathroom shower. The slate color glass tile is embossed with a jute texture and has a polished finish. Despite the reduced size of the bathroom, the rich color, the sparkle and the texture make the room expand visually. It adds luxury and dimension at the same time.

AND TO SAVE? The decision to build a deck rather than a covered porch. Atlanta weather is quite conducive to outdoor living and the deck provides a great extension of the living space without stealing any natural light or eating up the budget!

WHAT IS THE FAMILY’S FAVORITE COMPONENT OF THIS SPACE? Probably the kitchen. It is packed with functionality, has beautiful high-end appliances, yet it feels open and light and so connected to the surrounding spaces!