Friday, September 26, 2014


In any home, a place to sit down and work is an absolute must. Whether it is a place for email, kids to do homework, pay bills, or even to sit down and read, a home office (or at least a desk) is necessary. 

Here at The Design Atelier, we are working on a home office for a client and while working with them, we have compiled a short list of characteristics that each home office needs. We thought we would share them with you, so please enjoy! If you are building a new home or just need to update your space, we hope these tips will be helpful.

The Design Atelier's key essentials to any home office:

Free from distraction: With so many things requiring our attention, we all get easily distracted. Your office should be clean, organized, and (if possible) quiet. Time spent in your office should be uninterrupted, so that whatever that needs to be accomplished can be done in minimal time so you can get onto the next task that needs your attention. Therefore, your office should be in a part of the home that is not often frequented by children or at least be in an area where the kids know to be quiet.  

Even though this workspace is most likely a part of the living room, it's secluded enough to
be recognized as an "office." As a perk, you can keep an eye on the kids and still get work done!

Free from clutter: Some people work well with piles of papers on the desk. However, most people associate messy stacks of paper to be quite stressful. Your home office should be organized, at least enough so that most everything has a place. Receipts should have a bin. Tax documents, bills, the kids' homework, report cards, art work, and any other important documents should have their own respective folders/bins. 

This desk is relatively clean with the exception of a container of pens, a task lamp,
and a jar of flowers. Everything else is filed away in organizational heaven.

Plenty of storage: In order to keep maintain a clutter-free office, multiple storage options are necessary. Shelving, drawers, bins, filing systems, are all great ways to keep your things organized and stowed away. 

Shelving helps keep books and other necessary items off of the desk but makes them
easy to find.

Plenty of light: Whether natural, artificial, or both, any working space needs to be well-lit. Make sure your work surface is adequately lit with overhead lights, table or task lamps, or a combination thereof. Windows are always pleasant and offer both sunlight and a view to the outside. Studies show that those who worked with some sort of connection to nature tend to be more productive than those who didn't have any sort of natural connection. So if your space is window-less, be sure to incorporate plants or a picture of a gorgeous landscape to mimic the results. 

The desk placed in front of the window offers a look outside and plenty of sunlight. The
pendant and desk lamp add light when needed. And doesn't that chair look ├╝ber comfy?!

Visual Interest: It's your office, you should have at least one thing that serves no other purpose than it being pretty. Whether it's artwork, a neat sculpture, or a bouquet of flowers, give your space something that catches your eye.

Artwork and a sculpture give the eye a place to rest. The light color palette also helps draw attention to the art,
while also creating a serene work environment.

With these tips, your home office is bound to be your favorite room or area of the house!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kitchen :: Update

You may remember this kitchen we recently completed for a client not too long ago. We (and especially the client) loved how it turned out!! Last week, we got to stop by and take some "final" pictures of the kitchen. 

Just for reference, here are some before pictures:

Here are the "after" shots! We absolutely love the transformation of the kitchen! It was so fun to meet up with the client again and hear how much she loves her new "grown up" kitchen and family room. 

We love this shot of the family dog, Ellie, eating out of her custom dog bowls.

We hope you've enjoyed the progress of this project. Now onto another!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Serenbe :: Updates

It is all set and ready to be seen! Last week was the grand opening of the Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles 2014 Designer Showhouse at Serenbe; we are thrilled with how everything turned out. 

The walkway up to the showhouse
The front of the showhouse
The view of the showhouse from the walkway. The bay window looks into our living room!

Here is the room we designed, the living room:

Again, we are so pleased with the room and have heard nothing but great reviews about it! The entire house is beautiful; every designer did an amazing job. Go visit Serenbe and see for yourself!

The show house is available for viewing and touring from now until September 28. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Mexican Night at TDA

With summer quickly speeding to a halt, Melanie decided to throw a Mexican Fiesta for her kids before they head back to school. It also happened to be Sarah Margaret's last day of her internship! We loved having her with us this summer and we are thrilled that she will be back to join us starting in September!!

Before the festivities began, we ran all over town picking up chips, salsa, and queso from some of the kids' favorite mexican restaurants. Then we met at the studio with chips and dip from 7 local restaurants and dinner from Taqueria del Sol, one of our particular faves thanks to its close proximity to the office. 

After reheating cheese dip, numbering the bowls, and blindfolding the kids, we were ready to get started!

We began by giving them plain chips (which was greatly protested since they knew how much cheese dip was in the room), then they had chips and salsa, and finally chips and queso.

As I listed the names of the restaurants, they raised their hands to guess which place the chip/dip belonged to.

As the blindfolds came off, we revealed our findings:
  1. Taco Mac is good but the cheese is way too thick. 
  2. Jalisco's is hard to pronounce and their food is not memorable. 
  3. La Fonda has great salsa.
  4. Uncle Julio's has the best thin, salty chips and is an all around favorite among the boys who loved their Texas style cheese dip.
  5. Mi Cocina..... "These chips are gross."
  6. Willy's: good for a quick Mexican fix but you have to get the thin salsa, not the chunky kind.
  7. Taqueria del Sol: Our initial feelings can't be swayed... a favorite among all and the definite winner for the girls!
Wyatt won the competition and was the proud recipient of a gold medal, some stick on mustashes (which he generously shared with his siblings) and bragging rights for years!

We had so much fun with our mexican adventure and would love to hear your favorite Mexican Cantinas so that we can try them out!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

South Carolina Hunting Cabin

For the past couple of months, we have been working with a client to design their hunting cabin in South Carolina. The clients want a refined rustic look and we've been pulling a lot of fun options for them!

Here are some inspiration photos from our Pinterest board:

We are loving this sink for the kids' bathrooms!

Kitchen Inspiration
Kitchen Inspiration
Master Bedroom Inspiration

Bunk Room Inspiration

We are using Oushak rugs as our inspiration, and here are a few of our favorite options along with some coordinating fabrics.

Check out our Pinterest board for more hunting cabin inspiration

Monday, July 21, 2014

Carrollton Kitchen

Recently, one of our sweet clients contacted us for some help on her kitchen. We have worked with her in the past and we were thrilled to hear from her again. She recently gave her kitchen a facelift and needed help with some finishing touches.

In the photos below we added roman shades, new lighting, and some fun pillows.

The window was so big that we had to jump in and help with installation.

We are also discussing repainting the kitchen in a fun shade. Emi wanted to make sure that the colors worked well with the drapery and in different light. 

Here is a close up of the pillows for the banquette. We love the Romo Mirabel fabric in Wasabi! We're working on making a cushion for the banquette to finish off this little corner.

Next, the client asked us to help with her living room and dining room. We love her taste and can't wait to have fun decorating. More to come from this home later!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Serenbe Showhouse :: Sneak Peek

We have exciting news....
The Design Atelier has been selected for the 2014 Serenbe Designer Showhouse

For those of you who haven't heard of Serenbe, it is a community born in an effort to protect the beautiful rural land just outside of Atlanta known as Chattahoochee Hill Country.  The area focuses on sustainability and quality of life. Buildings and homes are arranged in clusters in order to preserve a great deal of undeveloped green space. 

The New York Times stated, 
"Serenbe is a utopian experiment in New Urbanism being molded out of Georgia red clay."

The concept is brilliant. Live, work, and play in an organic yet thriving location. 

Now that you know a little about the area, let's talk about the Showhouse!

Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle 2014 Serenbe Designer Showhouse 

The Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles 2014 Serenbe Designer Showhouse features 15 designers over 3 floors of an English inspired cottage. The home sits on a winding road nestled in the woods linked to retail and restaurants by a pedestrian footbridge.
The Showhouse is open September 6 - 28, Monday - Wednesday for group tours (20+ individuals) and Thursday-Sunday for general admission. Tickets can be purchased here

Last week, we decided to visit the house and get our bearings as to the progress of the showhouse. The house is still under construction but we were able to get a great understanding of what the completed space will look like.

The fireplace wall is amazing!
Aren't those high ceilings are gorgeous!?
And Melanie serves as a beautiful scale-model, don't you think?
It's hard to tell in the pictures, but the scenery through the windows is pure greenery and it didn't take us long to decide that the interiors will complement the view.

After we finished our tour, we headed back to the car, only to find that it had been raining and the previously solid dirt "driveway" was now mud. I'm pretty sure the contractors are still laughing about how Emi slipped in to a river of mud with one fatal step!

Thankfully, one of the sweet workers let us use his water to wash our feet off and then loaned us some lovely shoe covers to keep us from repeating our muddy mistakes. 

Let's just say Melanie & Emi will be packing boots for the next job site visit. 

We are thrilled to have been given a great space and are teeming with ideas! More to come on that soon...